Six of the city’s nine school board candidates have failed to timely file their campaign finance reports, according to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) records.
School board candidates Emanuel Capers, Corey Teague, Joseph Atallo, Manny Martinez, and Flavio Rivera have not filed any campaign finance documents with ELEC.
School board president Christopher Irving opened a campaign depository in late October, but has neither filed a sworn statement nor submitted the two pre-election reports. The state has not received his 29-day nor 11-day reports, according to the state’s virtual campaign report system.
Only two candidates – Kenneth Simmons and Stacy Coleman — are in compliance with their campaign filings.
Coleman filed both the 29-day pre-election and the 11-day pre-election reports. She raised $4,390, according to her 29-day report. She spent $3,676 mostly on her campaign kick-off and campaign flyers, according to her reports.
Simmons filed a sworn statement that his campaign will not spend more than $4,500 in this year’s school board election.
The state received a pre-election report from Kerr. He raised $3,339 and spent $2,633, according to his report. He spent much of his campaign cash on a fundraiser at La Neve’s and lawn signs, according to his report.
Kerr said he filed one report for both filing periods. His report did not indicate whether it was for the 29-day or the 11-day. He explained he did not have any funds and did not make any expenditures to report in a 29-day report.
Teague said his campaign has raised and spent very little money. He said his campaign raised $3,000 or so. He intends on filing a sworn statement, he said.
“I’m going to put that paperwork in,” he said. “I don’t really have any machine support.”
“We’re doing them now,” said Capers when asked about his filings. He too said he plans on submitting a sworn statement. He said his campaign spent roughly $2,100.
The timely filing of campaign finance reports ensure transparency in elections by allowing voters to determine the source of a candidate’s funds and the manner in which those funds have been expended.
Martinez, Atallo, and Irving did not respond to messages seeking their comments for this story. Rivera said he was attending a seminar when called for comments.
The school board president has run the most active campaign out of all nine candidates. He has held multiple fundraisers, has mailed out multiple mailers, and has multiple billboards promoting his candidacy.
“Everybody should be filing to let people know where your funds are coming from,” said Kerr.
This report was updated on November 5th, 2016 at 9:30 p.m.