Saturday, May 14, 2016

NJ Senator Weinberg, Mason host Sweeney in Fulop's backyard


Blinded by the light or the loot?

On Thursday, June 9th, NJ Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg and former Hoboken Councilman Elizabeth Mason will co-host a fundraiser for NJ Senate President and gubernatorial candidate Steve Sweeney's SuperPAC,  New Jerseyans for a Better Tomorrow.

The SuperPAC fundraiser will be held at the "also known as" address of hostess Mason's tax-exempt 501(c)3, The Mason Civic League, Inc.  

left: Mason Civic League e-Postcard IRS return for 2014  right: Sweeney SuperPAC Hoboken Fundraiser invitation

GuideStar USA, Inc., a 501(c)3,  has a database of  1.9 million U.S. nonprofit companies. 


From a taxpayer's perspective it seems a highly unusual choice of venue for Sweeney's SuperPAC fundraiser.  

GA supposes this venue and its hostess, Elizabeth Mason, were thoroughly vetted by Sweeney's people and Senate Majority Leader Weinberg.

Weinberg may not know that since 2011 Mason's tax-exempt "Civic League" has filed IRS 'e-Postcard' returns, which are for charities with "gross receipts not less then $50,000."

Another highly unusual choice because since 2011,  the Mason Civic League has held a "community space" in a double-wide storefront at 1200 Washington Street which, local realtors tell GA, has a fair market rental value of at least $50,000 annually.   The Civic League's own web site boasts, "The Mason Civic allows use of its community space by local artists to display their work...  From paintings and drawings to performing arts this is the longest running program by the Mason Civic League."

The e-Postcard returns do not itemize contributions and expenditures (on fundraising, for example), so it's impossible to say how much money the Civic League has raised and spent.  But every now and then, the truth slips out in a photo-op.

For example, on April 25, 2013, Beth Mason and her Civic League Treasurer, James Barracato, posed with $25,000 in over-sized checks the 501(c)3 raised after Hurricane Sandy.  That same year, 2013, the Civic League also filed an IRS e-Postcard return. Which begs the question: why?

Why did the tax-exempt Mason Civic League claim "gross receipts less than $50,000" when donors gave (at least) $25,000 plus  an "in-kind contribution" of the "community space" at 1200 Washington Street?

April 25, 2013- Mason Civic League awards $25,000 in donor contributions post Hurricane Sandy

Our taxes subsidize the good works of charitable organizations. In my opinion, it is unseemly at best for  New Jerseyans for a Better Tomorrow to fundraise at a tax-exempt venue.  


GA understands that Steve Sweeney has 40,000 reasons to ignore the stink around uber-donor Beth Mason.  

On December 30, 2015, Mason dropped $40K on New Jerseyans for a Better Tomorrow.

January 15, 2016 ELEC report for  New Jersey for a Better Tomorrow
  
What about Senator Weinberg?  

GA thinks Weinberg has sponsored some good bills:  S347S527S741 and  S797, to name a few.  So what gives, Senator?

Blinded by the light or the loot?

Surely Weinberg has read this:




That news broke months before Mason stuffed Sweeney's PAC like a Christmas turkey.

In New Jersey politics does a donor's integrity matter?

Beth Mason scored the 15th largest fine in NJ ELEC history for campaign reporting violations and sprays cash like a feral cat.

Sweeney and Weinberg appear not to mind. GA thinks New Jersey voters want leaders they can trust, in whose word they can believe.

Mason's tenuous relationship with truth-telling extends beyond politics.

There's her resume, in particular the entry highlighted below.

click to read Beth Mason resume
Mason claims she worked at "Newton Lao Leonard and Locke" as President and Founder from 1993-2005.

There's only one problem: Newton Lao Leonard and Locke, LLC was not a registered business entity in the State of New Jersey until April 2010- see below.

In 2012, the state revoked its LLC.- see below. 

Further, in 2011 GA obtained a Dunn & Bradstreet report for Newton Lao Leonard & Locke- one year before its license was revoked.

The D&B returned on May 5, 2011 shows Newton Lao Leonard & Locke had zero credit history, made zero payments of any kind.    

In spite of a revoked license, a zero credit and payment history (current to 2011), publicly available records of individual donor contributions show Mason lists Newton Lao Leonard and Locke as her "occupation"  as late as 2014- such this $2,600 contribution to Donald Norcross.

source: Open Secrets.org 




So, will any of the quaint stuff like campaign reporting violations and  resume magic tricks matter to Stephen Sweeney and Loretta Weinberg, or...

