Smith campaign holds press conference about voter fraud
Jun 04, 2014 | 3278 views | 2 2 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BAYONNE -- The Smith for mayor campaign held a press conference on Wednesday to allege voter fraud on the part of the Davis campaign in the upcoming runoff.
BAYONNE -- The Smith for mayor campaign held a press conference on Wednesday to allege voter fraud on the part of the Davis campaign in the upcoming runoff.
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BAYONNE – Representatives of Mayor Mark Smith’s Moving Bayonne Forward campaign held a news conference outside a Broadway nail salon on Wedneday alleging that members of the opposition camp have allegedly engaged in fraud by registering out-of-town voters for the municipal runoff.

Campaign manager Jason O’Donnell and campaign spokesman Michael Makarski produced a witness statement that alleged that the owner of a Bayonne nail salon was asked by a James Davis campaign representative to register to vote in the upcoming runoff election even though she doesn't live in town. She is a Fort Lee resident.

The runoff election will be held next week.

The witness to the alleged fraud, Bayonne resident Patricia Kraszyk, was a client of the salon when she saw a campaign worker for candidate James Davis hand a completed document to the salon owner, telling her she can vote. However, the business owner doesn't live in town. Krasyk said she asked the salon owner about this, and the owner told her that the campaign worker said it didn't matter that she doesn't live here, and used her business address.

(Kraszyk also happens to work for the Bayonne Community News and Hudson Reporter as advertising manager.)

“We’re here to tell the story of absolute voter fraud here in Bayonne,” Makarski said. “This is a clear case of voter fraud.”

O’Donnell said that the Board of Elections had investigated the allegation, and that the salon owner's name had subsequently been taken off the voting rolls. He further stated that an investigation by the Smith campaign had turned up an additional 30 questionable voter registrations, and that they had turned those names over to the Board of Elections for scrutiny as well.

Donna DeSomma, secretary at the Hudson County Superintendent of Elections Office, confirmed that the registration had been investigated and found to be illegal. She also confirmed that the salon owner herself was not aware that the registration was illegal.

John Brzozowski, acting county superintendent of elections, said that any allegations of voter fraud that are believed to have merit are forwarded to the county prosecutor’s office and that the state attorney general is then notified.

Neither Smith nor Davis won more than 50 percent of the vote in the regular May 13 election and thus are now in a runoff on June 10. Four council seats are also being contested in the runoff.

The Davis campaign has been called for comment and their response will be posted if it is received. – Joseph Passantino

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bayonnebobby12
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June 05, 2014
Okay so Little Leo caught on audio discussing voter's fraud with another fireman. So Team Smith 3 days after the audio is broadcasted states a volunteer of an unknown gender,sex,age ethnity but a Davis supporter tells someone to register. Considering registration closed 15 days ago why now, because they are getting slaughtered with the voter fraud audio
bayonnebobby12
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June 07, 2014
now it's revealed the voter fraud by Smith was a fraud

Battleground Bayonne: Sources: Signer of anti-Davis voter fraud complaint tied to newspaper with alleged contract with Smith-led city government

By Mark Bonamo | June 7th, 2014 - 8:01am

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BAYONNE – The signer of an affidavit claiming that the campaign of Bayonne mayoral candidate Jimmy Davis has committed voter fraud in his effort to unseat incumbent Mayor Mark Smith is tied to a local newspaper that reportedly has a contract with the Smith-led city administration, according to sources.

PolitickerNJ.com previously reported that a copy of a signed and notarized witness statement provided to the website by the Smith campaign outlines an alleged voter fraud incident that took place less than three weeks ago.

"On Monday, May 19, 2014 I was getting a pedicure at Aphrodite Nails, a newly opened nail salon at 444 Broadway on the corner of 21st St.," the letter, written by reported witness Patricia Kraszyk, reads.

"As I was sitting in the chair, a woman wearing a Davis for Mayor campaign shirt came into the salon and handed the owner a slip of paper. She said, "here you go, you are all set." The owner, whom I know as Sarah Moon replied, but I couldn't hear what she said. The campaign worker responded, "No, that's all you need. You can vote." and left the salon.

"Before I left, I spoke with Sarah and asked if she was registered. She said yes, that the Davis people came in and handled everything for her. I then asked if she lived in Bayonne and she said no. I told her that she couldn't vote in the election unless she lived in Bayonne, but she said that the Davis worker told her it didn't matter. They said she could use the business address to register. I told her that was illegal and that they can't do that.

"It's important to note that there is no language barrier with Sarah Moon. I believe she is Korean, but speaks perfect English and Spanish. She was articulate in her explanation of the facts to me."

A forwarded email written on June 2 by Donna DeSomma, a secretary at the Hudson County Superintendent of Elections Office, to William Northgrave, a Smith campaign attorney, confirms that the county elections office investigated the registration of Moon.

"[Moon] informed our investigator that she did in fact register from her place of business but did so not knowing that it is illegal. She also stated that she is a resident of Fort Lee," the email reads.

"Since the books have already been printed we have placed a sticker on her signature line advising that Ms. Moon must show proof of residence should she attempt to vote on June 10th. We have also removed her from our files as “out of county"," the email concludes.

