Lesniak super PAC that sought to get Davis re-elected paid Caddle $2,500 in December


A super PAC founded by former state Senator Ray Lesniak that sought to get Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis elected to a third term paid political operative Sean Caddle $2,500 last year, about five weeks before he pleaded guilty to a murder-for hire scheme.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The super PAC, Government for the People, was founded by Lesniak on August 31st, 2020 and raised $55,000 by April 15th of the following year, according to reports filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.

The largest donation of $25,000 came from Wasseem Boraie, of Albany Street Urban Renewal LLC, on January 22nd, who sits on the Harbor Station South Special Improvement District board and is also the vice president of Boraie Development.

Sources with knowledge of the situation, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, said Boraie has a pending planning board application for a large-scale residential unit development on the former Military Ocean Terminal that was expected to be heard prior to the May 10th municipal elections.

Boraie could not be reached at his office this afternoon.

On Thursday, planning board documents for the April 12th meeting obtained by HCV show that the three-phase project calls for five residential buildings with 1,250 multi-dwelling units, up to 10,000 square feet of retail, two parking structures, and a landscaped park, among other things.

The project is represented by the Weiner Law Group, the Parsippany-based firm where Lesniak used to be a partner. Firm Partner Paul Weiner also donated $10,000 to the PAC.

A December 15th expense shows that Sean Caddle, also a former Lesniak staffer, was paid a $2,500 consulting fee. Caddle pleading guilty on January 25th to paying two hitmen to kill Jersey City politico Michael Galdieri back in 2014.

Lesniak told Politico, who first reported the story in a subscriber exclusive, the payment was an “initial retainer that got shut down when I found out that he admitted to committing murder.”

He also confirmed about $35,000 was spent on polling Bayonne issues, which a matching expenditure on NJ ELEC links to the firm Sole Strategies, and that he was no longer getting involved in the election due to Caddle.

Davis faces a spirited challenge from Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski this spring, where Dr. Mitchell Brown is also running – he came in a distant third in 2018, when Ashe-Nadrowski ran with Davis (as she did in 2014).

Expectedly, she blistered her political adversary over the PAC, which last filed on January 19th of this year and showed just $2,500 cash on hand.

“As I have said for the past year-and-a-half, City Hall is broken. Mayor Davis no longer listens to the concerns of residents but instead, only cares about the interest of big developers and political hacks. This is just another example of his secret back room deals where he sells us out to out of towners,” Ashe-Nadrowski told HCV.

Davis campaign spokesman Phil Swibinski said the mayor “was absolutely disgusted” about the case against Caddle and was encouraged that the PAC wouldn’t be involved in the race.

“As a retired police officer, Mayor Davis was absolutely disgusted to hear about Sean Caddle’s alleged crimes and he’s glad to hear that this group will not be engaging in the city’s election.”

Caddle is no stranger to Hudson County politics, getting involved since at least the early 2000s, with a super PAC, the Committee for Economic Growth and Social Justice, having local ties the year he admitted to having Galdieri killed.

That same PAC also spent money on Davis during the June 2014 runoff, where he ultimately unseated Mark Smith, with an engineering firm who contributed to the PAC getting a six-figure contract before the end of the year.


Editor’s note: This story was updated on Wednesday morning to reflect specifics of Sam Boraie’s development proposal.

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