Monday, January 02, 2006

PARTY LINES AND COUNTY LINES III

"Interesting how some people in Union County care an awful lot about what goes on in MONMOUTH county."

Wheeling. It ain't just a city in West Virginia anymore. As all of us should now know, it's the movement of money, usually in large amounts, from one part of the state to another. Although both parties do it, it is the Democrats who have honed it into an art form.
In Monmouth County, the Democrats have an appetite for money from Union County Democrats.
This seemed to pop up on the radar screen in 2004, when a total of $57,850 was wheeled from the Union County Democratic Committee to Monmouth, thus:
8/17 $200.
9/21 $25,000.
9/21 $5,000.
10/5 $11,300.
10/8 $14,350.
10/27 $2,000.


This raised some red flags and came out in a debate at Brookdale Community College that fall, so it appears that the Democrats wished to diversify.
In 2005, Union County again showed its largesse to the Monmouth Dems, but this time they used different funds and donors.
$2,062 went to the 2005 Democratic freeholder campaign from the following:

$312. from Daniel J. McCarthy, a Cranford lawyer.
$1,000. from the Election Fund of (Union County Assemblyman) Joseph Cryan.
$750. from the Election Fund of (Elizabeth Councilman) Frank J. Cuesta.

Additional Union County money went to the legislative campaigns; the 11th District campaign of Doherty & Reilly got a total of $18,000.:

$17,400. from the Election Fund of Joseph Cryan.
$600. from the Election Fund of (Union County Assemblyman) Neil Cohen.

In the 12th District, where the Democrats practice a process they call reform, the Panter & Morgan campaign got $23,600.:

$16,400. from generous Joe Cryan.
$7,200. from the Election Fund of (Union County Assemblywoman) Linda Stender.

The 13th District was slightly different, as campaigns of both parties were involved in the ill-fated Clean Elections program sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader Joe Roberts (D-Camden). There were at least two Democratic funds here, Flynn for Assembly and the regular Flynn & DaSaro (or was that DeSaro?) campaign fund. Both got Union County money, totaling $21,554.95, which includes $12,700. in monetary donations and $8,854.95 in in-kind donations. Here's the breakdown for Flynn for Assembly:

$1,500. from the Election Fund of Neil Cohen.
$3,000. from the Election Fund of (Union County Senator) Raymond Lesniak.
And for Flynn & DaSaro:

$8,200. in monetary donation from the
Central Jersey Democratic Leadership Council (CJDLC).
$6,354. 95 in unspecified in-kind contributions from CJDLC.
$2,500. in in-kind from the CJDLC for printing & design by
Devine Media Enterprises, Inc.
It is notable that the chairman of the CJDLC is none other than Union County's own
goose-stepping, Oompa-loompaesque publisher and Democratic Party hack, James Devine.
Devine on the CJDLC weBSite claims the CJDLC is not subject to ELEC reporting as it is organized as a 527 fund. This is the same guy who says contributions to his "Handlin-Thompson.org" site go into his personal bank account.

(Another notable in-kind, insofar as newspapers donating to any politacal campaign is notable, is $2,100. in free newspaper advertisements by Courier, which is not in Union County.
UPDATE: Mr. Jim Purcell, publisher of The Courier, has commented that his publication makes no in-kind contributions of any kind to any campaign, and that the advertising bill will be paid. Click on comments to read his full explanation.)

Why are the Union County Democrats so interested in Monmouth County? I honestly don't know. Could it be appointments? Influence? I really don't know. But to get an idea of how the all-Democratic
Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders governs, log onto The County Watchers. Would the Monmouth County Democrats govern the same way if elected? Maybe that's why the Asbury Park Press refused to endorse them.

16 comments:

Jim Purcell said...

The Courier does not make in-kind contributions to any candidate(s). Consequently, if there are any unpaid sums, any campaign or candidate(s) is going to find themselves treated the same way we would treat any advertiser who does not pay their bills and that is to bring them to court.

