The truth about Weehawken and You financing

Dear Editor:

Allow us to correct some misunderstandings, distortions and outright lies about the sources and amounts of funding for the current campaign which have appeared in your paper.

A recent letter from Ms. Heather S. Harris, which mimics the false charges of the WIN candidates, states that the Weehawken and You political campaign has received $275,000 from “people who don’t live here.”

To set the record straight, we offer the following facts. There are two funds. One is the Weehawken and You Civic Association fund, formed over 15 years ago which has collected $143,000 over the last three-year period (an average of about $48,000 a year). Of that amount, $49,000 went towards payment of the organization’s annual Christmas parties attended by about 700 township residents every year. Those Christmas parties also served as fund raisers to help children with catastrophic illnesses. A total of $60,000 was distributed to a host of worthy causes such as the Volunteer First Aid Squad, Little Leagues, Girl Scouting, the Weehawken H.S. Booster Club and scholarships. Also, donations went to needy families with severe problems who lacked any other resources or did not qualify for conventional programs. A total of $12,000 went to pay for mailings on behalf of candidates at the federal, state and county levels who have played major roles in helping Weehawken with funding grants and allocations at every level. There is a remaining balance of $22,000 still in the treasury.

The second fund is the Weehawken and You Campaign Committee. That committee raised $98,000, a total of $78,000 net after fund raising and event expenses. Not a single penny of that amount was raised from waterfront developers, and the balance is being spent to fund the current election. In both cases, there were out-of-town individuals or vendors who have been contributing to the Weehawken and You Civic Assn. Fund for almost two decades. During the last 12 years there was no election but they continued to contribute because the money not only was going to worthy causes, but because they wanted stability and continuity in municipal government. Wasn’t it much better that we raise monies in both cases without imposing on Weehawken residents? It was a mechanism to have all the vendors, individuals and firms who do business with the town give something back to the community.

And, let us be clear. No one, no firm, no consultant, no citizen, no human being has ever received a contract or any other type of consideration in return for a contribution to either the Civic Association or the political fund. Our actions in administering both funds have been totally legal and moral. We have an impeccable record with the N.J. Election Law Enforcement Commission and our actions have never been questioned. In fact, in the case of the Weehawken and You Civic Association, it was our choice to file it as a PAC and undergo scrutiny that would not have required if we left it as plain civic association.

James Marchetti, Treasurer
Weehawken and You Civic Assn.
Stanley Iacono, Treasurer
Weehawken and You Campaign Committee


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