Farina dinner boycotted
Treasurer Ryn Melberg writes an open letter (PDF Here) and Maurice Fitzgibbons responds below:
“Dear fellow Democrats:
I am disappointed to read the email sent this past weekend to Hoboken Democratic Committee members from Carol Marsh and Ernie Marmer, who are discouraging committee members from attending tonight’s Annual Lincoln Day Dinner at Frankie & Johnnie’s in Hoboken. And, I must admit, I am thoroughly confused by their rationale.
In their email, Ms. Marsh and Mr. Marmer complain that they remain unaware of the previous year’s fundraising for the Hoboken Democratic Party, and that “despite repeated inquiries, we still don’t even know how much money was raised last year, or who it went to support.” (Emphasis in original). This is a very curious statement to be signed by Ms. Marsh.
In last year’s legislative primary campaign, Carol Marsh ran on the Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO) ticket as a candidate for State Assembly in the 33rd Legislative District, which includes Hoboken. As an HCDO-supported candidate, Ms. Marsh’s 2007 campaign was financed in part through the Hoboken Democratic Party, whose Chairman at that time was Mayor David Roberts. In fact, Ms. Marsh appeared in paid newspaper advertisements at the time that included the disclaimer “Paid for by the Hoboken Democratic Party.” One wonders if Ms. Marsh’s memory of “who the Hoboken Democratic Party’s money went to support” is selective, or merely faulty.
I want to be perfectly clear to anyone who Ms. Marsh and Mr. Marmer are attempting to persuade with their petty and clumsy stab at dividing Hoboken Democrats. Since I was elected Chairman, the Hoboken Democratic Party has raised a total of $100 which I contributed. Tonight’s Lincoln Day Dinner is the party’s first fundraiser since I became Chairman. But, the Hoboken Democratic Party is not in the business of raising money, we’re in the business of bringing people into the electoral process for the benefit of Democratic candidates. Ms. Marsh and Mr. Marmer reject inclusiveness in their email – they’d rather see less people attend the Lincoln Day Dinner, break bread together and discuss the challenges and opportunities in this election year. Sadly, Ms. Marsh and Mr. Marmer sense a threat to their own interests if you get involved and attend the party’s event tonight. Shame on them, and shame on their false message of fear.
I sincerely look forward to seeing you at tonight’s Lincoln Day Dinner. Wishing you all the best, I remain
Very truly yours,
Chairman, Hoboken Democratic Party”
Very similar to the way the city doesn’t cooperate for requests for public informations, certain members of the Hoboken Democratic Committee reformers want to boycott the annual Lincoln Day Dinner over at Frankie & Johnnie’s tonight, because they have no idea how much money was raised, or how it was spent. Hoboken City Clerk Jimmy Farina (“Mr. Democrat”) is being celebrated this year.
Carol Marsh and Ernie Marmer sent this email out this weekend:
Monday will mark an annual Hoboken Democratic Committee tradition — The Lincoln Day Dinner at Frankie and Johnnie’s. Regretfully, after much consideration, we are asking supporters of reform in the Hoboken Democratic Committee to refrain from supporting this event either with their funds, or with their presence.
While we strongly support Democratic goals, and the success of the Democratic Party in the upcoming election, we do not believe that this event, as currently constituted, advances those worthy goals. The Chairman of the Committee, currently Maurice Fitzgibbons, has the ability to spend committee money without oversight from the committee-at-large. There is strong reason to believe this discretion has been abused in prior years, but despite repeated inquiries, we still don’t even know how much money was raised last year, or who it went to support.
Our decision to avoid the dinner does NOT reflect a loss of faith in our participation in the committee. Rather it is a recognition that fulfilling our ultimate goals will require a change of leadership on the committee and throughout Hoboken. Sadly, under current circumstances, contributions we make Monday could be used against those needed efforts. Instead we strongly suggest that you take the money you might have spent Monday, and use it instead to support the candidates of your choice for School Board, County Committee, Freeholder, and President.
Yours in Reform,
Carol Marsh and Ernie Marmer”