Board of Education

jfinnegan said:

DanDietrich said:

I saw that article.  You know, every election cycle we are lucky to have good candidates.  They always seem experienced.  Certainly they are caring.  And yet once elected nothing changes.  I always try to vote against the inner circle but it just goes on and on.

This is my conundrum. I want to vote for the 3 just to see if anything will change. I'm going to watch the 2nd and 3rd debates over the weekend to see if more substantial answers are provided by some candidates, because at the moment I'm split.

You are free to vote for any candidates.  In my opinion, voting for Meyer and Pancholy is a vote for the status quo.  Nothing will change. 


I agree, but that's not my point.  My point is that in the past the new members have somehow been absorbed by the system and become part of the problem.  I may not like the cabal, but I'm not sure that having members suing each other is really an improvement.


DanDietrich said:

I agree, but that's not my point.  My point is that in the past the new members have somehow been absorbed by the system and become part of the problem.  I may not like the cabal, but I'm not sure that having members suing each other is really an improvement.

Agreed. It's very difficult to sit through a meeting. I appreciate people volunteering for these positions. I can't figure out why people think acting like this during meetings is appropriate. 


Jeffrey_Bennett said:

My point is right that Maini is the Pancholy & Meyer manager for 2022 and likely a sizeable donor, if not at the $2k level.

From the latest disclosure forms:

The Eckert Gifford & Wilson ticket has received $5,000 from Fred Profeta (who wrote an endorsement letter in the Village Green).

Maini has contributed $600 to the Pancholy & Meyer ticket. Its largest donor is Jesse Cutler, who appears to be a partner at Skyer Law (a special education law firm), at $1,000.

ETA, for some context: Eckert Gifford & Wilson reported raising $7,250, and Pancholy & Meyer reported raising $4,700, including $1,100 total from the two candidates.


DaveSchmidt said:

Jeffrey_Bennett said:

My point is right that Maini is the Pancholy & Meyer manager for 2022 and likely a sizeable donor, if not at the $2k level.


Its largest donor is Jesse Cutler, who appears to be a partner at Skyer Law (a special education law firm), at $1,000.


Jesse Cutler is William Meyer's co-worker at Skyer Law. They are both partners in the firm.


DaveSchmidt said:

Jeffrey_Bennett said:

My point is right that Maini is the Pancholy & Meyer manager for 2022 and likely a sizeable donor, if not at the $2k level.

From the latest disclosure forms:

The Eckert Gifford & Wilson ticket has received $5,000 from Fred Profeta (who wrote an endorsement letter in the Village Green).

Maini has contributed $600 to the Pancholy & Meyer ticket. Its largest donor is Jesse Cutler, who appears to be a partner at Skyer Law (a special education law firm), at $1,000.

ETA, for some context: Eckert Gifford & Wilson reported raising $7,250, and Pancholy & Meyer reported raising $4,700, including $1,100 total from the two candidates.

Fred Profeta's donation is the largest I've seen by a non-candidate and is newsworthy, although technically $2,000 of it is a loan.  2022 looks like it continues a recent pattern of the M-L-F-B candidates being more affluent and having larger networks of out-of-town financial peers to get donations from. By contrast, all of the Wilson, Eckert, & Gifford $300+ donors are current or former SOMA residents. 

It is possible that, at the end of the election, WEG will have outraised and outspent PM, which would be notable because it would be the first time the non-Maini-Latz-Fisher-Beck candidates outspent the M-L-F-B candidates since 2016 (when Johanna Wright presumably made an outsize contribution to herself) and 2012, when my own ticket benefitted from large SOMA grassroots fundraising and some largish out-of-town donations from friends and relatives.

SOMA BOE elections are far more expensive than what occurs in other large, affluent suburbs.  I've looked up ELEC forms for winners in other districts and it's common for there not to be an C-1s or R-1s filed.  


Jeffrey_Bennett said:

2022 looks like it continues a recent pattern of the M-L-F-B candidates being more affluent and having larger networks of out-of-town financial peers to get donations from. By contrast, all of the Wilson, Eckert, & Gifford $300+ donors are current or former SOMA residents.

By raising the specter of larger out-of-town networks, do you mean beyond family, friends and co-workers? If so, has there been any evidence of that?

When you brought up Maini’s donations in addition to her campaign role, I gathered that you were tying them to the issue of independence, which has been a theme of the race. Were we supposed to take her local residence as a mitigating factor?

It is possible that, at the end of the election, WEG will have outraised and outspent PM, which would be notable because it would be the first time the non-Maini-Latz-Fisher-Beck candidates outspent the M-L-F-B candidates since 2016 (when Johanna Wright presumably made an outsize contribution to herself) and 2012, when my own ticket benefitted from large SOMA grassroots fundraising and some largish out-of-town donations from friends and relatives.

It’s certainly possible. As for grass roots, I count four WEG donors other than Profeta in the latest (not final) filing.

ETA: Unlike the 2012 forms, the 2022 C-1 filings show only donations of $300 or more, so I was wrong to refer to grass roots in that context.


