Entries in Federal Election Commission (3)

Monday
Jun182018

McCann: After victory… radio silence?

The primary over, most winning campaigns are asking supporters and potential supporters for money – to retire their debts from the primary as well as looking forward to the General Election in November.  But not John McCann.

His campaign has been silent.  Despite the fact that the McCann campaign is deeply in debt. 

According to the Federal Election Commission, as of May 16th, the McCann campaign had managed to raise just $61,155 in campaign contributions.  The rest of the campaign’s cash came from the candidate – who was convinced by his consultants to dump even more of his personal resources into the effort in the weeks and days leading up to the primary election.

So where is the effort to reach out to GOP donors who sat out this contentious primary?  And where is the effort to reach out to opponent Steve Lonegan and his donors?  After all, Lonegan was able to raise $429,803 in campaign contributions.  Even Jason Sarnoski – a Freeholder from Warren County who dropped out of the race – raised $75,998 before getting ending his campaign.

But rumors persist that many of McCann’s consultants and/or operatives were paid by sources outside his campaign.  This was a method used by former Essex County GOP boss Jim Treffinger in his abortive 2002 U.S. Senate race.  Treffinger’s race came to an end with his arrest and conviction on charges of political corruption.

That’s not the case with the Lonegan campaign.  Steve Lonegan’s General Consultants – former Ted Cruz political director Mark Campbell and Larry Weitzner (Jamestown Associates) – are clearly listed, as are a host of junior consultants, vendors, and operatives.  We are told that the law was followed in great detail.

One curious McCann connection that popped-up was with DC lobbyist Rosemary Becchi.  Becchi, who now resides in New Jersey, briefly considered challenging incumbent GOP Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ07).

Meanwhile, Democrat incumbent Congressman Josh Gottheimer had raised $4,444,660 by May 16th.  None of it loans from the candidate. 

With Democrat Gottheimer at +$4.4 million and McCann at -$260,000 is it any wonder that everyone who is anyone is downgrading this race, moving it off the board, and into the “safe Democrat” column.  Oh well… maybe next time?

Wednesday
Apr182018

Liberal Democrats rally around McCann's candidacy

After losing the coveted "Column One" position in Bergen County and filing a campaign receipts and expenditures report with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) in April that showed his campaign was deep in debt and not raising enough money to sustain itself, candidate John McCann apparently sent out an SOS to his friends and colleagues.  They responded in a big way.

A former Democrat candidate for Mayor of Bogota (Bergen County) stepped forward to accuse McCann's opponent of saying some pithy things about him a decade or so ago. McCann's campaign neglected to fully vet this Democrat (who they, oddly enough, describe as a "Christian conservative"), who recently attacked the policies of President Donald Trump and the Republican Party.   

This too is odd, coming from the McCann camp, which claims to be pro-Trump even as it puts forward "spokespersons" who are decidedly anti-Trump.  We get "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" thing, but McCann can only take this so far. 

Shambling forward came the "Ghost of losing the Legislature past" -- that impresario of the brylcreem set -- Paulie "the hand" DiGaetano. He reached out to the "mastermind" behind the Bridgegate scandal with the story about how McCann's opponent had said mean things about the guy who ran for Mayor as a Democrat. Mind you, this is the same DiGaetano who Senator Kevin O'Toole (R-Bergen, Passaic, Essex, Morris) claimed had threatened him.  It was widely reported on.  

O'Toole claims former assemblyman DiGaetano once threatened his life

https://www.politico.com/states/.../otoole-digaetano-once-threatened-my-life-102642

Jun 9, 2016 - Paul DiGaetano, a once powerful Republican assemblyman and former gubernatorial candidate, is on the cusp of returning to an active role in New Jersey politics for the first time in a decade.

O'Toole Claims DiGaetano Threatened His Life | Observer

observer.com/2016/06/otoole-claims-digaetano-threatened-his-life/

Jun 9, 2016 - Soon-to-retire state Senator Kevin O'Toole(R-40) has made claims that former Assemblyman and gubernatorial candidate PaulDiGaetano threatenedhis life during a one-on-one conversation the two men had over ten years ago as DiGaetanowas mounting his gubernatorial run. O'Toolespoke with ...

'I'll f---ing kill you!' Senator's chilling account of closed-door N.J. ...

www.nj.com/.../ill_f_-_-_-_ing_kill_you_senators_chilling_account_of_closed-door_...