If anyone put us down as making an "in-kind contribution," that is a laughable attempt at not paying a bill that is going to be collected through the court system, if need be. We do our own in-house collections and I personally sue any deadbeats on any bills; period and end of story.

I have made it clear to that campaign that they will be paying their bill and, in fact, they executed an insertion order/invoice regarding this advertisement.

Honest Abe said...

Thank you. Your response sounds more reasonable than what was in Flynn & DaSaro's ELEC report.
I have updated the post to reflect your clarification.

Anonymous said...

That's BS. The Courier has in-kinded many ads and given discounted rates. Look at ELEC reports for past candidates in Middletown and D13. Also, please note who one of the Courier's largest weekly advertisers is, none other then Dem County Chair Vic Scudiery himself.

Not Ethical said...

It's amusing that the article discusses wheeling by the Democrats from Union to Monmouth County only. I've got news for you, wheeling is done all over the state and by both parties. To my knowledge, it's not illegal. But, for many, it is unethical.

In my opinion, what needs to be discussed is not that the Democrats have done it, but that it has been done. Wheeling practices need to be debated, regulated or, preferably, banned.

Jackie Corley said...

The only way to stop the flow of money in politics (pay-to-play, wheeling, etc.) is to have state-, county- and municipally-funded elections. (The cost of patronage likely outweighs what it would cost to have the state, counties and municipalities finance elections.)

Until that day, fundraisers and candidates will find new and unique ways to pour money into campaign bank accounts.

The current state pay-to-play law is also incredibly weak on wheeling.

Honest Abe said...

To Anonymous:
If you have more specific information about Courier in-kinds, please let me know. You can post the specifics here. I checked other ELEC reports for Democrat campaigns in the county and found nothing this year reporting an in-kind contribution to any campaign but Flynn & DaSaro. So until proven otherwise I will take Mr. Purcell at his word that it is a case of the Flynn & DaSaro campaign trying to weasel out of paying its bills. I will be keeping an eye on subsequent ELEC reports from the 13th District Democrats.
If Scudiery is advertising his store, that is a business transaction between The Courier and Scudiery. IEI is a long-established business in that area, regardless of its proprietor's political activity.

James J. Devine said...

Handlin is worse than me.

I don't want to answer on behalf of Assemblyman Joseph Cryan, but you might note that his support for Democrats in Monmouth County may stem from his office as vice chair of the Democratic State Committee. I understand he is in the running to become DSC chairman.
A more disconcerting question is why Middlesex County Democrats paid off Joe Kyrillos and other Monmouth County Republicans. I am sure you read about that in the Courier.

The reason I am writing, however, is because you are making allegations against me that don't bear up to the facts. The Anti-Defamation League has opined that my comment regarding Amy Handlin is not anti-semetic. Handlin's accusation against me makes her something of a Tawana Brawley style victim (Checkout the NJ Jewish News report on this).
Then again, Handlin has no scruples, so it’s not unexpected. My comment was directed to a specific question: Why did she get a pass from the Asbury Park Press after raising taxes for 20 years and cultivating corruption by hiring thieves & granting contracts to donors?

The fact is, Amy Handlin is a hypocrite and liar who earned my notice. Count on me to continue monitoring her performance in office via WWW.HANDLIN-THOMPSON.ORG

After all, the baby-killing, ultra-liberal tax lover who unseated Ed Stominski and Joe Azzolina has gotten a free ride long enough from the corrupt Monmouth County GOP bosses.

Is she can't take the heat, she can get out of politics -- my country would be better off without such phony politicians. After all, when you and Handlin falsely accuse me of being an anti-semite, I stand up and defend myself.

Say what you will, I am a patriot. I care about the quality of public servants in America and if my questions seem impertinent, then that's tough. If Amy Handlin ever has the courage, I would welcome a chance to debate her on the issues in her district before any audience.

Not that I think that cowardly crook would ever have the guts to face me. After all, her false allegations about crime and prejudice would be exposed, along with her record of hiring crooks, raising taxes and lying to the public.

