With the 2016 School Board election looming, GA looked back at the 2015 race; specifically, campaign finance reporting to the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC).
Filing ELECs is not only the law in the state of New Jersey, proper reporting ensures transparency in the democratic election process. ELECs allow the public to monitor the sources and expenditures of a candidate, comittee, or PAC's funds, the ebb and flow of money in our elections. There is no legitimate reason NOT to file ELECs, unless of course a campaign has something to hide.
So, let's compare campaign finance reporting by 2015's two opposing BoE slates, Reach Higher and A Smarter Future.
The Reach Higher candidates were Tom Kluepfel, Addys Velez and Sheila Dallara. Note, Dallara is running again with Irene Sobolov and Jen Evans.
REACH HIGHER: ELEC Reporting to-date
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You see that Reach Higher opened their campaign with a D-2 form on 9/04/2015 and subsequently filed seven R-1s. Reach Higher closed their campaign account with the last R-1 (filed on 07/06/2016).
Yes, Sheila Dallara's team obeyed the law,. Sheila Dallara's team respected the public's right to view their campaign finance process. Sheila Dallara's team ensured a clean and open campaign by letting the public in.
What did A Smarter Future candidates John Madigan, Britney Montgomery and Alana Kaufmann do?
What did A Smarter Future file with the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission?
A SMARTER FUTURE: ELEC Reporting to-date
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A Smarter Future opened their campaign account on 10/22/2015 (behind the hippopotamus) with a D-2 form, but after that NEVER submitted a single campaign finance report (R-1)!
In the space that Reach Higher filled with campaign finance reports, A Smarter Future could fit an elephant, a fox, a rhinoceros, a whale, two sheep, five chickens- one roasted, one plucked, an anteater, a Happy Meal, a rabbit, a zebra, a peacock, 11 baby chicks, a goat, a circus clown, and the legs of a giraffe.
WOW! That's a lot of blank space that should (by law) have been filled with EleC reports!
So who allowed the Smarter Future School Board slate to escape public scrutiny of their campaign financing?
That would be A Smarter Future's campaign manager, and Treasurer.
A Smarter Future's campaign manager was:
|A Smarter Future's 2015 Kick-off|
Frank DeGrim, was appointed on January 7, 2015 for a two-year term on the Hoboken Zoning Board of Adjustments. Comissioner DeGrim is a 4th Alternate.
The ZBA has quasi-judicial powers.
Well, if a Freeholder/mayoral candidate and a sitting ZBA Commissioner flout NJ campaign finance law, who are the rest of us to judge?