Councilman Mike DeFusco, a candidate for Hoboken Mayor, is calling on his fellow candidates to publicly release their donors and expenditures before the September 5th filing deadline in order to exercise transparency and provide voters with the information they deserve. DeFusco is also calling on all candidates to comply with New Jersey State Election Law by filing the required Candidate Certificate of Organization (D-1 Form), which is required to be filed by anyone running for office or exploring a run for office who has spent more than $500 on his or her campaign. Any campaign spending above that threshold by a candidate who has not filed a D-1 Form is illegal. Potential candidates Councilwoman Jen Giattino and Freeholder Anthony Romano have both failed to file a D-1 Form with the state and have publicly stated that they will not release any campaign finance information until October, less than a month before Election Day.
"Hoboken voters deserve to know who is funding each of the campaigns for mayor, which is why I am proud to have released our full list of donors showing a broad coalition of residents, business leaders, labor unions and more," said DeFusco. "It is disheartening to see some candidates refusing to comply with the spirit of transparency by hiding their donors and expenses from the voters, and even more troubling to see candidates raising and spending money without even filing their official Certificate of Organization with the state, a violation of election law. I am calling on all candidates to voluntarily release their donors and comply with all applicable election law, because Hoboken voters deserve transparency as they make this crucial decision for our city's future."
Romano's apparent failure to file the D-1 form is particularly troubling given that he is considering running for both Freeholder and Mayor at the same time, raising questions about whether funds donated to his Freeholder campaign are being used for his mayoral campaign, which would constitute an ELEC violation. Currently, Romano's most recent filing for his Freeholder campaign shows a balance of negative ($3,407.81), along with an outstanding personal loan from Romano to his campaign of $113,900.
"Hoboken has seen candidates for office skirting transparency and pay-to-play laws in the past and now is not the time to return to this kind of irresponsible practice," said DeFusco. "Every candidate for mayor should be eager to meet these important requirements and to give the residents of our city the transparency they need, and I see no reason why any of us should not be willing to hold ourselves to a higher standard."