Michael (Street Money) Lenz: Update
Lenz breaks his pledge, again
Last week Hoboken411 reported how unelected councilman Michael Lenz was already in violation of his 8-point so-called Clean Campaign pledge/publicity stunt. First it was ELEC report irregularities. This weekend he broke yet another part of the pledge.
3. Respect others’ property and avoid litter by refusing to post campaign signs, banners, stickers or anything else on public or private property including utility poles, street signs, trees, fences, or parked cars without permission from the owner of the property.– Lenz Campaign Pledge
Well, someone from the Lenz campaign scotch-taped “Lenz Campaign Event” fliers on doors, and managed to distribute so many they began to blow away, becoming the kind of rubbish reminiscent of the mess left behind by another 4th ward campaign Lenz was involved in. Now, this campaign flier stuff is all pretty standard Hoboken election fare. It’s only an issue because Lenz made it an issue, and keeps breaking his own pledges.
Lenz response to ELEC issues: Spin and deflect
When it comes to the more important issue of missing state ELEC campaign disclosure forms from his 2001 race, Lenz has decided it’s easier to spin, deflect, and hope it goes away. Hoboken411 showed you how the last form Lenz claims he filed in 2001 (but never showed up on the ELEC site until 2010!) was clearly NOT signed by Lenz as the final report.
Despite this, Lenz has since responded that this was his final report, even though he never signed the declaration and despite the fact he didn’t certify that he closed out the account. By law, that means many more reports regarding his continuing campaign accounts should have been filed, but never were. As long as there is money in the account (or debts to be paid) the account must remain open until the candidate signs the basic and clear declaration of Final Report. Lenz never has, which makes him in violation, no matter what his campaign spinners say.
See more on Lenz’s bizarre Street Money notations after the jump.
Hypocrisy on parade
New irregularities revealed in Lenz’s 2001 campaign finance forms
Un-elected 4th ward councilman Michael Lenz has a long and checkered Hoboken election history. Last week he tried to put it behind him by making a largely ignored 8-part “pledge” not to engage in unsavory practices he’s very familiar with.
Hoboken411 has learned Lenz is already in violation of his own pledge!
Lenz pledge #6: Refuse to Pay Street Money
Lenz ran for the 4th ward seat once before in November 2001. Out of a total 1,545 votes cast, Lenz came in dead last with a mere 13% of the vote. Of those 213 votes, 33 people were paid a total $1600 for what Lenz’s own signed Campaign Finance Report called “Street Money.” This is from his ELEC form, a public document filed by Lenz and available on the official state website.
A list of 33 people paid on Election Day from the 4th ward is clearly noted as “Above is for Street Money” in the handwriting of the person who prepared and submitted the report to the New Jersey Election Law Commission. It wasn’t the only place on Lenz’s ELECs that specified “Street Money.” This is from Page 6:
Lenz calling for clean elections is like Tony Soares calling for civility.
But wait, there’s more! How many years did it take for Lenz’s last 2001 report to show up on the ELEC website?
Lenz Violates #1 Pledge
In researching Lenz’s Street Money history, a bizarre revelation was made about the 2001 20-day Post-Election form he filed with ELEC. This document was due to be submitted to the state no later than November 26, 2001. ELEC stamped it as received on April 1st, 2010. That’s over 8 years late!
This flies in the face of Lenz’s #1 pledge on his “Clean Elections” campaign stunt:
1. Promote transparency by making all required Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) submissions, making every effort to meet established deadlines and promptly posting all ELEC submissions on our own website.– Lenz 2010 “Clean Campaign” press release
You would assume “making every effort” to meet ELEC deadlines wouldn’t mean waiting over 8 YEARS to see an ELEC report hit the state website. Note the ELEC rundown of Lenz’s 2001 campaign reports:
The first 6 Lenz reports were filed before he was trounced in the 2001 election, but the last one – due 11/26/2001 – wasn’t listed as “received” by the state until 4/6/2010. Lenz himself signed and dated this report for submission, “Street Money” notations and all.
Now take a look at the bottom of the form:
Lenz obviously did not certify that this was his final report closing out the 2001 campaign account. In fact, there was still money reported in the account on the ELEC form. This makes Lenz in clear violation of Chapter 65 of the laws of 1993 requiring all filing entities continue to file reports until all campaign business is wound up and the fund is dissolved. Lenz never complied with that law, and it’s nearly 9 years later. The irony? He’s calling for others to do as he says, not as he does in his “pledge”:
4. Maintain accountability by requiring that each member of my team personally meet the same ELEC disclosure standard including submitting all missing ELEC filings from previous elections.– Lenz 2010 “Clean Campaign” press release
Of course, going back on a campaign pledge is nothing new to Lenz. He was the architect of Zimmer’s campaign, which promised “To cut taxes by 25% in the first year alone.”
Lenz involved in Hoboken campaigns for decades
Lenz was the 2001 campaign manager for Mayor David Roberts, worked with the HCDO Machine on Carol Marsh’s disastrous run for State Assembly, as well as the irregularity-plagued Dawn Zimmer campaign against Chris Campos.
The 2007 race was so dirty, that Zimmer stepped down from her seat rather than see more of her campaign team under oath to give sworn depositions.
Lenz was next up to bat with a subpoena when Zimmer pulled the plug and resigned, agreeing to a new election. (You can read Dawn Zimmer’s deposition here.)
Now Lenz claims he’s swearing off the tactics of campaigns he’s been involved with in the past, but he hasn’t even complied with his own pledge.