New signage on a storefront at 117 S. Warren Street proclaims that space as “Councilwoman (Kathy) McBride’s Constituents Center.” The city seal is depicted on the sign and on one of the large windows.
This is a pretty bold move for the councilwoman, especially in light of her recent gaffe of falling for an April’s Fool’s joke and the as yet unsubstantiated claims of a gunfire incident on her street earlier this month.
It’s also a curious move for a candidate who has yet to report any money in her campaign treasury and who reportedly did not raise or spend more than $4,000 during the 2010 election campaign or the subsequent runoff.
McBride filed her organizational document designating her daughter, Yakial, as campaign treasurer in March. She held a fund raising event that same month. However, as of close of business on April 29, there were no quarterly reports showing income, expenditures or other financial data on the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission website. This was two full weeks past the April 15 deadline for filing the first quarter report.
So, just what is the councilwoman up to?
In response to an email sent asking about Ms. McBride’s intentions in the upcoming elections, why open an office now and how was she paying for it, the Councilwoman simply replied, “The office is as stated.” She went on to stress that they are looking for volunteers to staff it.
McBride is not the only announced candidate and/or incumbent to not be in compliance with the NJ ELEC reporting laws.
The current mayor has failed to file any quarterly reports over the past 12 months. He did file a D-1 in July of 2012 designating himself as his own campaign treasurer, replacing his nephew who had been listed as the treasurer. That was the last piece of paperwork filed by him.
Another candidate serving as his own treasurer is Patrick Hall. Hall, who was the first candidate to announce his run for mayor, has been good about filing his reports in a timely manner. He has already loaned his campaign $1,124.75. That is 27 percent of the $4,111.29 that he has raised to date. Hall has spent $2,273.05 on campaign expenses in the nine months since he announced his candidacy.
Mercer County Deputy Clerk Walker Worthy has also announced his intention to run for mayor. His initial quarterly report shows that his mother, Jerlene Worthy, has loaned the campaign $1,390.15. Worthy has also received a $500 contribution from Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman’s campaign treasury and an equal amount from Margaret Martin. Ms. Martin lists her occupation as the Office Manager for the NJ State Democratic Committee.
Worthy and Hall are the only two announced mayoral candidates to have filed their first quarter reports.
Eric Jackson and Jim Golden have both filed their D-1 statements designating a treasurer and bank account for their campaigns but nothing further. Jackson, it should be noted, never completed his reporting from the 2010 campaign as required. In a conversation earlier this month, he stated it was an oversight that he was working on correcting.
Paul Perez-Barroso has announced his intention to seek the office of mayor but has yet to have any NJ ELEC reports show up on the website.
Of the incumbent council members, Alex Bethea has filed nothing with the state. Councilwoman At Large Phyllis Holly-Ward and South Ward Councilman George Muschal have pretty much kept up with the reporting requirements. For some reason, Muschal’s reports are filed under the 2010 election year not 2014, but at least they are there. He has yet to file the report due April 15.
North Ward Councilwoman Marge Caldwell-Wilson is missing some reports that were to be filed by her previous treasurer. She is up to date since designating a new treasurer and is reported to be working on catching up with the missing filings.
West Ward Councilman Zachary Chester never officially finalized his reporting form the 2010 campaign nor has he made any quarterly reports in the interim as the law requires. He has filed his D-1 again designating Ed Hill as the campaign treasurer.
East Ward Councilwoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson filed a final report for the 2010 campaign but did not file any reports between then and April 24 of this year even though she held a fundraiser last summer.