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Guest Impeach the Mayor

Christmas lights up before election day?

Street curbs and sidewalks last year before election day?

Crime on the way up!

Corruption, with davalopment plan as Chairman Higins earning $170,000+

1,600 people out of 4500 registered to vote, vote

4,500 out of 20,000

you HAVE TO BRING NEW PLAYERS TO THE BALL GAME TO WIN THE GAME

the current team is leading us into the wrong direction. Lets Help Maria and Steve

REGISTER NEW PEOPLE TODAY

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Guest waste tax payers money

IRE.org's hot stories list points out that this story is similar to an earlier project by the Newark Star-Ledger, found in a project about unused sick time and vacation. Their story included this wonderful passage:

When Robert Greene retired from the Harrison Fire Department after 42 years, his colleagues gave him a gold badge and a sangria and seafood dinner at the Spanish Pavilion, a restaurant in this blue-collar enclave near Newark.

But Greene's biggest parting gift was yet to come.

Shortly after the chief hung up his helmet last summer, there was an envelope from Town Hall containing a check for $40,000 -- the first of three installments.

By the time Greene is finished cashing checks, the taxpayers of Harrison will have reimbursed him $119,000 -- all because Greene rarely called in sick.

Making such payouts is business-as-usual for most of New Jersey's municipal, school and county government agencies. In coming years, taxpayers will shell out nearly $1.5 billion to compensate retirees from local government who banked unused sick and vacation time, a Star-Ledger analysis has found. This figure comes out of the annual financial statements filed by 1,177 local government agencies and reviewed by the newspaper.

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Guest don't forget

Municipal organizations give to county party, get around law

Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 10/5/07

BY JAMES W. PRADO ROBERTS

STAFF WRITER

Another way around the state's pay-to-play ban unfolded in Hudson County, where the Democratic Party endured blistering primary battles this spring for two open state Senate seats.

Before the prohibition, Hudson Democrats took contributions from engineering companies, law firms and their partners, who pursue work at all levels of New Jersey government. But since New Jersey banned such contributions to county party organizations, Hudson Democrats found a way around the ban: municipal party organizations.

In just four months this year, four municipal political committees reported pumping in more than $925,000 to the Hudson County Democratic Party, some 62 percent of the money raised by the county party in the first half of this year.

The municipal parties contributed more to the Hudson County organization than all municipal political committees in the county did in the previous eight years combined.

One of the reasons a municipal party is useful as a fund-raising tool is that there is no limit on how much a municipal party may give to a county party under New Jersey law. Individuals or candidates' campaigns, for instance, are limited to contributions of $37,000.

The move was a major shift for the county organization, traditionally a Democratic powerhouse unused to major primary battles. Although much of the money raised by the four municipal committees came from local businesses and government employees, nearly $130,000 came either from state vendors that are barred by law from giving to the county committee — or their representatives.

The Harrison Municipal Democratic Committee, for example, raised $215,000 in four months and gave $200,000 to the Hudson County Democratic Committee. Harrison's Democratic candidates for Town Council had no primary opposition and face independent candidates in November's general election.

The Harrison Democratic Party hadn't even had a bank account since at least 2000, although Mayor Raymond J. McDonough was re-elected last fall with 59 percent of the 2,684 votes cast.

Almost a third of contributions to Harrison Democrats came from state vendors or their representatives, according to election contribution and other state records.

"As far as I knew there was a fundraiser in Kearny," said Gregory P. Kowalski, a redevelopment lawyer and the paid executive director of the Harrison Redevelopment Agency.

Kowalski became treasurer in May after his friend the mayor asked him to do the job. He said he had no knowledge of the reasons for any of the contributions, but he said some that contributed do business with Harrison government.

McDonough could not be reached for comment.

The Hudson County Democrats used the municipal party money, in part, to defeat Assemblyman Louis M. Manzo in his attempt to win the Democratic primary for the 31st District state Senate seat this year. A Democrat who wins that Hudson County primary is virtually assured to win in the general election, but Manzo was out of favor with the county organization and lost to party-backed Sandra Cunningham.

"Under the guise of reforming pay-to-play . . . what they really were doing was strengthening the ability of the parties to control candidates for office, especially those that have to run through primaries," said Manzo, a two-term assemblyman who is leaving elected office when his term expires in January. "Everybody was saying, "Hallelujah, they got reform.' All it did was made it worse."

Dominick Pandolfo, the executive director of the Hudson County Democratic Organization, and Edward J. Florio, the organization's legal counsel, said they were new in their positions and could not comment.

Middletown firm's money

Several of the vendors that gave to the municipal committees in Hudson County were once generous contributors to the county's Democratic organization. Among them was T&M Associates, a Middletown engineering firm, which contributed $7,200 each to the Harrison Municipal Democratic Committee and the Jersey City Democratic Committee this spring, the most it can contribute to a political committee in a single year.

