Thursday, March 5, 2020

Frank Raia 'goes away' for voter fraud

Frank Pupie Raia, inmate number 72020-050 has "gone away," the historical terminology of Old Hoboken for a friend or family member in prison.

Raia, 68, begins a three month stint for underwriting and leading a systematic voter fraud operation using Vote-by-Mail out of his Jefferson St. social club in the 2013 Hoboken municipal election.

He was convicted by a jury last June in Newark federal court. 

Raia is now residing in South Jersey at FCI Fairton in Cumberland County handling less than 1500 inmates as the Feds are appealing the paltry three month sentence, seeking a longer stint for Pupie.

Frank "Pupie" Raia in this vintage Hobokenhorse photo at a City Council meeting. 

Raia is one of the most enigmatic members of the Old Guard leadership in Hoboken. A supporter of Dawn Zimmer in her 2007 fourth ward council race, he operated both inside and outside the shadows of Hoboken politics over decades.

His lifetime ambition to become Hoboken mayor drove him to many deeds, good and bad inside the Mile Square City. Its fuel led ultimately to a 2009 effort for mayor where he came up short against Dawn Zimmer in a November runoff with multiple candidates to replace Peter Cammarano who went away for taking $25,000 in bribes from a Federal informant, Solomon Dwek.

Last summer, his world came crashing down when insiders of his Jefferson St. social club flipped  testifying against him at his federal trial in Newark to a systematic Vote-by-Mail buying scheme.

Led by government star witness Matt Calicchio, a former Beth Mason paid political operative who admitted to his role in Hoboken voter fraud activities for both 2013 and 2015, his vote buying scheme reached its end.

Raia is slated for release on June 1st.

Pupie with his fellow "One Hoboken" campaign pal, former
councilwoman Beth Mason in this 2013 photo celebrating Halloween.

More to come.