Are they blinded by the loot?  What do you think?

See who shows up on June 9th.

Ouch!

10 comments:

  1. It's not quite a Greatest Hits, more like a Starter Kit for beginners.

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  2. It's amazing to me that anyone who seriously seeks office in this state would bother with this woman. Money or not, Beth Mason has a trail of questionable decisions and ELEC violations that should make any honest politician shudder. Why would Sweeney put his reputation on the line and take $$ from this woman and her husband the Eagle Scout?

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  3. LOWrettaWhinebergMay 16, 2016 at 4:33 AM

    Loretta Weinberg the notorious double dipper : http://theridgewoodblog.net/double-dipping-starts-at-the-top-with-loretta-weinberg-d-teaneck-and-17-other-assembly-and-senate-incumbents/

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  4. LOWrettaWhinebergMay 16, 2016 at 4:37 AM

    More from her hometown paper in Ridge wood where they really seems to hate her: "Ridgewood NJ, In New Jersey, elected officials can start collecting their lawmakers’ pension once they qualify for it (based on a complex system of accumulating so-called retirement credits), yet stay in office and also garner a salary.

    New Jersey state senator, Loretta Weinberg, and mentor to our mayor justified taking nearly a $41,000 pension while still collecting a $49,000 salary on grounds that she had lost money in the Bernie Madoff scandal. Despite taxpayer anger after press reports of her dual incomes, Ms. Weinberg’s colleagues elected her majority leader in November 2011.

    This continues a disturbing pattern in the Garden State. Last year, during Jersey’s state legislative elections, 18 assembly and senate incumbents from both parties who double-dip were up for reelection, including Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, who in addition to her $49,000 a year legislative salary receives a pension of nearly $41,000 annually. In her case, both incomes are for the same job because Jersey allows legislators to retire while still in office and get both a pension and salary. All 18 legislators won reelection. Their retirement checks annually cost the overburdened pension system nearly three-quarters of a million dollars.

    Elected officials also continue to employ a host of staffers who double-dip, including those working for the governor, the state’s comptroller and the attorney general. Rather than simply resign their state jobs when appointed to the staff of an official, these employees retire, grab their pension and take home a salary, too." :

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  5. Have you wondered why NJ Senate President and gubernatorial candidate Steve Sweeney and unelected south Jersey democratic party boss George Norcross are working with Christie to strip all local democratic control from Atlantic City?

    From "In the Public Interest," an anti-privatization organization.

    "The plan by Gov. Christie, Senate President Steve Sweeney, and South Jersey Democratic boss George Norcross III to sell off Atlantic City’s public assets and bust union contracts advances to the next step.

    “Assembly sources pointed to Atlantic City’s beachfront property as the real prize. Joseph Jignoli and Jack Morris, two politically connected developers with ties to Sweeney by way of public-private developer Devco’s work in Cherry Hill and New Brunswick, could be first in line as plots of land on the coast fall into the state’s hands.”

    “Sweeney has repeatedly insisted that he favors monetizing the city’s water by handing the authority over to Atlantic County to cut costs. Phillip Norcross, another brother of George Norcross, is a lobbyist with New Jersey American Water, the company most likely to purchase the authority under a state takeover.”


    Source:New Jersey: Selling Atlantic City to the Highest Bidder and the Most Politically Connected

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  6. Atlantic City has bankrupted itself. I'm ok with ceding control to the county if it stops the bleeding.

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    Replies
    1. Maybe Beth's grown man in a Boys Scout's clothing can save AC from Bankruptcy... I'm sure he's hoping to get that business if Sweeney wins

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    2. Its not the county taking the city over its chrisite and norcrss taking the city over. Chrsitie gave the casinos all kinds of tax breaks. Bankruptcy cancels public service contracts and debts. The state then privatizes/parcels out contracts to their well connected buddies. County and state taxpayers will inevitably pay for that. This is not a small thing. There are already plans drafted and lots of buddies to get golden contracts. Sweeney and Norcross are vile so I can understand the mason connection. Birds of a feather and all that.

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    3. Weinberg, who can be decent at times, owes Sweeney for elevating her to her position in the Senate as Senate Majority Leader. You dont get that ,or any prestigious, seat unless Sweeney and Norcross give you the nod.

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  7. Didn't Beth's last mailer tell everyone to "keep up with me" on social media?

    How come she's not advertising her big event on social media? Seems to be trying to keep it quiet if anything..........

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