Vote for me on June 7th as your Democratic Committee Representative.
My name is Donna Antonucci. Many of you know me as a Steering Committee member of Hoboken Revolt, your neighbor or local Hoboken advocate.
I am running in the primary election on Tuesday, June 7, 2011, and am asking my neighbors to come out and vote to show your support for the efforts of the Democrats for Honest Government to bring transparency and accountability to local politics.
What does a party committee person do? Each year, the local Democratic party elects representatives from each district of every ward (72 in all), and help get information on upcoming elections to members of the community.
Honest Government is beginning to take hold in Hoboken but the battle is far from over. It’s fragile and without your continued participation, Hoboken can easily slip backwards. Historically, the Hoboken Democratic Party has been used to “wheel” funds to candidates running for Mayor. When former Mayors Russo and Roberts were controlling the Democratic Committee, hundreds of thousands of dollars flowed through the Committee into their election coffers, Reformers who have been elected to the Hoboken Democratic Committee have passed by-laws which have fundamentally changed the way the Hoboken Democratic Party does business.
What is wheeling? There are campaign finance laws that limit how much an individual can contribute to a candidate. There are also pay to play laws that prevent any individual from contributing to a candidate and then doing business with the city after that candidate is elected. Wheeling is when an individual gives money to an entity like the Democratic Committee and then the organization gives it to a specific candidate.
Wheeling is a way of circumventing campaign finance law and allows special interest groups to funnel large sums of money to candidates from whom they expect preferential treatment.
The by-law changes made under Ravi Bhalla’s direction (he was Chair and led the campaign to win the majority of the Committee) of the Hoboken Democratic Committee shut down the use of the Committee as a vehicle for wheeling funds.
Those by-laws, passed two years ago, reflect hard fought gains by reformers, but those gains can be reversed. Without committed participation of reform-minded individuals, the by-law changes that prevent wheeling can be swiftly reversed and outside money can quickly be funneled to candidates that will do the bidding of a small, connected, special interest group and not the overall well being of Hoboken.
I have been a concerned and a very active citizen for 3 years now, committed to preserving what makes Hoboken special and am insistent on honest government.
I worked tirelessly to understand how corruption occurs in Hoboken by requesting many documents through the Open Public Records Act, at my own expense. I have analyzed those documents and published my findings to bring detailed understanding of how Hoboken was being exploited by a small, politically connected group with respect to various PILOT agreements and city contracts.
As your Democratic Committeewoman, I will work to protect you from the kind of corruption that can occur if reform loses control of the Democratic Committee.
I need your support on June 7th to continue the fight for Honest Government.
I am running under Democrats for Honest Government, with Ravi Bhalla in Column C. Our voting place is the Elks Club. Polls open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Thanks for your support.