Farina’s non-compliance is challenged
Some Hoboken residents are very concerned by the ongoing lack of compliance that James “Jimmy” Farina, current City Clerk and Board of Ed member, has with last year’s election reports (ELEC.)
Read more about the ELEC non-compliance below.
Farina and ELEC Reports
The 2008 school board elections are rapidly approaching. Hoboken City Clerk James J. Farina, responsible for overseeing election activities in Hoboken, is defiantly non-compliant with fundamental state election laws regarding his own campaign activities last year. He himself was a candidate and the sitting president of that school board – and heading up a ticket of other municipal school board incumbents co-operating with his lead in such blatant violation of well-established laws. These violations are severe enough to carry criminal penalties. That this unreported joint candidates committee’s campaign manager, Anthony Romano, was a fellow school board incumbent and Hoboken police captain only emphasizes and exacerbates this arrogant flouting of seminal election law. This criminal and on-going abuse of the voting public’s trust is unacceptable and must be challenged.
In April of 2007, Farina ran for re-election to the Hoboken Board of Education with a slate of candidates running under the banner “Committed to Hoboken’s Children” (CHC). Farina was successful in his bid for re-election. His running-mates Wanda Santana-Alicea and Theresa Burns – both also running for re-election – and Magdalena Porrata – running for a one-year seat – were unsuccessful.
To date, the CHC joint candidates committee has not filed any campaign finance account reports with the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC). (Candidate Theresa Burns filed an individual report separate from CHC)
According to ELEC, any candidate committee or joint candidates committee that receives contributions and makes expenditures must file ELEC form D-1 or D-2, designating a treasurer and campaign depository. Spending in excess of $9700 requires additional filings which detail contributions and expenditures. The final passage below cites the criminal penalty attendant to such failure to file.
A color campaign flyer, mailed citywide, and three ads placed in the local Hoboken Reporter by CHC clearly indicate that funds were received and spent. At minimum, the D-2 form should have been filed. Estimates of campaign costs suggest that expenditures may have exceeded the $9700 threshold level, triggering further filing responsibilities.
Election campaign finance laws were created to allow the public see how candidates are financing their campaigns; these laws also set contribution limits that curb the undue influence of money from entities that would seek to exchange money for favored consideration. ELEC filings allow us to monitor campaign contributions and spending. James Farina and his CHC co-candidates have chosen to disregard state law and hide their activities from public view. Mr. Farina has sat on the Hoboken Board of Education for 33 years. As both a long-time Board member and City Clerk, he should know better.
NJSA 19:44A-21. Criminal penalties; forfeiture of office
- 21. a. Any person who purposely and with intent to conceal or misrepresent contributions given or received or expenditures made or incurred to aid or promote the nomination, election or defeat of any candidate for public office or party position, or to aid or promote the passage or defeat of a public question in any election, or to aid the dissemination of political information in connection with any election makes or accepts any contribution or makes or incurs any expenditure in violation of section 7, 11 or 20 of this act is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.
- b. Any person who purposely files or prepares or assists in the preparation for filing or purposely acquiesces in the preparation or filing of any report required under this act which the person knows is false, inaccurate or incomplete in any material particular; or who purposely fails or refuses to file any such report when required to do so pursuant to the provisions of this act; or who purposely supplies any information which he knows to be false, inaccurate or incomplete to any person preparing or assisting in the preparation of any such report, with the knowledge that such information is intended for the purposes of such report, is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.
- c. The nomination for or election to any office of any candidate who is guilty of any violation within the description of subsection a. or b. of this section shall be void, and the office shall be filled as required by law in the case of a vacancy; provided, however, that nothing herein contained shall be construed in derogation of the constitutional authority of either House of the Legislature to be the judge of the election and qualification of its own members. L.1973,c.83,s.21; amended 1993,c.65,s.12.
Ironically, despite this questionable event, on Monday, Mr. Farina will be celebrated as “Mr. Democrat” of the year at the Annual Lincoln Day Dinner by the Hoboken Democratic Organization. The event is at Frankie & Johnnie’s at 6pm, and will have special guest, Congressman Albio Sires. Who wants to be a fly on the wall at the event? See invite here, and letter of impeccable achievements here.