Friday, February 25, 2011

Hoboken Democratic Party Press Release on Illegal Fundraising Promoted by Maurice Fitzgibbons


February 25, 2011

The Hoboken Democratic Party is surprised to learn that an unregistered PAC, known as the “Real Democrats of Hoboken”, has scheduled a fundraiser on Monday February 28th at 7:00 p.m. at the Clinton Social, honoring the previous Chair of the Hoboken Democratic Party, Assemblyman Ruben Ramos. This event, which is being actively promoted by Maurice Fitzgibbons, another prior Chair of the Hoboken Democratic Party and a former Freeholder, is intended to raise money from developers to support candidates running against the incumbent committeemen and committee women who presently serve the Hoboken Democratic Party.

Allegedly illegal fundraiser on Behalf of Democratic Assemblyman
Ruben Ramos this coming Monday - click to enlarge
"It is surprising and disappointing that Maurice Fitzgibbons, who was recently found by ELEC to have violated ELEC’s campaign finance disclosure requirements, resulting in a fine of several thousand dollars against Mr. Fitzgibbons, is at it again. Hoboken has seen what happens when its politicians fail to abide by the letter of the law when it comes to campaign fundraising,” said Gary Holtzman, Treasurer of the Hoboken Democratic Party.

It is against New Jersey state law for an unregistered PAC, like the “Real Democrats for Hoboken” to spend money or raise money in support of candidates for political campaigns, such as the event that the “Real Democrats for Hoboken” is advertising for Monday February 28th.

Vice Chair of the Hoboken Democratic Party, and Chair of the By-Laws Subcommittee, Phil Cohen, added, “We are proud of the changes that the Hoboken Democratic Party have made, instituting by-laws that prohibit the funneling of funds through the Hoboken Democratic Party to support candidates for non-partisan elections, like Hoboken City Council races or Hoboken Mayoral Races. Back when Mayor Russo and Mayor Roberts controlled the Hoboken Democratic Party, developers funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars through the Hoboken Democratic Party to support their Mayoral campaigns. We don’t ever want to return to those bad old days.”

Today, the Hoboken Democratic Party’s reformed by-laws are used as a model for other Democratic Party Organizations throughout the State of New Jersey and promoted by good government organizations.

- End of Press Release

Key Executive officers of the Hoboken Democratic Party are Ravinder S. Bhalla Chairman, Ilise Benum Vice President and Phil Cohen 1st Vice President.

For reference here is an excerpt from the Final Decision on Maurice Fitzgibbon's prior ELEC violation:


Candidate for Freeholder in
Hudson County

The Election Law Enforcement Commission (hereafter, the Commission) having brought a Complaint on June 28, 2006, against Maurice Fitzgibbons, (hereafter, the Respondent Candidate) for failure to file campaign reports in the 2005 general election, as required by the New Jersey Campaign Contributions and Expenditures Reporting Act, N.J.S.A. 19:44A-1, et seq.
hereafter, the Campaign Reporting Act);


the Respondent filed Reports of Contributions and Expenditures (Forms R-1) relevant to the 29-day and 11-day preelection and 20-day postelection report periods for the 2005 general election on December 14, 2006 (429, 412, and 381 days late, respectively), which Forms R-1 report contributions totaling $39,063.56 and expenditures totaling $39,063.56;

And which Forms R-1 report that expenditures of $25,979.80 were made on the respondent’s behalf, and which Forms R-1 further report that the Respondent Candidate received monetary contributions of $13,083.76 and made monetary expenditures of $13,083.76 during the 2005 general election;

And the Respondent Candidate being represented in this matter by Rebecca Moll Freed, Esq., consenting to the form and substance of this Consent Order and Final Decision; And the Respondent Candidate having submitted to the Commission for its consideration, a statement relevant to the reporting period for the 2005 general election that he did not receive notice that expenditures, totaling $25,979.80, had been made on his behalf until after the 2005 general election;


And the Commission considering that the Respondent Candidate did not receive notice of the expenditures made on his behalf until after the 2005 general election; And the Commission further considering other penalty factors, including aggravating and mitigating circumstances, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 19:25-17.3C; The Commission therefore, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 19:44A-22 and N.J.A.C. 19:25-17.1 et seq., REPRIMANDS the Respondent and imposes a penalty upon the Respondent in the amount of TWO THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS ($2,625.00).

The Respondent hereby enters into this Consent Order, which if authorized and executed by the Election Law Enforcement Commission, will be the Final Decision in this case. ◦