4th Ward Councilman Mike Lenz Responds to Opponents False Allegations.
Councilman Lenz responds:
“To begin with, I welcome Tim Occhipinti to the discussion about Clean Campaigns. It is ironic for Tim to accuse someone else of breaking a pledge that he refuses to sign or seriously acknowledge, all in a video that is missing legally required paid for language.
As to his two charges, he is wrong on his facts and misleading in his insinuations. To be completely clear: I stand behind my pledge.
The pledge calls for “Street Money” and makes clear I am talking about CASH payments. It goes on and says “all payments for Election Day Workers will be by check and will be fully recorded on ELEC reports.” I followed that in 2001 and I’ll follow that this year. One more point --The fact that Tim is able to falsely attack me is because my ELECs were filed and complete with all checks recorded.
Absentee Ballots and Buying Votes
Tim is talking about my – perfectly legal and above board – hiring of 30 election day workers because he doesn’t want to talk about what his campaign is doing. I hired 30 residents, legally and paid by check, to help get out my message. Another reason was to have people in our T-Shirts to counter the intimidation factor of hundreds of paid ‘workers’ supporting my opponent. Given what those fine people went through that day, they certainly earned their pay. I would be proud to have enough money to hire them again. All heard my message, but none were required to fill out an absentee ballot, vote for me, or even vote in order to get paid. Those will be the rules this year as well. I challenge Tim to make the same commitment.
I remember submitting all my ELEC reports in 2001, but after being appointed to the council, I thought to check them online to ensure everything was posted and complete. What I found to my surprise was that my final report was missing. I immediately checked my files at home where I found my filed copy of the completed report from almost a decade ago. I checked with ELEC and was told to re-submit it along with a note explaining it had been previously filed, which I did. ELEC accepted my submission, put it on the web, and has taken no action to indicate I have done anything wrong.
Campaign Manager Sam Briggs added:
“Tim is now trying to run a ‘campaign of misdirection and slight of hand’ Tim is trying to draw attention from his own misdeeds and backroom deals, but the fact remains that Tim is unable to sign the pledge himself since he will be in violation from day one. As of today, only the Mike Lenz campaign has completed and submitted all ELEC, and only Mike Lenz has made a commitment to not have any able-bodied paid worker vote absentee.
Why can't Tim sign on to these common sense initiatives? Because Mike Novak, a high-ranking member of Tim's Campaign team (http://www.hudsonreporter.com/view/full_story/9560712/article-Who-leaked-the-misinformation-about-the-Occhipinti-campaign) currently has missing ELEC forms from his run with Former Mayor and current Inmate Peter Cammarano's campaign last year. Further, despite telling the press the opposite (http://www.politickernj.com/absentee-campaign-hoboken-not-myth) Tim is already personally running a shadow absentee vote campaign that is working day and night to disenfranchise the residents of the 4th Ward (http://grafixavenger.blogspot.com/2010/09/pants-on-fire.html).
Additionally it’s sad that Tim has chosen to distract and muddy the waters on a day when there are many big issues affecting the 4th Ward:
1. Last night at a zoning board hearing, the proposed developer of 38 Jackson, who is associated with current Occhipinti Mentor and Former Freeholder Maurice Fitzgibbons, pulled his zoning board application so that it can be reheard in a couple months. What happens in a couple months? Three zoning board seats are up before the City Council, and if Tim wins, the developer will once again have a 'business as usual' rubber stamp zoning board. Additionally, Tim has already stated on his own website that he is in favor of giant tax abatements for developers (PILOTS), increasing tax burdens on the already stressed residents of the 4th Ward.
2. Tonight there is the final budget workshop and budget adoption. Residents of the 4th Ward need lower taxes and Councilman Lenz is working with Mayor Zimmer to start by bringing a 5% tax cut in this transitional six month budget. But if Tim is on the City Council, he has already shown his unwillingness to make the tough personnel decisions that are required to continue bringing down taxes (http://www.nj.com/hobokennow/index.ssf/2010/09/occhipinti_official_4th_ward_c.html). He has continually stood up against all measures the city has taken to bring down costs and increase our financial footing.
Councilman Lenz will not ‘apologize’ for proposing we run a Clean Campaign, and for Tim to even ask for such a ‘silly’ idea just shows how out of touch he is from the residents of the 4th Ward. Mike Lenz is proud to stand with Mayor Zimmer and fight for lower taxes, balanced development, an end to flooding, and a better quality of life. Tim Occhipiniti and his cast of shady characters are once again showing their true colors: lying to the public, a return to 'politics as usual', and corruption in Hoboken."