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BoE "Independents" funded by Frank Raia and Ricky Mason

In a new match up of Old Guard money, ELEC reports show Frank Raia and Ricky Mason, husband of Councilwoman Beth Mason made large donations to the BoE slate that swept the elections last April.

The beneficiaries of the monies as it turns out called themselves “Independents for Education,” a ticket consisting of HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia, Peter Biancamano and Francis Rhodes-Kearns.

Frank Raia who has had his hands in many elections even when he isn’t running as a candidate for office, staunchly opposses the Kids First BoE majority and their brand of education where kids are placed higher on the list of importance than handing out jobs or worse jobs with little work required. Kids First has angered the Old Guard by slashing positions and cutting costs where legally possible, upsetting those who look on the school system as a source of jobs and benefits.

Ricky Mason at a City Council meeting in 2011

Ricky Mason in the prior year made a maximum $5,700 contribution to Real Results a slate organized by BoE commissioner Maureen Sullivan and Nathan Brinkman. His $5700 contribution in his and his wife’s name was the maximum permitted. This time he made an in-kind contribution totaling $7540 consisting of $965 for palm cards, $2,500 for t-shirts and election day hired workers, many from out out of Hoboken to the campaign committee slate.

In the last couple of years, Councilwoman Beth Mason has stated a belief to stay out of the BoE elections, even writing a letter to the Hudson Reporter on the matter, but in each of the last two years her family has made large financial donations to vastly different ideological slates opposing Kids First.

Kids First has been supported by Mayor Dawn Zimmer who originally supported the group when she was a councilwoman.

Talking Ed Note: The Hudson Reporter has a big story this weekend on the BoE race and absentee ballots. This investigative report should be worth a read as it asks questions about monies used to generate the absentee ballot windfall and quotes the perennial absentee ballot suspect Frank Raia.

Raia describes the “new wave” of campaigning with paid street workers and absentee ballots but reporter Ray Smith points out the new wave has not caught on elsewhere in Hudson County noting that Raia’s ticket produced 400 paper ballots mostly out of the Hoboken Housing Authority.

Monday MSV’s feature story focuses on this from the view inside.

A big hat tip to Ray Smith for his feature story. The timing of his feature and ours is coincidental but timely.

Now Frank Raia can go complain to someone else about fairness.

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