Sunday, March 16, 2014

Little Miss Sunshine & The Mason Reporter



I could have sworn last week PolitickerNJ broke the news that Councilwoman Beth Mason, her 2011 Campaign Treasurer husband and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen, & Katz Partner Richard G. Mason,  2009  de-facto Treasurer Ines Garcia-Keim and 4 others in her 2009 campaign were facing  record-breaking, potential multi-million dollar ELEC fines.

$14.3 M, to be exact.

On March 12, 2014, even the Jersey Journal reported "Hoboken councilwoman Beth Mason could owe state $2M for alleged campaign financing violations."  And the JJ was only reporting the Councilwoman's fines- not the possible fines for all 7 Respondents named in the 2009 and 2011 complaints.

Well, thank goodness we have The Mason Reporter, to take heaps of dough from Beth Mason for 2 years of page 3 ads, then tell us absolute horse poo like:

Mason Reporter:  A point in Mason’s favor is the fact that most of the money used in both campaigns was her own, making disclosure a moot point.

GA:  A "moot point"?  Really?  So it's okay to (allegedly) break campaign contribution reporting law with one's own money? What is the source of that exclusion, O' Mason Reporter?  Certainly not any statute known in the State of New Jersey. "Moot"? Wow.  I never saw a centrifuge that could spin like that. Pssst... not that it matters that the campaign was largely self-funded,  ELEC alleged reporting violations in contributions by others; see Exhibits 'A' and 'B' in Count Two of the 2009 ELEC complaint against Mason Team for One Hoboken:



The Mason Reporter:  Mason’s violations are not considered flagrant.

GA:  Says who?  GA is told that the complaints as written are "atypical". The time, effort and money invested in compiling so many allegations and drafting them in that format says this: ELEC may consider the violations "flagrant" enough to have allocated resources as they did. There are nearly 400 (alleged) late reporting transactions cited in the Complaints.

The Mason Reporter:  Most severe penalties are reserve for flagrant violations of the election law. While fines related to Mason’s alleged violations have been widely reported in the millions, the largest fine imposed historically was well under $1 million and that was against a state committee with a history of violations.

GA: Well, then Mason is in trouble.  See above.  ELEC invested a lot of time and materials into drafting the two complaints.  That was no accident.  The largest fine imposed was in 2006 to the Democratic State Committeee for $225,000.  Perhaps ELEC wants to make an example of the Masons. GA has no idea who or how they pissed off the commission, but it looks that way to me. And if this was not true, it will be when the agency reads this in the Mason Reporter:
This has to be the first time the state has its hands in her pockets if, indeed, she even has to pay. The New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) generally has about as much enforcement power as the local dog catcher, and most often doesn’t do much when it catches whoever it’s after.
The "local dog catcher"OUCH. 

I think that comment just jacked up her fines another 10%.

Anyway, GA observed another curiosity in this week's Mason Reporter.  The page 3 "paid for by" verbiage changed.  "The Mason Civic League" was gone.  

Might that have anything to do with so much ELEC sunshine on Miss Sunshine?


5 comments:

  1. al's column was only part of the dark side damage control spin job in this week's issue. in addition to the laughable fawning profile of castellano and her "fashion" boutique, get a load of the letters.

    first, the handbag dude cries because he claims the administration mentioned two different numbers of pothole fixed (note that while everyone else is overjoyed that the city has filed 700+ potholes, handbag whines like a girl because he couldn't get an accurate count...yeah, ok). Then we have terry's reval letter that you KNOW she didn't write (when, in 20+ years of her on the city council, have you ever heard her explain such a complex issue so eloquently? answer: never). and then of course, freeloader candidate perry belfiore, who since he can't think of anything original to complain about, decides to gal back on the ol' reliable "why did dawn keep quite?" meme on sandy funding. as usual, he obviously feels he scored extra points by ONLY referring to the mayor as "dawn", an imagined dig well-learned from the SLAPPers.

    what a bunch of useless phonies, all of them.

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    1. So you consider referring to Mayor Zimmer as Dawn in a public statement is a dis. But isn't that what Leon Gold did? Of course since Salon has a national audience the childish refusal to use the mayor's title was kind of silly at least if gold was trying to communicate to anybody outside of hoboken. The image of gold begging the mayor is pretty funny though. Wish i could have been a fly on that wall

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  2. ungers rag says the state committee got record fines because of their "history of violations"! thats EXACTLY why they hit mason. same exact reason. have you ever seen jimmy barracato on an elec? or the SLAPPers? or the ape? what about the $$$ for the weekly ads? where's the sunshine Bet????

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  3. In yet another politically tone-deaf move without any sense of irony in its timing, Mason's page three ad spot was touting good governance and transparency. Surreal!

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  4. I was disappointed that the article didn't also say Ravi Bhalla is exotic. I can tell he is exotic from that I don't like him which is all the proof I need. Maybe the picture could say Guilty and Exotic. It could also just say Exotic because Guilty and Exotic is redundant.

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