PARSIPPANY — State and Federal filings from the Super PACs at the heart of the 2015 Parsippany GOP Primary are beginning to appear on NJ ELEC and IRS Websites, albeit very late. NJ’s Future First (NJFF) and it’s parent PAC, America’s Future First (AFF) submitted their first filings just days before the June 2015 Primary.
While both Super PACs incorporated in July 2014, the Internal Revenue Service did not receive AFF‘s first filings until May 11, 2015, just days before the June 2 Parsippany Primary. Per law, reports are due to the IRS quarterly; April 15, July 15, October 15, and January 31.
America’s Future First (AFF)
For the period July 1 through September 30, 2014 and due the following month, the IRS did not receive AFF‘s first filing until nearly 7 months after the due date. For that reporting period, $61,254.45 was raised by the Super PAC from donations from three different sources.
Adams, Rehmann & Heggan Associates, Inc, an engineering firm, donated to AFF six times during the first reporting period for a total contribution of $21,000. Adams, Rehmann & Heggan was recently awarded a no-bid professional services contract with the Township of Parsippany. According to the Parsippany Finance department, on July 1, 2015 Adams was paid $18,797.50 for engineering work provided to the township.
Another firm with close ties to the township also donated to AFF during the first reporting period. Fairview Insurance, the Township’s Insurance Broker of Record donated $35,254.45. Business & Government Insurance Agency, Inc of Woodbridge donated an additional $5,000 to the Super PAC.
For the reporting period October 1 through December 31, 2014 and due by January 31, 2015, AFF submitted its filing 4 months late and it was received by the IRS on May 11, 2015 as well.
During the second reporting period, AFF received $26,490.20 in donations from four different sources. The law firm of Archer & Greiner of Haddonfield, NJ, a firm the Star Ledger reported as being one of the largest legal clients of New Jersey under Governor Christie, donated $1000 to AFF. Adam’s Rehmann, & Heggan Associates donated an additional $12,950.00 which brought their total contribution for 2014 to $33,950.00.
Fairview Insurance donated an additional $540.20 during this reporting period, but the Director of Business Development for Fairview Insurance and liaison to the Township of Parsippany, Ryan Graham, son of the founder of the firm, donated $12,000.00 to the Super PAC during this reporting period.
It should be noted that the April 15 and July 15, 2015 contribution reports have still not been received by the IRS. The IRS confirmed this with Parsippany Focus this afternoon.
In 2014, aside from retaining the law firm Duane Morris, America’s Future First donated all of its funds to New Jersey’s First.
New Jersey’s Future First (NJFF)
Unlike its parent Super PAC, New Jersey’s Future First has not filed any reports with the IRS. However, NJFF must file disclosure forms with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (NJELEC). Since its inception, NJFF has been required to file 13 campaign disclosures with NJELEC. Nearly all were filed late, some nearly 10 months late.
In total, NJFF has received $158,200.00 in donations; all from one source. America’s Future First. Since AFF reported donations of $87,744.65 for 2014 but has not yet filed any reports for 2015, at least $70,455.35 was raised during the first part of 2015.
It is very difficult to decipher NJFF’s ELEC filings as each report has critical errors. For example, NJFF reports on all of its forms that no amount over $300 was ever received by the Super PAC, yet the exact opposite is true. In fact, through June 23, 2015 AFF has contributed $156,200.00 to NJFF, $155,900.00 more than the $300.00 contribution limit.
Among the Super PAC’s biggest expenses was Parsippany-Troy Hills Mayor James Barberio’s former political consultant, Alan Zakin. According to ELEC filings NJFF has paid Zakin $26,550 with what appears to be additional $3440 still due to him.
Another $76,500.00 was paid to Bluewater Operations out of Clifton, New Jersey. Bluewater provided the campaign headquarters for the Super PAC, paid the Super PAC’s campaign workers and provided “street money” in Parsippany during this past Parsippany GOP primary. Bluewater is no stranger to controversy.
Ryan Graham and Alan Zakin
As previously reported in Parsippany Focus, During an April 1, 2015 meeting with Morris County Republican Chairman John Sette, Freeholders John Krickus, Dave Scapicchio, and Denville Councilwoman Deborah Smith, Alan Zakin shared with the group that he was working with an organization spearheaded by Fairview Insurance Executive Ryan Graham that was going to spend money in the Parsippany Republican Primary to aid incumbent Councilman Mike dePierro and his team to help defeat incumbent Council President Paul Carifi, Jr. and his running mates. Although Super PACS may support candidates, there can be no interaction between the Super PAC and an individual candidate.
Although Councilman dePierro has steadfastly denied any involvement with either NJFF or AFF and denied that he had ever visited the Super Pac’s headquarters in Lake Parsippany, two witnesses have told Parsippany Focus that they witnessed both Mr. dePierro and his running mate former Councilman Vincent Ferrara at the Super PAC’s office.
“These Parsippany Super PACS are becoming a political cancer which must be stopped from spreading.” Councilman Louis Valori told Parsippany Focus recently. “These Super PACs are corrupting the foundation of honest government and it must stop now.”
Sources tell Parsippany Focus that the Election Law Enforcement Commission has opened an investigation into ELEC violations.