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GOP Joins Democrats in Funding Campaign Via Professionals' Donations

Both sides have taken in thousands from attorneys, engineering firms and other professionals.

The West Deptford Republicans have taken a page from the Democrats’ playbook—one they disdained last year—raising the bulk of their campaign fund ahead of the June primary from large donations from several of the township’s new professionals, state Election Law Enforcement Commission reports reveal.

The Republicans are sitting on $11,150.75 at the moment, the 29-day pre-election report shows, and more than two-thirds of that has come from professionals’ donations.

The largest contributions have come from the law firm of Capehart and Scatchard, insurance broker Anderson Jackson Metts and engineers Richard Alaimo Associates, all of which donated $2,000 each so far to the fund backing Republican challenger Jeff Hansen.

In addition, township auditor Holman and Frenia kicked in $1,000, and planning board engineers Pennoni Associates and special counsel for redevelopment Mark Cimino donated $500 each. Gary Stuhltrager, the former Republican Assemblyman who shares space with Cimino, also contributed $500.

After lambasting the Democrats for doing the same in the 2011 township committee race—committeeman Sam Cianfarini called large donations from professionals “”—the Republicans backed off that hard-line stance this year.

The issue lies in the imbalance, Mayor Ray Chintall said, contrasting his party’s taking several thousand dollars versus the Democrats raking in tens of thousands—sometimes in a single shot, as with one dinner that brought the Democrats $32,000 last year—to fund their efforts.

“There is a difference,” Chintall said. “Campaign donations are a part of the process.”

But West Deptford Democratic Party chair Gerald White called it clear evidence of a double standard, no matter what the Republicans said this time around.

“Their pay-to-play principles only applied to Democrats,” White said.

It didn’t surprise White the Republicans have made a shift in their previous stance regarding donations from professionals, either.

“Campaigns are an expensive proposition,” White said.

To that point, the Democrats have already raised just over $19,000 for Denice DiCarlo’s campaign, with many of the same names that drove DiCarlo’s run with Hunter Kintzing last year making a reappearance, from former solicitor Michael Angelini’s law firm to former township engineers T&M Associates, among many other professional firms.

Her opponent went so far as to say he had no general issue with either side raising money from professional firms.

“As long as everything’s above-board and legal,” Hansen said. “Whatever the rules are set in front of you, you play by them.”

Those rules are spelled out in the state’s pay-to-play law, which governs contracts in excess of $17,500 where there isn’t a fair and open process for bidding. That law doesn’t cover donations by any of the township’s professionals, or any other professional firms who could potentially jockey for a seat at the table, because they’re all open-bid positions.

The Democrats’ connections to law firms representing both Sunoco and the township, given the ongoing property tax dispute at , go over the edge of what’s ethically acceptable, Hansen said.

“There’s a definite conflict there,” he said.