Jun 10, 2016 - A sitting state senator says a candidate for governor demanded his endorsement, and threatenedto kill him if he refused. ... all the key parties. O'Toole(R-Essex) says the threatwas made in 2005 by Paul DiGaetano, then a leading Republican assemblyman dreaming about a long-shot bid for governor.

DiGaetano was in the middle of a campaign to be Bergen County GOP Chairman, so his opponent seized upon this to demand that he withdraw from the race: 

After O'Toole Threat Claims, Yudin Wants DiGaetano to Leave BCRO ...

observer.com/.../after-otoole-threat-claims-yudin-wants-digaetano-to-leave-bcro-race/

Jun 9, 2016 - Current Bergen County Republican Organization (BCRO) Chairman Bob Yudin is calling for his competitor, former Assemblyman Paul DiGaetano, to step out of the race for the position in the county organization. Yudin's call comes after allegations that DiGaetanoonce threatenedthe life of LD40 state ...

 Of course, DiGaetano disputed Senator O'Toole's claims and even threatened to sue him.

Bergen GOP chairman sues O'Toole over death-threat claims - Politico

https://www.politico.com/.../bergen-gop-chairman-sues-otoole-over-death-threat-clai...

Jun 15, 2017 - Republican Sen. Kevin O'Tooleclaimed DiGaetano, now the GOP chairman in Bergen County, delivered a “threatof great bodily harm” during a one-on-one conversation more than a decade ago.

We haven't heard any news about the lawsuit, but it appears as though Paulie "D" learned a new trick, because he is pulling the same thing on McCann's opponent that was pulled on him.  Now it is DiGaetano who is making phone calls on behalf of McCann, urging that their opponent be made to drop out of the race for the Republican nomination for Congress in the 5th District.  

You couldn't make this silly shit up.  As a county chairman DiGaetano has been a disaster.  Now he is calling GOP leaders asking them to join him in demanding someone drop out for being accused of saying actually far less than what he was accused of saying -- only the guy DiGaetano wants to drop out was accused by a Democrat and DiGaetano was accused by a Republican.  

"Stumbling John" McCann and his followers are real pieces of work.  

Tuesday
Apr102018

Did McCann pay for an endorsement? Aide says, "yes". 

John McCann's campaign did themselves a mischief again.  

This time by shopping around a story to the Washington Examiner about McCann's recent fundraiser with Sebastian Gorka, a former foreign policy advisor at the White House who was fired by the Trump administration after a few months on the job.  The Examiner story leads with the following headline:  

"Sebastian Gorka wades into New Jersey primary for another $5,000." 

The article ends with:

"Before supporting McCann in New Jersey, (Gorka) looked west, endorsed Republican Danny Tarkanian in Nevada — then a candidate for Senate — and collected another $5,000 in “speaking fees.” Asked in February whether he sold his endorsement to Tarkanian, Gorka said it was an “honorarium” and added that an endorsement sale “would be illegal.”

When reached for comment for this story, Gorka answered: “Get a life you hack. You’re not a journalist so I have nothing to say to you and I’m blocking this email.”

Brutal stuff... which led to this morning's Politico story in which McCann claims to deny everything his campaign told the Examiner: 

MCCANCEL PAYMENT -  The Washington Examiner, a conservative publication,  reports  via an anonymous campaign aide that 5th District Congressional candidate John McCann paid former Trump adviser Rick Gorka, who endorsed him and raised money for him, $5,000. McCann denies this on Twitter. "This not true. FEC filings will show my campaign did not pay Gorka a penny. The statement by my aide is simply not true." I've been waiting for McCann's FEC report because Gorka has a history of being paid not for his endorsement but, ahem,  a "speaking fee."  Of course, McCann or Gorka could have headed off that Washington Examiner story that McCann says is false if either had answered my question about whether Gorka was being paid when I asked it two weeks ago.

The conduct of the McCann campaign has raised eyebrows before.  Some key consultants on the campaign have bragged to some very reputable people about what they were being paid by McCann -- and yet their names never appeared on the McCann campaign's disclosures to the Federal Election Commission (FEC).  Now we have this Gorka affair.

Well, they don't call him "Stumbling John" McCann for nothing.  Shambolic.