T&M had been a regular supporter of the Hudson County Democratic Party, contributing $17,150 since 1998, according to state campaign finance records. But giving to that committee stopped in 2004 when Gov. James E. McGreevey's anti-pay-to-play executive order took effect.

The Harrison committee raised $215,300 from March to June and gave $200,000 of that directly to the county Democratic Party. The Jersey City committee, which appears to have been dormant since 2002, raised $256,250 this year, of which $223,300 went to the Hudson County Democratic Party, its filings with the state Election Law Enforcement Commission show.

Discuss this series on APP.COM Forums: http://forums.app.com/viewforum.php?f=176

Gannett State Bureau reporters Jonathan Tamari and Gregory J. Volpe contributed to this report.

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Municipal organizations give to county party, get around law

Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 10/5/07

BY JAMES W. PRADO ROBERTS

STAFF WRITER

Another way around the state's pay-to-play ban unfolded in Hudson County, where the Democratic Party endured blistering primary battles this spring for two open state Senate seats.

Before the prohibition, Hudson Democrats took contributions from engineering companies, law firms and their partners, who pursue work at all levels of New Jersey government. But since New Jersey banned such contributions to county party organizations, Hudson Democrats found a way around the ban: municipal party organizations.

In just four months this year, four municipal political committees reported pumping in more than $925,000 to the Hudson County Democratic Party, some 62 percent of the money raised by the county party in the first half of this year.

The municipal parties contributed more to the Hudson County organization than all municipal political committees in the county did in the previous eight years combined.

One of the reasons a municipal party is useful as a fund-raising tool is that there is no limit on how much a municipal party may give to a county party under New Jersey law. Individuals or candidates' campaigns, for instance, are limited to contributions of $37,000.

The move was a major shift for the county organization, traditionally a Democratic powerhouse unused to major primary battles. Although much of the money raised by the four municipal committees came from local businesses and government employees, nearly $130,000 came either from state vendors that are barred by law from giving to the county committee — or their representatives.

The Harrison Municipal Democratic Committee, for example, raised $215,000 in four months and gave $200,000 to the Hudson County Democratic Committee. Harrison's Democratic candidates for Town Council had no primary opposition and face independent candidates in November's general election.

The Harrison Democratic Party hadn't even had a bank account since at least 2000, although Mayor Raymond J. McDonough was re-elected last fall with 59 percent of the 2,684 votes cast.

Almost a third of contributions to Harrison Democrats came from state vendors or their representatives, according to election contribution and other state records.

"As far as I knew there was a fundraiser in Kearny," said Gregory P. Kowalski, a redevelopment lawyer and the paid executive director of the Harrison Redevelopment Agency.

Kowalski became treasurer in May after his friend the mayor asked him to do the job. He said he had no knowledge of the reasons for any of the contributions, but he said some that contributed do business with Harrison government.

McDonough could not be reached for comment.

The Hudson County Democrats used the municipal party money, in part, to defeat Assemblyman Louis M. Manzo in his attempt to win the Democratic primary for the 31st District state Senate seat this year. A Democrat who wins that Hudson County primary is virtually assured to win in the general election, but Manzo was out of favor with the county organization and lost to party-backed Sandra Cunningham.

"Under the guise of reforming pay-to-play . . . what they really were doing was strengthening the ability of the parties to control candidates for office, especially those that have to run through primaries," said Manzo, a two-term assemblyman who is leaving elected office when his term expires in January. "Everybody was saying, "Hallelujah, they got reform.' All it did was made it worse."

Dominick Pandolfo, the executive director of the Hudson County Democratic Organization, and Edward J. Florio, the organization's legal counsel, said they were new in their positions and could not comment.

Middletown firm's money

Several of the vendors that gave to the municipal committees in Hudson County were once generous contributors to the county's Democratic organization. Among them was T&M Associates, a Middletown engineering firm, which contributed $7,200 each to the Harrison Municipal Democratic Committee and the Jersey City Democratic Committee this spring, the most it can contribute to a political committee in a single year.

T&M had been a regular supporter of the Hudson County Democratic Party, contributing $17,150 since 1998, according to state campaign finance records. But giving to that committee stopped in 2004 when Gov. James E. McGreevey's anti-pay-to-play executive order took effect.

The Harrison committee raised $215,300 from March to June and gave $200,000 of that directly to the county Democratic Party. The Jersey City committee, which appears to have been dormant since 2002, raised $256,250 this year, of which $223,300 went to the Hudson County Democratic Party, its filings with the state Election Law Enforcement Commission show.

Discuss this series on APP.COM Forums: http://forums.app.com/viewforum.php?f=176

Gannett State Bureau reporters Jonathan Tamari and Gregory J. Volpe contributed to this report.

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How come McD**ba** is never available for comment- is he hiding be a man for once in your pathetic life!! Man up Beatch!!!!!!!!!!!

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