John Brzozowski, the acting Hudson County Superintendent of Elections, is CCd on the email.

A Internet search of the last name "Kraszyk" leads to the Linkedin page of Tish Kraszyk, who is identified at the advertising manager at the Hudson Reporter. The Hudson Reporter, according to its website, was founded in 1983 and publishes nine weekly newspapers, "capturing the highest home-delivered circulation of any newspaper in Hudson County." The Hudson Reporter website also states that Kraszyk is the local media organization's advertising manager.

Two Hudson County-based sources who requested anonymity told PolitickerNJ.com that the Hudson Reporter signed a contract with the City of Bayonne administration last year in order to at least partially pay for the production of a new Hudson Reporter magazine, Bayonne - Life on the Peninsula. The magazine's first issue was published in the spring of 2014, a few weeks before the May 13 Bayonne municipal election.

Smith is battling to beat back a surging Davis following the May 13 Bayonne municipal elections which left Smith barely ahead of Davis by a 49 percent to 47 percent margin and precipitated the June 10 runoff, just three days away.

In a letter to the editor published May 7 by the Hudson Reporter on the media organization's website, Kraszyk criticized the "evil campaign tactics" of a certain local publication.

"I’ve worked at The Hudson Reporter for almost 18 years and have handled the advertising for dozens of political candidates all over Hudson County," Kraszyk's letter reads. "I treat each candidate equally and with respect, regardless of my own personal political beliefs. I did this for the many years we lived in Jersey City and for the past almost nine years in Bayonne. I do not attend political fundraisers or contribute to political campaigns. I do not have the power to influence the editorial component of our newspapers.

"This week I was handed a copy of The Peninsula City Tribune, a “newspaper” that is nothing more than political propaganda, published to smear the current administration. My daughter, who is developmentally disabled and working in city hall, was referenced in this paper to allegedly show that the Bayonne Community News [a Hudson Reporter publication] receives “economic benefit” due to my daughter’s job. This cheap, political shot was repulsive, and has made this mother very angry and disappointed in our political system."

Kraszyk's daughter has a city job in the mailroom, according to the letter.

"She does not have a “no show” job," Kraszyk writes in the letter. "She’s on the job every day and works to the best of her ability."

"My husband and I have spent our lives defending our daughter against bullies and teaching her to stand up for herself," Kraszyk's letter continues. "Never in my wildest dreams would I have expected that we would have to defend her against intelligent, professional, fully functional adults. This is shameful.

"Three years ago, when I told Mayor Smith of our apprehension about our daughter being hired at City Hall, his response was “If I can’t help a kid like her, then I have no business being mayor.”

"Please consider the source of these evil campaign tactics when casting your vote next Tuesday and what they mean for the leadership of our city," Kraszyk's letter concludes.

In a phone interview with PolitickerNJ.com, Kraszyk stood up for her signature on the affidavit that claimed a Davis campaign worker had engaged in voter fraud.

"On the record, the affidavit speaks for itself. I was sitting there, and it's exactly what happened." Kraszyk said. "And I recorded it on the day it happened."

As for which entity paid to fund the publication of Bayonne - Life on the Peninsula, Kraszyk deferred the question to David Unger, co-publisher of the Hudson Reporter.

Unger subsequently deferred the funding question to Bayonne city authorities. However, Unger did speak out regarding Kraszyk's role in recent Bayonne mayoral campaign events.

"At no time did I have anything to do with [the affidavit signed by Kraszyk]," Unger told PolitickerNJ.com. "We determined that this was personal, in that [Kraszyk] in her letter, with full disclosure, stated that she works for us and has no input, or has nothing to do with, the editorial components of the paper. We decided to let her run it, and that's it. We viewed this as a personal response by [Kraszyk] to a personal attack on her family. And as a result, we didn't think it was ethically challenged."

Calls to city officials requesting information about whether the city government in any way directly funded Bayonne - A Life on the Peninsula were not immediately answered definitively on Friday. But Smith campaign spokesman Michael Makarski made it clear that he believed that the Davis campaign is ethically challenged.

"This is another example of Jimmy Davis' disgusting, dirty campaign and a blatant attempt at character assassination on an honest person who witnessed a clear act of voter fraud. Patricia Kraszyk has no association with the Smith campaign and is simply a Bayonne resident concerned about Jimmy Davis' slimy, illegal campaign tactics," said Makarski in an email. "She signed a sworn affidavit and her account was investigated thoroughly and found to be credible by the Hudson County Board of Elections, a division of the State Attorney General's Office, which took action to remove Davis' fraudulent voter from the rolls. Any suggestion to the contrary is an ill-conceived attempt at covering up Jimmy Davis' criminal act of voter fraud. As a sworn officer of the law, he should know better that this is a clear violation of his sworn oath."

But Davis campaign manager Joe DeMarco stated that is was the Smith campaign that was in violation of ethical standards.

"I am not surprised at all that the Smith camp would sink to such levels as to make false allegations against us. They've been doing so since day one," DeMarco said. "I'm just happy that finally they got their hand caught in the cookie jar."