ELEC: Super PACs once again push Jersey City BOE election spending into six figures


The Fairer NJ and Garden State Forward super PACs are once again pushing Jersey City Board of Education election spending into six figures as the race enter it’s final race.

The Jersey City Board of Education Headquarters at 346 Claremont Ave. Photo via Google Maps.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

GSF, the New Jersey Education Association’s PAC, reports paying $153,842.97 to Caldwell-based Flashpoint Strategies on mail, literature, and digital ads, according to their October 25th filing with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.

They list no other disbursements and list their “total for election” as $521,996.55, though no other reports related to Jersey City are available on ELEC’s online database.

The “Education Matters” ticket, compromised of Natalia Ioffe, Paula Jones-Watson, and Younass Mohamed Barkouch and backed by the Jersey City Education Association, report just $3,300 raised and no expenditures.

Ioffe, who ran as an independent in 2016 and 2019, contributed $1,800 from her personal campaign account and the JCEA donated $1,500.

As for Fairer NJ, their October 12th campaign finance report shows $105,000 raised this year and $72,781.32 spent.

The PAC has ties to LeFrak and Mack-Cali, which is made evident by the fact that all of their donations come from development LLCs or corporations.

For example, 25 River Drive Reality Corp, Aqua Urban Renewal Co LLC, Blue Edge Property LLC, Ellipse Building LLC, and Embankment Property LLC all gave about $5,000 a piece on August 20th.

They are also paid a little over two dozen people for “field services,” likely paid canvassers, to work on September 27th. Most people were paid between $100 to $200 each.

Meanwhile, the “Change for Children” ticket of Thyson Hailey, Doris Toni Ervin, and Erika Baez, raised $70,700 and spent $34,280.70 this year, according to their October 25th filing.

They received nine donations of $7,800 from developer-linked entities, including Newport Associate Development Inc., Newport Associates Inc., and Newport Site Realty Corp. Lefrak was instrumental in redeveloping the Newport section of the waterfront in the 1980s.

The heavy spending is nothing new in recent memory, with the 2019 Jersey City school board race breaking the state record for most expensive BOE election in history with  $704,885 raised and $590,019 spent.

Out of the three independent candidates, Vinesh Modi, Asad Dar, and Afaf Muhammed, Muhammed is the only one who filed, raising $1,024.81 and spending $478.81, his October 10th filing shows.

The nine candidates will compete for three, three-year terms on November 2nd in an election where no incumbents are seeking re-election.

Early voting is also underway through Halloween.

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