Peanut Head May 23, 2012 at 12:58 PM
Take your head out of the peanut butter and wise Hayden.
Proud D May 23, 2012 at 01:15 PM
I urge you all to go back and read the Nov. 2, 2011 Patch article, "Township Professionals' Donations at Issue in West Deptford Committee Race." How quickly things have changed. In the article our esteemed Committeeman Cianfarini is quoted as saying, “We’ve refused [all donations]...I am not beholden to anyone besides the people of this township.” I guess that was nothing but hot air as he is now beholden to Capehart, AJM, Dick Alaimo and the Burlington Co. GOP. Also take a look at the comments from the Republican supporters slamming the Democrats for taking contributions from the Twp Professionals. Do any of them care to comment on what is going on now?
Jiffy May 23, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Nothing but campaign propaganda and lies that come from Sam and Ray. Now Hansen is getting in on the act with his bs. Where is Sam aka WDNeedshelp now? He should be a muslim cleric not a sunday school teacher as he claims. Nothing but venom,hatred, and bs spews from his mouth.
Proud D May 23, 2012 at 01:33 PM
These two are real gems. #16 on their "20 Point Platform": Eliminate pay to play. I guess they'll plan on getting that done after the war chest is nice and full.
John Hayden May 23, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Anonymous and illiterate. Your parents must be so proud.
Proud D May 23, 2012 at 04:01 PM
More importantly, John, what are your thoughts on this article?
demssuk May 23, 2012 at 05:33 PM
politicians at it's best especially the dumocrats. they have taken more donating money than anyone.people are struggling wondering where their last meal is coming from and all the democrats worry about is funding for their campaign. This november is going to be the downfall of the greedy democrats. as far as west deptford election denise couldn't hold hansen's jock strap,she's going down that little weasel.donna she's blonde that tells the story OH BY THE WAY IT PROVES THAT B LITTLE IS ALL DEMOCRAT. never says anything bad against those demys you ought to take the patch and go somewhere else with like sweeney's backyard
Ski Ulinski May 23, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Typical D muddy water statements We have seen the corrupt money wasting and influence buying D's have done for years mostly expanded during whats her faces term. Republicans can be held accountable when and if the same kind of attitude and actions prevail Innocent until proven guilty. It's a bitch to lose the purse strings isn't it proud d
John Hayden May 23, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Unfortunately, it takes money to win an election, so I understand the need to accept donations from anyone who is willing to give them to you. But, at the same time, if you are going to take a principled stance, you should be prepared to stick to it. I do find it repugnant that Democrats take such large contributions from companies/firms. But the Mayor's rationalization that it's O.K. when the GOP does it because they don't accept nearly as much money does not make it acceptable. I was with them last year when they only accepted nominal amounts from local companies ($300, according to the article you mention below), and if I were someone they listened to, I would advise them to get back to that practice fast.
ThomasJefferson May 23, 2012 at 09:47 PM
Large or small it is STILL Pay to Play, seriously, our new solicitors law firm donated the max allowable and that is not a problem????
WDNeedsHelp May 24, 2012 at 02:58 PM
The big difference, the Democrat Professionals were in there to line their pockets and run up the debt along with White, Docimo and Shields. The Republican professionals are in there to undo the damage from the Dems and prevent it from happening again....Remember folks the Republican's Chintall and Cianfarini are NOT taking a salary. They have created scholarships and are funding them with their Township salaries. Now all you Dem naysayers, please explain their motivation other than to make sure no other Dem's get back in to office to run amok?
WDNeedsHelp May 24, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Right here Jiffy, see the comments below...and let's not forget Sam and Ray had a 20K campaign last year and Dicarlo and Kintzing had a 145K war chest. I don't see a problem with the Republicans leveling the playing field or are you in favor of the lopsided Dem campaigns of the last 24 years that left us in $142 million of debt and looking at an additional $90 million tax appeal? Whats the matter, don't like it what someone else plays your game? The donations are legal on both sides, the Dems just didn't like getting their buts handed to them by C&C last year after they spent a 5 to 1 difference of the Republicans. You Dem's are a joke....
WDNeedsHelp May 24, 2012 at 03:14 PM
John, unfortunately the Dem's will never play fair, so the only way to best them is to play them on the same field with the same rules... Living up to a standard when your competition will simply do an "end around" on you is what led us to the debt we now face. 24 years of Dem control has ruined or town financially and we cannot allow them to regain power ever again. Their tax and spend methods will be their undoing.....
Ernest Kraus May 24, 2012 at 04:29 PM
It seems that by not listing the facts and exactly how much money was contributed to both sides, that there is a high degree of journalistic disengenuosity. Brian, why do others have to state how much was raised for the last campaign rather then you, the reporter? While there is the constant carping because long term vendors were eliminated by new bidders, the fact of the matter is that the new suppliers were the lowest bid as well as the ones that supplied all the requested information. I wonder why is that a problem to not only the reporter (who does sign his name), but to all those that hide their identity. Look at the facts for the facts are looking at you.
Bryan Littel (Editor) May 24, 2012 at 05:35 PM
This story concerns this year's donations, Ernest, and both sides are clearly spelled out in the story - $11K for the Republicans so far, $19K for the Democrats. As for last year, that's referenced in the mayor's comparison, and the full article I wrote on that issue is linked. I'm not sure where you think I have a problem with professionals changing (and while they're a lower bid than previous, I don't know that they're the lowest) or the donations. Fact is, the Republicans called this sort of thing bad practice last year, and their actions speak differently now.
Proud D May 24, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Ernest, this is the very practice that C&C promised the people of West Deptford they would get rid of and they have not. Just one of many things in their "20 Point Platform" that they have not delivered and have seemingly made no attempt to deliver. That platform is a joke and your defense of this practice is comical.
ThomasJefferson May 24, 2012 at 10:26 PM
Mr. Kraus, It would seem that You are the one with blind loyalty. Obviously,many people voted against party lines last year in favor of change. NO CHANGE HAS HAPPENED except the names on the doors and I am still waiting for a valid tax impact statement for the Sunoco settlement that isn't a Cianfarini power point filled with wishful thinking. The statement by WDNeedsHelp is ludicrous. Dems are Bad, Reps are good. Really..Our new solicitor cost us quite a bit of money court when it was determined that the Sunoco Deal was illegal as it stood and OPRA was violated. That is just dandy. .. Further, Ms. DiCarlo and Ms Szymborski are far more willing to work with the new mayor than he is to work with them. Shame on him. He is the one asking why we can't all get along and be nice. PS: Kudos to Ms Dicarlo, the Field of Dreams park looks amazing..
wd harry 69 May 24, 2012 at 10:43 PM
wait to you see what kind of condition the park will be in next year.guaranteed no money will come in to keep with the conditioning of the park.NICE CLEAN PARK FOR THE DRUGGIES. as long as the rep are in controll we won't have to worry about illegal tendering of our tax dollar people on here always bitch but what I don't understand if you don't like the way the township is being governed hoe come you idiots don't move where you won't have to moan and bitch and whine and cry. AND BY THE WAY THERE WAS A CHANGE. GOT RID OF THE DEMOCRATIC POWER IN THIS TOWN.Ray & Sam keep up the good work you're putting WEST DEPTFORD back to where it should be.you'd be surprised how many democratic businesses are donating to the jeff hansen campaighn

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