|D-1 2011 Municipal Campaign Certification of Candidate Elizabeth Mason and Treasurer Richard Mason|
Oh, what a tangled web they wove.
If you think it was easy to decipher Mason's tangle of ELECs, then you don't understand the apparent intent of a tangle of ELECs.
The candidate, Beth Mason, reported "in-kind contributions" on 12 separate filings. 9 of the 12 filed after the May 10, 2011 election reported Mason payed political operatives and consultants with her "in kind contributions." These 9 reports were filed between 0 and 551 days late.
On each, Mason's reported "in kind receipts" equal her "in kind expenditures" (whoosh!). But strangest of all, the candidate's "in-kind contributions" were reported on Schedule B instead of Schedule G. (Schedule B reports the values of goods or services contributed in-kind TO the candidate while Schedule G reports the recipients of in-kind contributions from the candidate or committee.)
|Mason 2011 Campaign ELECs report the candidates "in-kind contributions" to pay operatives and consultants on Schedule B|
Tangled web, indeed!
So tangled that, in GA's opinion, whether or not ELEC noticed the funky "in kind contributions," they chose to prosecute the lowest hanging fruit: late reporting of contributions and expenditures. Easy stuff. So, after almost a year after ELEC filed the complaints, Beth Mason and Treasurer Ricky Mason, settled the two complaints this past December when they paid about $37,000 in fines.
GA has untangled the web to list (in chronological order of filing date) Candidate Mason's "in-kind contributions" to pay her political operatives and consultant for services performed.
In the spirit of transparency, truth and accuracy, all referenced ELEC reports are linked.
Candidate Mason's "In-Kind Contribution" TIMELINE
On July 19, 2012, Beth Mason reports her $48,000 "in-kind contribution" to pay political operative Barry Brendel's LLC, Cutting Edge Communication and her $8,500 "in kind contribution" to pay Ryan Yacco for political consulting work! Mason splits these payments between her January 15, 2011 ELEC report (551 days late) and her October 15, 2011 ELEC (278 days late).
On July 23, 2012 (4 days later) Beth Mason files her $10,200 "in-kind contribution" to Brendel's LLC and her $5,000 "in kind contribution" to consultant Yacco. These "in-kind contributions" are reported on her April 15, 2012 ELEC- only 99 days late!
On July 26, 2012 : SLAPP!
On July 31, 2012 (8 days later) Beth Mason files her $9,600 "in-kind contribution" to Brendel's LLC and her $5,000 "in kind contribution" to consultant Yacco. These "in-kind contributions" are reported on her July 15, 2012 ELEC.
On October 15, 2012, Beth Mason's campaign files a timely October 15, 2012 ELEC, wherein Candidate Mason reports her $10,500 "in-kind contribution" to political operative Brendel's LLC. The next night October 16, was the debut of the media-coined "The Nazi Truck"- the first ever use of swastikas in a Hoboken political campaign. Guess who shot the video that played on the "Nazi Truck"?
|Oct. 16, 2012: "Nazi Truck" debuts at Wallace Primary School|
All quiet on the "in-kind" front, until...48 days later...
On February 1, 2013, Beth Mason files her January 15, 2012 ELEC (383 days late) wherein she reports her $9,500 "in-kind contribution" to Brendel's LLC.
On August 26, 2013, Beth Mason files her July 15, 2013 ELEC reporting her $3,000 "in-kind contribution" to Brendel's LLC and her $2,600 "in kind contribution" to consultant Yacco.
On October 16, 2013, Beth Mason files a timely October 15, 2013 ELEC wherein she reports her $6,000 "in-kind contribution" to Brendel's LLC and her $2,000 "in kind contribution" to consultant Yacco.
On February 26, 2014, the following was filed: "COMPLAINT AND NOTICE OF OPPORTUNITY FOR A HEARING FOR LATE FILING OF REPORTS AND LATE FILING OF CONTRIBUTION AND EXPENDITURE INFORMATION IN THE 2011 MUNICIPAL ELECTION" by Complainant "NEW JERSEY ELECTION LAW ENFORCEMENT COMMISSION v ELIZABETH MASON, Candidate for Municipal Office,And RICHARD MASON, Campaign Treasurer, Respondents." In addition, ELEC filed a separate complaint against 2009 Mason's "One Hoboken" mayoral campaign.
On April 15, 2014 Beth Mason files a timely April 15, 2014 ELEC wherein she reports her $5,000 "in-kind contribution" to Brendel's LLC.To recap, "in kind contributions" are defined in NJ-ELEC's "Compliance Manual for Candidates:"
(page 18) as "a contribution of goods or services contributed to a candidate or committee. A contribution received in the form of goods is reported in an amount equal to the fair market value of the goods to the candidate or committee receiving them."
The facts raise many questions about why the Candidate and her Treasurer are washing "in kind contributions" through her campaign to pay political operatives, doesn't it?