My interest is good government and while you and I may have political opinions that are far apart, I am sure we agree on more things as Americans than divide us as R's and D's. Americans value honesty, fairness, and courage. Handlin is the one who has a problem with these values.

God bless you, and have a happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

To anyone who cares:

At the request of a few people, I am posting this message to clarify that the Flynn & Dasaro campaign did not anticipate an in-kind contribution from the Courier, nor was one ever offered. The campaign treasurer had an open invoice that was not paid at the time the ELEC reports were due, so he had to list it as an in-kind contribution. The campaign will pay the bill and an amended report will be filed. Any questions? My email address is Dasaroesq@gmail.com

Mike Dasaro

Anonymous said...

Purcell printed that invoice up for you quick. Look at ELEC reports from the 2003 race in Middletown and press reports at that time. IEI/Airport plaza is a legitimate business, but it's still the Dem County Chair's who is the biggest advertiser for Courier, and he does have say in what's printed in Courier from time-to-time, which I know as fact.

Honest Abe said...

Mike DaSaro:
Please advise your treasurer that Schedule E on the ELEC Form R1 is for "outstanding obligations" like bills yet to be paid. If he had entered it on that page it would never have raised a red flag and Mr. Purcell wouldn't get agita.

Anonymous said...

This is all a bit surreal! Mr.Devine's site is now not found and his replies to Honest Abe's comments are quite baffling.

I especially take offense to the "political whore" comment. Women have a right to be in politics just as much as any male. Misogynist comments don't go over well in Monmouth County. Remember the whole "women should be muzzled" debacle?

And when the going gets tough just wail "I'm a patriot" from any cliff you can find and all will be forgiven. The whole site reminds me of a grade school bathroom wall with rude graffiti. Where's the janitor when you need him????

Honest Abe said...

His site works now.

Anonymous said...

Purcell you are so full of it (and yourself). Convienent how flynn & dassaro happened to have massive full page ads in your paper attacking amy, the same week you ran "editorials" (ha) about her. Ironic how every democrat campaign had ads in your paper.

Its interesting how the billboard over the bridge in Red Bank all to coincidently becomes an ad for the ambulance chaser and his dem running mate. The billboard is pro-town hall & spirits most of the yr, but becomes a democrat ad around campaign season. Somethin smells funny about that.

[Innuendo deleted]

Honest Abe said...

From NJ Jewish News, 11/10/05

After winning a bitter primary battle over Assemblyman Joe Azzolina, Handlin was the top vote getter in Middlesex and Monmouth counties’ District 13 with 29,164 votes. Running mate Assemblyman Samuel Thompson took 28,990, and the Democrats trailed by several thousand votes.

Handlin’s involvement with the Jewish community — she sits on the board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Monmouth County and serves as vice president of community relations — became an election issue when a Democrat, acting independently of any candidate, published information on a Web site intending to hurt Handlin’s standing with the GOP’s right-wingers. The site’s pages asked where Handlin stood on such issues as the death penalty and abortion, calling her a “left-wing loony liberal lawmaker” because of her affiliation with the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. The site misled voters about her stand on issues — creating a caricature of her drawn to be unacceptable to Republican voters, she said.

“I had never heard of campaign tactics so completely fraudulent,” Handlin told NJ Jewish News during the campaign. “It was clearly an attempt to reinforce the stereotype that all Jews are alike — that we think alike, we look alike. I felt abused.”

(The Democrat mentioned in the article is James J. Devine. He is William Flynn's former legislative aide, so I would question whether he was actually "acting independently of any candidate".

Honest Abe said...

Devine was treasurer for Flynn for Senate/Perry & Inzerillo for Assembly in 2003.
The same Perry recently made the news when he voted on the Aberdeen Twp. Committee against advertising legal notices in Courier, even after Purcell endorsed him and his running-mates.

Honest Abe said...

Devine's ELEC reports for Flynn/Inzerillo/Perry end just before the 2003 election, closing with the 11-day pre election report. It is shown with a 2,000+ transfer to a "Inzerillo-Perry" fund. I have found no ELEC reports for this one.
Anyone have any ideas?