>THE MAY MUNIS: BY THE NUMBERS
By Steve Morris
As the merry month of May approaches so do Bergen’s five nonpartisan municipal elections in Mahwah, Ridgewood, Teaneck, Ridgefield Park, and Garfield. The candidates are out making stump speeches, local civic organizations are putting their two cents in, and the opinion sections of the weekly newspapers are chock full of commentary on the candidates and on the issues. This is all well and good, but what do the campaign finance reports say about the candidates and their campaigns?
MAHWAH – Sitting mayor Richard Martel may have been convicted of DUI back in 2006, but that hasn’t phased his fund raising efforts one bit; Martel has out raised his opponent, former councilman Gary Paton, nearly six to one.
The overwhelming majority of Martel’s contributions have been below 300 dollars and have been raised in the past six months, with Martel only carrying over about $500 from his 2004 re-election bid, suggesting a strong base of support among township voters. In stark contrast, 88% of challenger Gary Paton’s campaign cash came from one Gary Paton.
RIDGEWOOD – Bergen’s sign vendors and print shops shouldn’t count on having a very strong year in Ridgewood. Incumbent councilwoman Betty Wiest leads the pack with a whopping $2090 raised to date, followed by former Clinton administration policy wonk Paul Aronsohn, and longtime village cop Keith Killion. Jacques Harlow’s report is MIA and Anne Zusy’s campaign does not have a bank account.
TEANECK – The dominant candidate thus far in the fundraising department in this race is incumbent councilwoman Monica Honis. “Team Teaneck” (Elnatan, Robinson, and Hameduddin) generates most of their money from large $300+ contributions mostly from sources located outside Teaneck and the rest of the candidates are either majority self funded or have yet to break the $3500 barrier in fundraising.
Team Teaneck does possess the organizational edge though, as three candidates are operating as one significantly reducing expenses and broadening their base of potential donors.
With the exception of Honis, the other two candidates running with the endorsement of “Teaneck United,” a local civic group in opposition to Team Teaneck are not enjoying the sort of support one would expect of true grassroots candidates, lending support to the notion that Teaneck United is simply a Wienberg astroturfing operation. 66% of Barbara Toffler’s campaign fund came courtesy of her checking account and Audra Jackson has yet to break the $3500 mark in fundraising.
The numbers suggest that the residents of Teaneck have opted out of the latest battle between Joe and Loretta, instead writing their checks to Monica Honis or not at all.
GARFIELD – If winning elections was a simply a matter of out-fundraising your opponent, then this year’s municipal contest in the “city of champions” would have to go the incumbents, who have raised five times as much money than their primary threat of challengers Bonnano, Demarco, and Vistocky. Maverick candidate Gaetana Raymond’s campaign fund consists of a loan she made to herself and Richard Derrig’s campaign fund has yet to take in more than $3500 in contributions.
So where have Calandriello, Aloia, Delaney, Krone, and Moskal been spending all of that money, aside from the printer and the sign guys? Donating to all of Garfield’s various civic organizations, that’s where. One will be hard pressed to find a church, club, or other organization operating in Garfield who has not recieved a check from this slate of candidates.
RIDGEFIELD PARK – Challenger Frank Scerbo has purchased some lawn signs, and fellow challenger Junior Hernandez hasn’t cracked $3500 yet. As for the rest of the mostly incumbent candidates who are running together, their ELEC filing is MIA. The real winners in Ridgefield Park seem to be the village’s DPW, as a drive through the village recently revealed it to be sign-less for the time being, and with a slate of popular incumbents taking on two poorly funded challengers, we are willing to bet it will remain so for the foreseeable future.
THE RAW NUMBERS
LAST NAME FIRST NAME MIDDLE INITIAL MUNICIPALITY RAISED SPENT ON HAND
Paton Gary MAHWAH 2900 1591 1309
Martel Richard J MAHWAH 17119 7429.93 9689.07
Alderisio Samuel MAHWAH 2000 1000 1000
Roth John F MAHWAH 2000 1000 1000
Kelly John J MAHWAH 351 0 351
Derrig Stephanie A MAHWAH 2000 100 1900
Digiulio H. Lisa MAHWAH 1299 0 1299
Harlow Jacques RIDGEWOOD 0 0 0
Aronsohn Paul RIDGEWOOD 1813 963 850
Killion Keith RIDGEWOOD 1198.53 0 1198.53
Wiest Betty G RIDGEWOOD 2090 500 1590
Zusy Anne RIDGEWOOD 0 0 0
Rudolph Elnatan TEANECK 7872 6752.95 1119.05
Honis Monica TEANECK 14180.28 6265.24 7915.04
Toffler Barbara Ley TEANECK 7649 2973.98 4675.02
Goldman Ned TEANECK 7902 1400.29 6501.71
Hameeduddin Mohammed TEANECK 3371.5 11.07 3360.43
Robinson Robert H TEANECK 3371.5 11.07 3360.43
Rose Howard TEANECK 2000 1000 1000
Jackson Audra TEANECK 2000 1000 1000
Visotcky LouAnn GARFIELD 6161.66 5177.33 984.33
Bonanno Charles F GARFIELD 6161.66 5177.33 984.33
DeMarco Anthony W GARFIELD 6161.66 5177.33 984.33
Raymond Gaetana M GARFIELD 12100 1500 10600
Derrig Richard GARFIELD 2000 1000 1000
Calandriello Francis J GARFIELD 21102 14024 7078
Delaney Joseph P GARFIELD 21102 14024 7078
Krone James GARFIELD 21102 14024 7078
Moskal Stanley J GARFIELD 21102 14024 7078
Aloia Louis G GARFIELD 21102 14024 7078
Hernandez Junior RIDGEFIELD PARK N/A N/A N/A
Scerbo Frank S RIDGEFIELD PARK N/A N/A N/A
Fosdick George D RIDGEFIELD PARK N/A N/A N/A
Anlian John H RIDGEFIELD PARK N/A N/A N/A
Boyd Margaret R RIDGEFIELD PARK N/A N/A N/A
MacNeill Adam A RIDGEFIELD PARK N/A N/A N/A
Poli Hugo R RIDGEFIELD PARK N/A N/A N/A
RAISED % TOTAL SPENT % TOTAL ON HAND %TOTAL
TOTALS 219211.8 100 120150.5 100 99061.27 100
MAHWAH 27669 12.62204 11120.93 9.255832 16548.07 16.70488
RIDGEWOOD 5101.53 2.327215 1463 1.217639 3638.53 3.67301
TEANECK 48346.28 22.0546 19414.6 16.15857 28931.68 29.20584
GARFIELD 138095 62.99615 88151.99 73.36796 49942.99 50.41626
All candidates running as part of a joint campaign committee had the amount split equally amongst the candidates.
All candidates whose filings stated that they had not broken $3500 were assigned $2000 as the amount raised, $1000 as the amount spent, and $1000 as the cash on hand amount for mathematical purposes.
All of the Ridgefield Park candidates either did not have ELEC filings or had ELEC filings and were under $3500