Latest Candidate ELEC Reports
Hoboken411 contributor estevens – with the latest campaign ELEC report updates!
Lots of contributions from political entities around the state and here in Hoboken. The $58K raised in contributions of $300 or less is impressive if it’s true.
Rosalie Bigica ($10,000): Wow! Cammarano’s most generous benefactor is a Garfield homemaker who shares an address with a BJB Realty, which gave $1000 to the Roberts campaign in 2001. BJB Realty’s corporate officers are Biagio Bigica and Joseph Bigica. Joseph, who appears to be the son of Biagio and Rosalie, also has an insurance brokerage company – JBI – which lists among its clients served the municipalities of Secaucus, Weehawken, and Union City; the West New York BOE and Housing Authority; and Hudson County. Will Hoboken be next? Contracts are usually given out in July… Hoboken’s annual insurance costs are approaching $15M. Broker commissions are typically 6%.
Hoboken’s pay-to-play ordinance prevents Joseph Bigica and his company from contributing more than $300 each to Hoboken candidates without losing the ability to gain the city’s insurance broker contract. By having a relative make the contribution, one might circumvent the city ordinance. As an aside, when Joseph Bigica contributed the maximum amount allowable to US Senator Robert Menendez in 2007 and 2008, his wife Laura (Homemaker), and presumptive parents Biagio (European Cut Hair Stylist) and Rosalie also gave the maximum amounts allowable.
See the rest of Cammarano – plus other candidates – after the jump!
(Latest ELEC Reports, continued…)
New Frontier Committee ($5200) Ryan Graham ($2600): More insurance brokers! Graham is an associate with Fairview Insurance Agency. Fairview has provided Risk Manager services for Caldwell, Highland Park, Livingston, and West Orange, among others. Fairview was a regular contributor to the Russo organization years ago: $5000 to the Russo-controlled Hoboken Democratic Party in 1999, $5000 to Russo Team in 2000, and $5000 again to the Hoboken Dems in 2001. Looks like they’re getting back in the game.
By a remarkable coincidence, John Graham, founder and CEO of Fairview, made a $5000 contribution to a Medford NJ PAC, The New Frontier Committee, on March 30. Two weeks later, New Frontier made a $5200 contribution to Cammarano. Huh. Side note: In February 2008, Remington & Vernick Engineers – they were given a $50K city contract in August 2007 – made a $4000 contribution to New Frontier. Three weeks later, New Frontier made a $4000 contribution to the Cammarano-managed committee Voice for All Hoboken. Huh.
Philip Bogle ($2600): Goodness gracious – yet another insurance guy apparently paying the Hoboken cover charge to get in! With big fat insurance benefit plans like Hoboken’s, apparently everyone wants in. Though no employment information was provided on Cammarano’s ELEC filing, it was fairly easy to find that Bogle is president of Bogle Agency Insurance of Lyndhurst.
Nicholas Petruzelli ($2000): Washington Street realtor and developer/partner with Hoboken Construction Code Official Al Arezzo.
Lawrence J Bijou ($1000): Heard about the 40-story towers coming to north Hoboken? Bijou bought 1532 Park – the Macy’s Day Parade warehouse – in May 2007 for $15.3M. He sold it in June 2008 for $39.7M to the Rockefeller Group. Wow. This guy has really spread the love around – $44K in contributions to Russo Team 2001, Roberts Team 2003 & 2005, Russo 2007, Raia/Rosenberg, Tremitiedi, Mason, Campos, Voice for All Hoboken, Ramos 2007 & 2009, and the Hoboken Dems.
Mason is serious about this. She’s put up a considerable amount of her own money –almost $290K so far. Lots of New York attorneys, with several from Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz – husband Richard Mason is a partner. Some finance people as well. Just one thing out of the ordinary…
Committee for Open Government ($5000): Bit of a surprise here. Efficiency appears to be little more than a political committee based in Hoboken that wheels contributions around the state, providing a disconnect between contributors and candidates. Efficiency recently moved contributions from Hoboken’s risk manager, Federal Hill, to Ruben Ramos and Voice for All Hoboken. Hmmm… nothing reported in or out on Efficiency’s 2009 first quarter report.
Runner-up for highest personal investment in the race, Zimmer has contributed $45K so far. The bulk of the remainder appears to come from friends, family, neighbors, and local supporters.
This is how you fundraise! Ravi Bhalla has done an impressive job of collecting many small donations from friends, family, neighbors, and associates. Only one contributor stood out as a politically-connected operator.
Brownstein Booth & Associates ($500): In 2003, Bhalla represented Alex Booth in 2003 when the late Jersey City Mayor Glenn Cunningham was trying to remove Booth from his position as Jersey City Corporation Counsel. Interestingly, this was the firm that represented former Chris Campos in his election challenge against Dawn Zimmer in 2007.
Victor J Herlinksy Jr ($500): Attorney specializing in construction law; attorney to Hackensack BOE, City of Passaic; prosecutor in Secaucus, Ringwood, and Passaic.
Krovatin, Gerald ($500): Bhalla was formerly employed by the law firm Krovatin Klingeman LLC of Newark.
The Independents –
Carbine, Melberg, Occhipinti, Orsini, Vincent, Waiters
Campaigns on a budget. Mostly small-dollar contributions with everything appearing to be aboveboard.
OLDER UPDATES BELOW
5/4/2009 Stop Whining Update:
For those still questioning the timeliness of Beth Mason’s ELEC filings, here are is a PDF document that supports what estevens posted below:
“I’ve been provided with evidence that Mason’s 29-day report was mailed on April 10 and returned by the post office for unknown reasons. I am satisfied that an honest attempt was made to file properly.
My main concern is that information is available before the election date as required. As for law-breaking, ELEC doesn’t seem to give a damn. City Clerk Jimmy Farina’s 2007 school board slate filed over a year after the election was over. ELEC’s belated response was to sent the committee a stern letter asking them to please not do that again. In 2007, the Hoboken political committee Voice for All Hoboken, chaired by a former spokesperson for Mayor Roberts and managed by Peter Cammarano, received over $76,000 in contributions, some that I would consider problematic or embarassing, and distributed those monies to candidates Campos, Russo, Castellano, Giacchi, and Tremitiedi. Again, these reports were not made available until a year after the election was over. ELEC’s response to my complaints was no response.
I’m not excusing anyone for days-late filing and I’m satisfied that everyone has more or less filed on time. I’m just providing some perspective. – estevens“
ELEC Report Card
Want to know who is giving money to the Hoboken Mayor and Council candidates but can’t stand the hideous NJ ELEC website that is supposed to provide easy access to campaign disclosure forms?
Fear not, because Hoboken411 contributor estevens does the dirty work for you! Take a look at the great job he’s done presenting the information in an easy to read format. The 29-day pre-election forms are in, and soon we will also see the 11-day pre-election reports. The 29-day reports say the Mason Team accounts had the most money with $272,084, followed by Cammarano with $116,742, and Zimmer/Bhalla with $111,632. None of the independents have shown the ability to compete in the money race…