Records Show Democratic Party Immersed In Non-Partisan BOE Election
By Saul Qersdyn
Published: October 25, 2016 @ 10:02 AM EDT
In a follow-up to an article which revealed that Board Of Education (BOE) candidates Kimberly Powers ad Jeff Regan were being funded by the Roselle Park Democratic Committee (RPDC), it has been discovered that the RPDC is running their campaigns for a non-partisan school board election. Additionally, various aspects of the D-1 forms submitted to the state for both candidates are in violation of the Compliance Manual for Candidates released by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (NJ ELEC).
The first issue has to do with the establishing of a reporting committee, as described on page 8 of the Compliance Manual for Candidates. It reads, for a Single Candidate Committee:
The name of a single candidate committee must contain the surname of the candidate and the office sought. For example, a candidate committee may be called “Smith for Assembly” because it contains Candidate Smith’s surname and the office sought. Provided that the two requisite elements are contained in the candidate committee name (surname and office sought), other language may be contained in the candidate committee name. Examples are: “Friends of Smith for Assembly” or the “Smith for Assembly Victory Committee.” Notice that both of these examples contain the required surname and office sought.
The committee named in both Kimberly Powers’ and Jeff Regan’s Form D-1 is the Roselle Park Democratic Committee, which does not comply with this requirement. A review of 2016 D-1 forms for not only Kimberly Powers and Jeff Regan but also municipal candidates Michael Connelly and Kevin Kolbeck show that all have the RPDC as their committee.
This leads to another issue, under NJAC 19:25-5.1(c)(1). This section of New Jersey election regulation sets out the qualifications of campaign or committee officers. It reads, in its significant part:
No person serving as the chairperson of a political party committee . . . shall be eligible to be appointed to or serve as Chairperson . . . of a candidate committee . . .
§ 19:25-5.1 Qualifications of campaign or committee officers
(a) Any competent person 18 years of age or older may serve as a campaign treasurer, deputy campaign treasurer, organizational treasurer, deputy organizational treasurer, committee chairperson, committee vice-chairperson, or committee member provided that person maintains a resident address within the State of New Jersey, or alternatively files a consent to service of legal process within the State of New Jersey as set forth in (d) below.
(b) A candidate may serve as his or her own campaign or deputy campaign treasurer, or as committee chairperson, vice-chairperson or member.
(c) Notwithstanding (a) above, no person serving as the chairperson of a political party committee or a legislative leadership committee shall be eligible to be appointed to or serve as:
1. Chairperson, campaign treasurer, or deputy treasurer of a candidate committee or joint candidates committee, other than a candidate committee or joint candidates committee established to further the election of that person as a candidate;
2. Chairperson, campaign treasurer, or deputy treasurer of a political committee; or
3. Chairperson, organizational treasurer, or deputy organizational treasurer of a continuing political committee.
(d) Any person appointed to serve, or serving, in any capacity specified in (a) above and not maintaining a resident address within the State of New Jersey shall file a consent to service of legal process at an address within this State within three days of appointment, or within three days of abandoning a resident address within this State.
Dan Petrosky, who is the Chair of the Roselle Park Democratic Committee, is named as the chair of the reporting committees for Kimberly Powers and Jeff Regan.
There is also a section, NJAC 19:25-5,1(d), that states:
Any person appointed to serve, or serving, in any capacity [as campaign treasurer] and not maintaining a resident address within the State of New Jersey shall file a consent to service of legal process at an address within this State within 3 days of appointment, or within 3 days of abandoning a resident address within this State.
Joseph Alamo, the treasurer of Mrs. Powers’ and Mr. Regan’s committees, listed his address as Staten Island but there is no known filing of a consent to service. Another discrepancy is the name of the treasurer on the Kimberly Powers-Jeff Regan campaign signs, which is listed as ‘Joseph Adams’, not Joseph Alamo.
The final issue is in regard to the campaign committee depository – or bank. The D-1 forms of Mrs. Powers and Mr. Regan do not list a financial institution. According to the School Election 2016 Questions And Answers distributed by the New Jersey School Board Association (NJSBA), “all school board candidates who receive any contribution from any source, including their own funds or in-kind services, regardless of the amount” are required to file and D-1 form which “lists the bank in which the campaign bank account is located.”
Although these issues – taken individually – might be seen as an oversight or a learning curve mistake, the listing of a political party as the committee for a non-partisan position does make these instances – in their totality – significant.
It can be surmised that both Kimberly Powers and Jeff Regan did not, independently, decide to name their committees the same exact name with the same exact chair and treasurer. Understanding that this was done jointly leads to the question of whether they were told what to do and who to list then simply signed their names to the legal forms. If such is the case, how can it be assured that, as school board members, they will not simply sign off on matters that are put before them without first independently reviewing them?
The basic question of why a special interest – in this case, a political party – is funding and running non-partisan candidates’ campaigns remains unanswered. As of yet, neither candidate has provided information publicly on their platform nor addressed the concerns presented in this and a previous article other than a campaign sign that reads “Supporting our Community, Empowering our Students”.
Messages left for Kimberly Powers to comment for this article were not returned. Jeff Regan has, in writing, threatened harassment (link). He has not rescinded that notice in writing.
Election day is Tuesday, November 8th.
Copies of Kimberly Powers’ and Jeff Regan’s D-1 forms – along with the NJE ELEC Candidate Compliance Manual – are available below: