"No stamps for you!" are harsh words from NJ Assembly Speaker, north Jersey Democrat Vincent Prieto.
Now will life imitate art?
News of Assemblymen Garcia-Fiocchi's mail-mishap has spread across our state like a brush-fire. In the past week, the story was reported in Politico, PolitickerNJ, Augie Torres' Political Insider and today, Politifax.
Politifax acknowledges Assemblyman Garcia's Gandhi-quoting letter to "constituents" went to Hoboken and NOT to Garcia's 33rd District constituents in Union City and Jersey City.
Moreover, it appears that Assemblyman Garcia's Gandhi-gram (tucked in Republican Fiocchi's envelope) only went to the 6th Ward of Hoboken where he is running for City Council, and possibly targeted registered Republicans.
Here is what Carmelo Garcia told Matt Friedman of Politico:
“There was nothing in there on electioneering or anything relative to my council candidate seat. It was just an update that we normally do,” he said. Garcia’s letter — which was written on his office's stationery — highlighted his record on animal rights legislation and featured a quote by Mahatma Gandhi... “"Nothing on electioneering?" Really?
Then why did Garcia send this Assembly-"update" only to one ward in Hoboken where he's on the ballot for City Council? Why didn't my 33rd District friends in Jersey City or Union City get one of these letters- or any Hoboken residents outside of the 6th Ward ?
Oh yeah, GA called the Assembly's printer, NJ Treasury Print shop in Trenton, who quickly shot down Garcia's excuse: printer must have "mixed in" Fiocchi envelopes in Garcia's order. The printer explained how one order was completed in its entirety before starting another. "It's virtually impossible," he said, "I don't see how that could have happened under any circumstance."
According to a source close to Trenton:
Each member of General Assembly received 12,500 postage stamps for a two year term! These stamps were used for this purpose.Garcia & Fiocchi serve on Human Services Committee together (6 members) ...... So from 80 members , we are now down to 6 members who meet regularly and , though from opposite parties , apparently share stationery. Fiocchi and Garcia got caught blatantly violating the mail ethics of the legislature. These boys ain't two ships passing in the hallways.GA URGES Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto to STOP this abuse of New Jersey Taxpayer resources by members of the Assembly. NOW.
Call Speaker Prieto: (201) 770-1303 and DEMAND he suspend franking / postal privileges until a full investigation is completed.
New Jersey taxpayers are sick and tired of being abused by STEWARDS of our tax money.
The taxpayers would like the Speaker to say "NO STAMPS FOR YOU" until these abusive practices STOP.
Just like the cartoon.