The needler in the haystack.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Roundup: Council triple-play tonight; Mayor's latest campaign finance report

Piecing together a picture of the Mayor's campaign finances.
Could be a long night at Plainfield City Council this evening.

Olddoc points out the Executive Session agenda items may cause everything else to get backed up (see his post here).

At 7:00 PM (or whenever the Exec Session is over), the Council has scheduled a Special Meeting, the only item of which is to vote a resolution moving the Board of Education election from April to the November general election date. This will be a cost-saver to the taxpayers (instead of paying for two elections). It will also guarantee a larger number of votes cast for BOE candidates (at the same time making it more costly for them to campaign). Lastly, the school budget flashpoint will be removed for budgets coming in under the 2% annual cap imposed by the state.

At the 7:30 (we can only hope) regular Agenda setting session, Bernice details the items listed for public discussion between the Council and the PMUA Commissioners (see here); these also may end up taking some time, depending on how the discussion is moved along.

Then there is the matter of the Mayor's proposals for PMUA seats, which is likely to be gone over with a fine-toothed comb as to the exact frames of the terms and who is replacing who. Or the nominations could fail of a consensus and not make it to next week's business meeting at all.

Mayor Robinson-Briggs' Latest ELEC Campaign Finance Report

Mayor Robinson-Briggs' campaign committee (Sharon Robinson-Briggs for Mayor) filed its most recent ELEC report on January 30 (due January 15th). The report can be viewed and/or printed out from the ELEC website (see here, select the 1/30/2012 link).

Robinson-Briggs' balance had dropped to a mere $182 as of her previous (10/15/2011) report, and campaign watchers have been curious about the two fundraising efforts said to be conducted in the last quarter of the year.

The report shows a total income of $11,697.57 for the quarter, with expenses of $4,773.89, leaving a total of $7,105.68 in the till.

What is interesting to note on the INCOME side is that there are NO CONTRIBUTIONS listed in the over-$300 column. The entire $11,697.57 is listed as coming in at $300 or less per contribution. One has to wonder if Mr. Burney is curious about whether those contributions were from vendors and masked from public view.

One should note multiple contributions from any source -- individual or corporate -- must be aggregated, and those totaling over $300 in the aggregate would have to be accounted for and reported in the over-$300 category. Knowingly disguising contributions would subject Robinson-Briggs and/or her treasurer to 'punishment' per the ELEC forms.

Among the expenses listed, those connected with a joint fundraiser between Robinson-Briggs and Councilor Bridget Rivers at Hugo's on December 21 are of interest --

$350.00 for the band
$200.00 to Adrian's Caterers for food
$200.00 to Hugo's for hall rental
$665.50 to Bridget Rivers for 'affair expenses'
for a total of $1,415.50. No expenses are shown on the Mayor's report for invitations, printing, postage, or a program.

One is left in the dark as to whether the $11,697.57 is all that was raised and whether it was raised through the joint fundraiser only, since Councilor Rivers does not maintain a campaign committee and her last filing was at the end of the 2009 general election. Rivers' expenses and/or receipts would be subject to reporting to ELEC.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

You're really expecting Sharon to know how to account for expenses? Is this your April Fool's joke early?