Hoboken Freeholder Anthony Romano (D-5) raised nearly $115,000 to date according to his 29-day report filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, though he only has a little over $10,000 on hand.
According to the report, which is signed and dated on October 10th, Romano raised $114,850 to date, which includes a $28,200 loan from himself.
Romano faced scrutiny from election season nemesis 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco on the subject at yesterday’s mayoral debate moderated by this reporter, but he was quick to return fire during the tense exchange.
“Freeholder Romano: let the people judge? You’ve failed to submit your ELEC reports, not only for the 29-day pre, but also for the 20-day post-Freeholder election,” DeFusco said after the panel was asked a question about the influx of campaign cash into Hoboken this election cycle.
“You were late and deficient in submitting your D-1 form. You a have a truck going around town with your face on it, you have newspaper ads, ads in the Yankees game, yet you fail to have submitted that ELEC report: that’s in clear violation of state law and it’s concerning because we don’t know where your money is coming from.”
Romano doubled down that his report has been filed, questioning how DeFusco, the top fundraiser in the Hoboken mayor’s race was able to garner so much support with labor unions.
“Well, that’s very simple. The report is filed,” Romano said.
“Can you produce it sir,” DeFusco quipped back.
“Sure,” Romano said.
“Today?.” DeFusco continued.
“Sure,” Romano repeated.
“It’s been sent, John Heinis I think even has it. But my question to you councilman, the building trades unions, I wonder what promises you made, would you like ‘em to build 74-story towers? You should think about that,” Romano exclaimed.
DeFusco did not like that assertion one bit.
“Zero sir, I’m not an old school Hoboken politician like yourself. Zero promises were made and you should be ashamed of yourself.”
While this reporter was not in possession of Romano’s 29-day report yesterday morning, the campaign sent over a copy hours after the debate conclude.
However, the report was not available on NJ ELEC’s website until this morning, which says they did not receive the report until Friday October 20th.
Romano campaign manager Pablo Fonseca has previously said that the Romano team is in full compliance with ELEC laws, while NJ ELEC deputy director Joe Donohue said it is a case by case basis to determine how and when the agency issues fines.
In his disbursements, Romano does account for both newspaper and TV advertising, paying the Hudson Reporter $4,736.55 on September 15th then another $1,000 on October 6th.
Additionally, “Joey Creative” was paid $4,100 for TV/media on October 6th.
As far as contributions are concerned, the retired police captain received a fair amount of support from the law enforcement community.
Hoboken PBA Local No. 2 contributed $500 on September 14th, the same amount they gave to DeFusco and Council President Jen Giattino, while the Jersey City Police Superior Officers Association, as well as the Port Authority PBA donated a total of $3,000.
The JCPSOA gave $1,000 on July 24th, while the Port Authority PBA chipped in $2,000 on September 5th. Robert Kearns, the president of the JCPSOA, added another $5,000 to Romano’s campaign – making a $250 donation on July 24th and September 13th.
Paying dozens of different campaign workers on a consistent basis, Romano has spent a significant portion of what he has raised already, with $10,318 on hand as of earlier this month.
However, he has hosted several events since then and has several more lined up before the November 7th election.