Thursday, October 12, 2017

Campaign Dollar Madness

Any day now campaign reports showing the expenditures and contributions of local campaigns are about to become public.

It's a feature of NJ law where campaigns file those reports as part of normal public disclosure.

When they do, an orgasm of expenditures will be revealed. For the independent candidates, much of their time and energy will be reflected in personal, family and friends' efforts.

Campaign reports will be made public showing where each of the four major
mayoral campaigns obtain financial support. It will be if anything eye-opening.

For the four major campaigns, it will be an insight into Hoboken's sovereignty. While all will likely show six figures or better in various contributions, some will show a more local flavor where Hoboken residents drive the bottom line. This has been in recent years one staple of the Reform movement.

How will the numbers shape up? Expect Councilman Mike DeFusco to show big numbers and the vast majority of his money coming in from outside Hoboken. Think of him as the adopted candidate of North Bergen and Uncle Nick Sacco. Will there be a repetition of individuals across the United States who are obsessed with making four figure donations to a Hoboken campaign?

Councilman Ravi Bhalla has a national network of Sikhs who contribute to his campaign. Ironically they  are far more conservative than his stance on issues. Their support to raise their profile and identity often confused by the public with being Muslims is a major issue for the small religious group. How will those numbers compare to the lawyers in the region who have been making regular collections from Newark? Call this one a tossup.

Freeholder Anthony Romano came into the race late when Dawn Zimmer bailed on re-election in late June. It put him into a box as DeFusco scooped up Old Guard loot and support after Romano spent his campaign funds on a minor opponent.  The Hudson County spending spree was blocked by State Senator and Union City Mayor Brian Stack who said "none shall pass." None have. Romano has been making major expenditures in mailers and recently featured not one but two commercials on TV for Yankee games. He's going to surprise more than a few as he digs deep into his own wallet to show he's serious about his mayoral run.

Councilwoman Jen Giattino learned of her accidental candidacy after a full week of community feedback before she pulled the trigger in late June. It's been a campaign ramping up to tap into the community for support in time, energy and cash. She'll probably shock some of her rivals as she will join them with a report into the six figures. Unlike some of her competitors, the vast majority of her support will come from within Hoboken.

Of course how this all translates into votes on Election Day is an entirely different matter.