Occhipinti Named in Pay-to-Play Probe

Occhipinti received a "secret check" from Birdsall Engineering
 BREAKING: Hoboken's Tim Occhipinti has been named by the Star-Ledger newspaper in a Pay-to-Play probe of politicians who received a "secret cash" donations from Birdsall Engineering.

According to the Star-Ledger:
From 2008 to early 2012, Birdsall made more than 1,000 secret contributions worth $1.05 million to candidates and political groups of all stripes and in all corners of the state, according to a Star-Ledger analysis of the records.

During the same period, business disclosure reports show, Birdsall cashed in on more than $84 million in public contracts.
What became of Birdsall?
Birdsall’s political machine ground to a halt in May 2012, records show, after the company’s former marketing director, Philip Angarone Jr., was secretly recorded by his estranged wife explaining how he had received illegal reimbursements from the firm for campaign contributions.

The tape landed in the hands of detectives at the state Attorney General’s Office, leading to an investigation that resulted in the March indictment of Birdsall and seven former executives, who stand accused of making more than $686,000 in secret and illegal contributions.
Wow.  GA wonders what contracts Birdsall was bidding for in Hoboken at the time of Timmy's 2010 election when he gobbled up the "secret cash" pay-to-play loot.  That will take some looking into... stay tuned.

Here is how Birdsall worked their scheme:
It was classic Jersey: Banned by law from giving more than $300 to many politicians, Birdsall instead had its employees write personal checks to candidates and then later reimbursed the staffers with salary bonuses and lied to the state on disclosure forms.

The company had created the perfect political machine, one that could skirt laws and churn out checks like a printing press, all without raising a single suspicion because each donation was for such a small sum of money it did not have to be reported to the public.

The scheme went undetected for at least six years until one of Birdsall’s employees was surreptitiously caught on tape discussing it, touching off an investigation that authorities say uncovered one of the most expansive and sophisticated criminal pay-to-play conspiracies in recent history.

But one major piece of the puzzle — who received Birdsall’s money — has remained a mystery.

Until now.
The only other Hoboken pols to receive 'secret cash' payments from Birdsall were convicted felon Peter Cammarano and BoE Slate 'United for Students': Anthony Oland. Frank Pupie Raia and Hector Irizarry.

WHO did NOT take Birdsall 'secret cash'?
  • Camaranno's opponent, Reform's Dawn Zimmer.
  • Occhipinti's opponent, Reform's Mike Lenz.
  • 'United for Students' Slate, Reform's Kids First 

 Notice the pattern?


  1. From nj.com:

    "This is exactly how pay-to-play works," Craig Holman, who helped draft New Jersey’s pay-to-play law and who now lobbies in Washington for Public Citizen, an advocacy group, told The Ledger.

    "The one side that isn’t so far being penalized are the public officials who received these contributions. If they knowingly and willfully accepted them, they must be prosecuted."

  2. If I know Timmy, he's been up all night wondering why he only got $300 when everyone else got much more.

  3. just for once, i'd love it if timmy's handlers stepped back and let him address this issue on his own. can you imagine the rambling inanity that would come gushing out, LOL!

  4. Mr. Clean (Fulop) is in for $750 in questionable money so I took him to task this morning. You know, the great white knight who was going to bring an end to all this in Hudson County gets money from the same places as Cammarno, Elwell, and Healy.

    1. Fulop has never been anything remotely resembling Mr. Clean in his fundraising. In his defense, unless he was willing/able to self fund to the tune of $1,000,0000 like Hoboken's Beth Mason there was no way to raise the money he needed while truly practicing what he preached. His choice was to lose nobly or win as a bit of a hypocrite and he chose the latter.

      As to whether he's no better than the JC old guard, or a true breadth of fresh air who had to cut some corners to get into a position to make real change time will tell.

  5. Interesting that they donated to a small, local BOE race. Does anyone really wonder why? I can give you 64 million reasons. Isn't Oland running again?


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