Hoboken Board of Education hopeful Leslie Norwood gave $9,000 to her employer’s political action committee in the past nine years, who are regular donors to Republicans in the House and Senate, campaign finance records show.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Norwood, the managing director and associate general counsel of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) and a part of the “Leadership that Listens” BOE team, has given $1,000 to the SIFMA PAC every year between 2013 and 2021, Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings show.
“SIFMA PAC is part of SIFMA’s government affairs program and is a legal mechanism to promote your interests on Capitol Hill by helping to support candidates that understand our industry,” their website says.
The PAC, which leans slightly right but still gives regularly to Democrats (with a roughly 57-43 differential between 2019 and 2020), gave House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) $7,500 during that election cycle – the most of any candidate.
Right behind him are U.S. Reps. Ted Budd (CA-13) and Frank Lucas (R-3), of North Carolina and Oklahoma, respectively, who received $7,000 and $6,500 from the PAC.
All three went on to question the legitimacy of President Joe Biden’s (D) win over Donald Trump (R) in 2020, among 147 Republicans in Congress who voted to overturn the election results, which DC-based outlet Sludge reported on last year.
That same cycle, Democrats U.S Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), former U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (NM-2), and Carolyn Maloney (NY-12) all received $1,000.
Norwood, a Democrat who does not have any role with the PAC, said on Thursday afternoon said that the donations referenced were prior to the presidential race in 2020 and not out of the ordinary for SIFMA employees.
“Contributions by SIFMA employees to its corporate SIFMA PAC are usual and customary, and I have no control or influence over the SIFMA PAC in any way, including any donations made by the SIFMA PAC,” she said.
“The SIFMA PAC donates to members of Congress on a bipartisan basis to committees of relevance to help to support candidates to understand the capital markets industry.”
While the November 8th Hoboken BOE race is a non-partisan affair, LTL teed off on their chief opposition, the “Kids First” team – which consists of one Republican and two unaffiliated voters – in a campaign mailer last week.
The literature, which only went to select Democrats, accused them of being right wing extremists since Pavel Sokolov allegedly supported Trump in 2020, while Donna Magen and Cindy Wiegand were depicted as anti-maskers who did not take COVID-19 seriously.
This came after the Hoboken Democratic Committee’s executive committee called on their Republican counterparts not to get involved in the race, since their chair, Joe Branco, is also managing the Kids First campaign and they share the same address – which is his office in North Bergen.
Since then, the two councilmen on the HDC exec committee, 5th Ward representative Phil Cohen and at-Large representative Joe Quintero, endorsed the LTL team.
Speaking on behalf of Kids First, Branco said the team wasn’t going to comment on the heart of the matter here since they are focused on running an issue-based campaign until the end.
“We will not comment on personal actions or political affiliations of individuals running even if they highlight hypocrisy. We are running because we want to stop divisiveness in our community beginning with the election process,” he said in a statement.
“We want to unite our school system and our community. We stand behind our belief that we can be better, together.”
Two independent candidates, Patricia Waiters and John Madigan, both Democrats, are also seeking a three-year term on the board when three seats are up for grabs in 13 days.
Editor’s note: This story was updated with a comment from Hoboken Board of Education candidate Leslie Norwood.