Hoboken teachers politically swayed?
Hoboken411 received this anonymous letter today from a reader who felt certain Board of Education candidates may be using questionable tactics to secure support for their slate. What are your thoughts about this?
Hidden motives for political fundraiser?
“After reading the Hoboken Reporter today I felt I should share with you information that I think will be of interest to your readers.
In today’s Hoboken Reporter the slate of Phil Defalco, Carmelo Garcia and Frances Rhodes-Kearns have an ad in which they boast of the support they have from Hoboken’s teachers. They write that “Hoboken’s teachers are backing the Parents for Progressive Education school board candidates as evidenced by the fact that they have contributed heavily to their campaign”. What they don’t mention is the way in which this happened.
On March 26th, a fundraiser for these candidates was held at East LA restaurant. Invitations were mailed to people in town including from what I understand – EVERY TEACHER that lives in Hoboken. Fundraising for an election is a common, but asking teachers to contribute to a School Board campaign to begin with is questionable. (I hope that no school resources were used to acquire the addresses of the teachers…)
Where this gets worse is that Carmelo Garcia and Frank Raia (Treasurer for the candidates) both sit on the board that is NEGOTIATING A TEACHERS PAY RAISE. If asking those that they are negotiating with to contribute to their campaign is not an ethics breach it is at least a MAJOR conflict of interest.
What is also very interesting about these invitations is they each have a number on the back of the envelope and card that was included.
The only reason I can see for numbering the responses individually would be so that they could easily track who donated and who did not (ie, code X is used for teachers, y for friends etc).
If you worked in a district where layoffs were being discussed, and you received a numbered donation request from the person that decides not only if you have a job, but also your pay raise, wouldn’t you be a bit nervous about NOT giving to them? I guess we should expect this in Hudson County politics but this is a school board race and should be run with a higher level of principles. Then again, we spend $25,000 per student so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.”