DaveSchmidt said:

Jeffrey_Bennett said:

2022 looks like it continues a recent pattern of the M-L-F-B candidates being more affluent and having larger networks of out-of-town financial peers to get donations from. By contrast, all of the Wilson, Eckert, & Gifford $300+ donors are current or former SOMA residents.

By raising the specter of larger out-of-town networks, do you mean beyond family, friends and co-workers? If so, has there been any evidence of that?

When you brought up Maini’s donations in addition to her campaign role, I gathered that you were tying them to the issue of independence, which has been a theme of the race. Were we supposed to take her local residence as a mitigating factor?

I have not seen the same out-of-town donors contribute in multiple elections.  There are only a few local donors who even give >$300 repeatedly.  

However, there is a tendency where the Maini-Latz-Fisher-Beck candidates get more >$300 out-of-town donations.  Each year's candidate have their own network of donors, but it has happened in the last several elections, with 2020 being a really stark example of it.

I do not allege that this money produces inappropriate influence on BOE members once they are elected, but I think it tilts the electoral playing field during the election. 

If a non-affluent resident wants to run for the BOE and would not be a Maini-Latz-Fisher-Beck candidate, the knowledge that they would likely be outspent could be a deterrent to entering the race.

Siders-Joshua, 2019
JEFFREY LAMOUR, $500
NADIR JOSHUA, $500
BARBARA HILL, $550
DAHLIA JOSHUA, $500
BETH DAUGHERTY, $500 (SOMA resident, former BOE)
DANA KEARNEY, $500 (SOMA resident)

Winkfield-Bergin, 2020
JOHN W LEWIS, $500
DEBORAH MACSHERRY, $500
SUZANNE FILES, $400
JAMES CAUGHRAN, $350
ALEXANDER MACGILLIVRAY, $1,000
JENNIFER ALLAN, $500
JACQUELINE LEWIS, $1,000
JOHNATHAN SOROS, $500
None are from SOMA.

Vadlamani-Telesford, 2021
ATTARI, MUKARRAM, $500
PATANKAR, APARNA, $500
PERRY, JANE $500 (lives in SOMA)
TELESFORD, NATASHA, $1,000 (lives in SOMA)
VADLAMANI, ARUN, $523 (lives in SOMA)

Wittleder
GLENDA WINTER-IRVING, $500
PETER SHAPIRO, $500
FRED PROFETA, $1000
(All SOMA)

Malespina 2020
$2,000, to self.

Cuttle, 

In 2018 Cuttle had four $500 donors from SOMA.  In 2021 Cuttle received $1,000 from an out-of-town LGBTQ+ organization. 

Wright, 2019
No C-1.


Watched some debates (at 1.5 speed) and read surveys. I won't be voting for Eckert (she seems to have the least relevant experience & and the fewest suggested solutions of the five candidates). 

Reducing from the remaining 4 down to 3 has been more challenging. 


Just mentioning that a donation is from someone not in town could be misleading if not presented in context.  Relatives, friends, co-workers, former co-workers can all be supporters of a candidate, even if they don't live in the community.


Jeffrey_Bennett said:

Each year's candidate have their own network of donors, but it has happened in the last several elections, with 2020 being a really stark example of it.

Engel: $2,100. Malespina: $2,000. Bergin-Winkfield: $2,225 per candidate. Zubieta: $1,000. Finneran: no C-1.

I get your point that the typical $2,000 or so in fund-raising and self-funding could discourage potential candidates from running, but your resident/nonresident distinction seems beside that point.


Jeffrey_Bennett said:

JOHNATHAN SOROS, $500

I don’t see this donation on the C-1. Where did I miss it?


DaveSchmidt said:

Jeffrey_Bennett said:

JOHNATHAN SOROS, $500

I don’t see this donation on the C-1. Where did I miss it?

It's strange.  I think Bergin-Winkfield filed more than one C-1, and the C-1 that has Jonathan Soros' name and donation isn't in the database right now.

Anyway, if you look up Jonathan Soros in the contributor search you can see the confirmation that he gave $500.

https://www.njelecefilesearch.com/SearchContributionByContributor


South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education:

  • Regina Eckert of Maplewood: 5,928
  • William Gifford III of Maplewood: 5,595
  • William Meyer of South Orange: 4,025
  • Ritu Pancholy of South Orange: 3,942
  • Nubia DuVall-Wilson of South Orange: 6,451

jamie said:

South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education:

  • Regina Eckert of Maplewood: 5,928
  • William Gifford III of Maplewood: 5,595
  • William Meyer of South Orange: 4,025
  • Ritu Pancholy of South Orange: 3,942
  • Nubia DuVall-Wilson of South Orange: 6,451

A blowout. Final (or near-final) numbers

  • Nubia DuVall-Wilson of South Orange: 9,287
  • Regina Eckert of Maplewood: 8,418
  • William Gifford III of Maplewood: 8,002
  • William Meyer of South Orange: 5,891
  • Ritu Pancholy of South Orange: 5,671

For an off year election here that's not a bad turnout.  They were not listed by ticket on the ballot, so people actually read it instead of just voting 1,2,3.


Great results.

A very clear mandate from voters that are tired of the status quo.


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