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Monday, April 24, 2017

(2017 Dem Primary) Did Tracey Brown break the law by not reporting 2016 billboard?

A billboard in support of Tracey Brown from last year's
Dem primary. She has never reported it on her campaign

The required "paid for" declaration says the billboard
was paid for by Tracey Brown's campaign. What gives?
(click image to enlarge)

Did Tracey Brown break the law by not reporting a billboard used in her 2016 campaign to ELEC?

New Jersey has some of the strictest requirements for reporting political campaign expenses and contributions in the country. And considerable fines when candidates or their proxies fail to abide by the rules -- which include not only truthfulness, but timeliness in making the required reports.

I noted during the 2016 Democratic primary -- in which Councilor Brown ran against Coundilor Williams for the citywide at-large Dem nomination -- that Tracey had a large billboard atop the store at the southeast corner of East Front Street and Watchung Avenue (see above).

I kept waiting as her ELEC reports dribbled in to see the disbursements for billboard design, production and space rental. The total for a month's exposure could come to as much as $2,500 (or more, depending on the designer's fee).

Nothing ever came through.

I checked all Tracey's 2016 filings again over this past weekend. Nada. She was quite scrupulous about reporting expenses -- except for the billboard and a number of mailings (at at least $3,400 each).

So, we have a mystery. Did Tracey fully and completely declare all her campaign donations and expenses?

Even if the billboard and some of the mailings were paid for by a donor or donors, Tracey was required by ELEC to report those items as in-kind contributions, whe she evidently did not.

Right away, we are starting off the campaign season with a trust issue.

Has Tracey Brown knowingly misled not only the ELEC officials, but her supporters and the community at large.

Trust is what makes it all work. Can Tracey Brown be trusted?

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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