Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Monday, May 20, 2013

Sharon breaks election rules, but compliments Mapp

In knocking off Mapp's 2009 Mother's Day card,
Sharon pays him the ultimate compliment.
Plainfield Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs seems constitutionally unfit to follow any rules and election rules are no exception; however, she still finds room to pay her opponent, Councilor Adrian Mapp, a compliment.

As for the rules, folks around town report seeing Her Honor using her city-issued SUV to lug around campaign signs and materials and to attend campaign events. That's a no-no.

The permission she has for a 24-hour vehicle is that it is to be used for City business and she gets it overnight because she is 'on call' 24/7, so to speak. It is not a substitute for her personal vehicle, which is the only sort of vehicle in which she should be hauling campaign mterials and signs. (I myself have seen her SUV with 'MG' plates parked in front of her campaign headquarters while she dashed in and out with materials.)

Sharon gloms onto the President...

As for complimenting her opponent, Councilor Adrian Mapp, consider that she swiped the Mother's Day mailer which has been a New Dems trademark for years. Mapp's Mother's Day card from 2009 is at the head of this post. As they say, 'imitation is the sincerest form of flattery' and I am sure the Mapp campaign thanks Her Honor for the compliment.

Less flattering for Sharon though, are the circumstances around the Mother's Day mailer. When I first laid hands on a copy, I noted its surface flashiness first, and then on closer examination that it was really shoddily produced.

What is that quote under Michelle Obama?....

That is without even considering the strange 'quotation' beneath Michelle Obama's picture. Who is being quoted? Michelle? Sharon Robinson-Briggs? It's very strange and jarring.

Then, I pondered why it would be delivered in an envelope, with a 46-cent stamp hand-applied? This is very odd.

Campaigns are very sensitive to postage costs, the are a significant amount in the overall picture. I cannot think of when I've seen full-freight postage used for a mailing piece. The discount on bulk mailing can exceed 40%, and that's a lot of savings when you're doing thousands of pieces. If 5,000 pieces were mailed to identifiably female recipients from a voter list, that would come to $2,300 in 46-cent stamps. So why splurge?

Could it be that one or more of her supporters are trying to skirt the ELEC requirements for contributions by buying postage with cash and then simply giving the stamps to the campaign with no record that they constitute a contribution?

It certainly could, since at least two of her supporters might be embarrassed or embarrass Sharon if too visible. I am thinking in particular of former PMUA exec Eric Watson (he of the $1 Million Payday) and Malcolm R. Dunn, appointed by the Mayor to the PMUA Board of Commissioners (and the architect of Watson's 'payday').

But to be sure there was no hanky-panky, we would have to be able to check Robinson-Briggs' campaign fund reports filed with ELEC which would show all the costs associated with the mailer, including the postage. Except that as of July 20 -- two weeks after the most recent report was due -- there is no 29-day pre-election report posted to the ELEC website.

One more rule that Sharon feels she is exempt from?

To paraphrase Leona Helmsley: Rules? Only the little people follow rules.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

The mayor also has her headquarter windows covered 100%. This is in violation of the inspection rule that indicates that only 1/3 of your windows can be covered.

I don't understand her supporters. Do they believe it is OK for the mayor to be above the law? Won't be so OK is she comes after them.

Bob said...

Hi Dan,

I walk down Watchung from my place to downtown all the time and have seen the city SUV in front of Sharon's headquarters, but didn't hang around enough to see her. I would estimate that I have seen that vehicle at least 8 times over the past few weeks parked where it shouldn't have been. I can't believe that people will vote for this woman who I wouldn't let run a bake sale at my church.

Anonymous said...

That SUV was also at Hugo's Saturday 3/18 afternoon with Eric Watson as her personal escort/ security.....promoting her election to out of towner!

Anonymous said...

Dan, The people who drive City cars are suppose to keep a log on their daily trips. Where do we find the info on the Mayors and Hellwig's trips an miles? I thought the cars were for city business and not going to the grocery store or campaign trail. Are we paying for the gas and tolls Hellwig uses to go to Staten Island ?

Anonymous said...

The Mayor of a town is suppose to set an example for it's community. Sharron has taught us how to spend & spend and break the rules. Our downtown is a shameful mess. Mayor Sharron shows the rest of the business district that they can break the rules and junk up your windows like she does. I think she covered up her windows to hide who is supporting her and who is working on her campaign.