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Shift to November Leaves School Elections With Little Cash, Less Attention

No longer requiring public OK of budgets also cited as factor in declining interest, drop in campaign spending.

Written by John Mooney, NJ Spotlight


With most them now moved from April to November, New Jersey’s school elections have not only become the quiet cousins in statewide elections, but they continue to see less and less political cash as well.

According to data from the state’s Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC), only $550,000 was spent statewide on local school-board races in April and November, continuing a drop from previous years. More than $1 million was raised, but that, too, was a drop from the peak of more than $1.5 million in 2011.

The bulk of that spending this year was in Union County races, and a quarter overall was spent just in Elizabeth, where school board politics are epic. For the first time ever, a super PAC tied to state Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Union) contributed to one school-board ticket in the November election.

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Hoboken Answer December 12, 2013 at 07:33 AM
Someone should tell the author that voting is up in the last two BoE elections substantially. Is it bad to see major increases in voter turnout with lower election spending? Clearly it means voters are more engaged on voting the entire ballot. In Hoboken, it means the BoE is getting far more attention. The Old Guard in Hoboken feared higher turnout in November elections. It's harder to buy the votes needed to win now. They weren't wrong.
Outofcontrol December 12, 2013 at 09:29 AM
Actually, Hoboken Answer, look at the historic numbers and voter turnout is DOWN in the last two elections. Yes, the overall turnout for the General Elections represented a larger turnout overall, but if you look at the number of people who voted for school board candidates, there was a significant drop off. Spin all you want, but moving the election to November didn't increase voter participation in the election but it did serve to deny the taxpayers the opportunity to vote on the school budget. The fact is that when voters were given the opportunity to vote on the budget, your friends at Kids First managed to keep taxes flat, but when they knew that they didn't need voter approval, they whacked us with a huge 4% tax increase!
Hoboken Answer December 12, 2013 at 07:35 PM
Nope more BoE voters the last two elections then the spring. Last year was Presidential so it was higher turnout of course than a Gov's race but both are higher than an April race. Which of course was THEE REASON the corruptocrat Old Guard fought to the death in trying to see that NOT HAPPEN! There's a limit to how many votes you can buy in Hoboken (many aren't for sale LOL). The increase was an adjustment after having a flat tax rate for the preceding THREE YEARS. But you knew that. Get over yourself, you can't lie your way out of that paper bag.
MadisonMonroe December 13, 2013 at 12:00 AM
The taxes were ADJUSTED? That is an Orwellian use of language.
Ojo Rojo December 13, 2013 at 06:25 AM
Well here is some plain vanilla language for you. If the people you supported had been in power the last few years, we'd have seen no-show, no work and wasteful jobs go to dozen of connected people at all levels of government. We'd see contracts go out to out of state vendors who never finish the work they were hired to do so they seek contract extension after extension. We'd see that hospital shut down and taxes go up by 100% to pay off those bonds in 1 year. We'd most likely be back under state control and possibly in bankruptcy. But no, we have responsible people in power who do try to control costs instead of gorging themselves on free steak dinners or any of 150 pages more of waste and mismanagement like in that audit you pretend doesn't exist. The people you support were screw ups and only involved in politics to benefit themselves and their friends . Thankfully they are on the outs and thankfully the voters have rejected both them and you!
MadisonMonroe December 13, 2013 at 04:31 PM
So if I read you right, Ojo, there was a lot of waste and corruption under the former school board regime. So one would conclude that there is a tremendous amount of fat to cut. Why then did the tax levy go UP 4%? We replaced one set of gluttons with another.
Ojo Rojo December 13, 2013 at 10:47 PM
How about you go look at the budget instead of pulling half-baked arguments out of where the sun don't shine. Face it, not one person you support could do the job better. They wouldn't even try. But if you want an answer, go look at the fall off in federal funding, the rise in enrollment in all the schools, insurance costs and other contributing factors. Then go compare that to the tens of millions the people you support tried to flush down the toilet and go think about how much higher your taxes would be if Mason, Russo & company had their way. Oh wait, why would you do that. You will never admit the people you support tried to steer this city off a cliff financially and straight into CH-9.
Scott M. Siegel December 14, 2013 at 03:14 PM
MM: Sequestration: http://www.hobokenhorse.com/2013/03/boe-taxes-rises-4-on-sequestration.html BTW: 4% over 4 years equals 1% per year average. If that is extrodinant than you and CG are clueless.

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