Friday, February 11, 2011

Beth Mason - Not Just Wheeling - Possibly Exceeded Campaign limits as well

The report below documents the case that Beth Mason exceeded campaign
contribution limits in the matter of Tim Occhipinti's November 2010 campaign.

Below is a report I compiled on the contributions I was able to track from Beth Mason's contribution via personal and committee to Tim Occhipinti's fall 2010 campaign for 4th Ward City Council. Many people felt that Beth Mason's contributions were wheeling and while legal seemed to circumvent the personal limits of campaign laws. After digging further the Hoboken Journal has reached the following conclusions in the report below:

Conclusions on Beth Mason and her Donations to Tim Occhipinti Fall 2010

1. Personal Limits OK: Beth and Ricky Mason each gave $2,600 toward Tim Occhipinti's campaign and that was within the legal limits for individual contributors at $2,600 per person. The total was $5,200 for both of them.

2. Beth Mason Wheeled But Legal: Beth Mason gave $8,200 through her campaign committee which was within the legal limits of $8,200 for a campaign committee. While it did not violate any laws, it did in my opinion violate the spirit of law with the personal campaign limits and was used as a mechanism to "wheel" around those restrictions. Mayor Dawn Zimmer's proposed reforms in the draft version of the revised Pay to Play ordinance submitted at the 2/2/2011 City Council meeting, includes changes to tighten up that loophole as well as others. Beth Mason tabled the resolution at that City Council meeting.

3. Campaign Limits Very Likely Exceeded: Councilwoman Mason was not running for any office in November 2010 however she made 35 payments to individuals for a total amount of $5,965.00 for the purpose of “VOTER CANVASSING”. If any of these payments for "voter canvassing" were not for Congress or Sheriff then it would appear that Beth Mason has violated the ELEC laws as they pertain to the maximum allowable limits of personal and committee contributions. Given the focus of efforts by Beth Mason and her supporters on the Tim Occhipinti campaign, the Hoboken Journal finds it completely implausible that all of that additional in-kind money ($5,965.00) was not spent at least partially (if not all) on Tim's campaign. Any amount spent of that $5,965.00 on Tim's campaign would result in an actual ELEC violation in the opinion of the Hoboken Journal.


Hoboken Journal Full Report in Adobe Acrobat:

NJ ELEC Candidate Compliance Manual: