Occhipinti – ‘Lenz campaign targets voters with bounties and intimidation tactics’

Occhipinti for Council announces:

Hoboken 4th Ward City Council candidate Tim Occhipinti called on the state’s Attorney General to oversee the November 2 city council election in Hoboken to ensure equal access to the polls and to guard against intimidation of voters.

“We are concerned about the Lenz campaign targeting first-time voters and anyone who they have identified as opponents,” said Occhipinti. “They say they want to run a clean campaign but they are targeting voters who vote by mail with ‘bounties’ and intimidation tactics intended to suppress new voters and minorities.”
Occhipinti said ensuring fair elections is the cornerstone of a strong democracy. He called on Lenz to join him in renouncing the intimidation tactics and the suppression of voters. He said Mayor Zimmer
“With the mayor so clearly on one side of this election, it’s important to have an unbiased outside source come in to make sure that everyone who wants to vote gets an opportunity to vote,” he said.
The following letter from the Occhipinti for Council campaign follows:
October 13, 2010
Paula Dow
Attorney General
25 Market Street
Trenton, NJ 08625
Dear Ms. Dow:
I am writing to express my concern about the upcoming special city council election in Hoboken on November 2.  The inalienable right to vote is the bedrock of our democracy, and I am committed to fighting for fair elections for the people of Hoboken.

We are concerned about the Michael Lenz campaign targeting first-time voters and anyone they have identified as opponents. The Lenz campaign and a number of blog surrogates are targeting residents by paying “bounties” for names of those who vote by mail, and using intimidation tactics intended to suppress new voters and those in minority communities.

To complicate matters further, Mayor Zimmer has thrown her full support behind the Lenz campaign, using her office and its inherent authority in political coordination with the Lenz campaign. This calls into question the mayor’s ability to be an honest broker if issues of voting or ballot irregularities arise, or if public safety becomes an issue during this hotly contested election. In addition, Mr. Lenz’s position within the county administration political structure creates at least the potential for the appearance of a conflict.

We believe your office provides the best opportunity for a fair election overseen by an honest arbiter with no vested interest. I urge you to make the presence of your good office felt in order to ensure that our state’s elections meet the highest standards of honesty and integrity.  I stand ready to assist in any way possible.

Thank you for your attention.
Tim Occhipinti
Candidate, Hoboken 4th ward city council

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