HOWELL-Howell Township Democrats John Bonevich, Kristal Dias, and Paul Dorato are seeking to stop overdevelopment in their town and have turned to a team of engineers and developers to help them do it. Developers account for nearly half of the campaign funding raised by the Democrats.
The ticket recently reported $14,158 in campaign donations to the New Jersey Election Commission on October 22nd, with sizable donations coming from developers, including one that the government said has committed campaign fraud.
R3M Engineering, a civil engineering firm based out of Old Bridge was tied to a $60 million fraud investigation. R3M Engineering donated $3,000 Bonevich, Dias and Dorato this past summer. Center State Engineering, of Monroe Township who specializes, according to their website in land development and subdivision donated $3,500 to the campaign.
Both firms made individual campaign donations which were reported to the NJ Election Commission through Bonevich, Dias and Dorato’s individual accounts and transferred to their joint campaign account.
On October 22nd, the trio filed a joint A-1 filing with the election commission before the 13-day election filing deadline required to report individual campaign contributions in excess of $1,600.
Howell Democrats turn to party’s man behind the blue curtain…
The Howell Democrats, backed by former Lakewood Democrat Committeeman Mitch Seim are running a vicious propaganda laden campaign against township Republicans. Seim was the architect of campaigns in Lakewood for three former mayors, including Meir Lichtenstein, Marta Harrison, and current Mayor Ray Coles. Seim is also aggressively attacking Republicans in nearby Howell with a near-exact campaign message, even using the same signage and postcard mailers claiming Howell and Jackson Republicans are behind overdevelopment.
It’s a tactic Seim uses to take advantage of anti-Jewish sentiment in races he runs in towns surrounding Brick. Seim orchestrated a successful takeover of Brick Township and the Brick school board, then did the same in Toms River. His “Clean Slate” ticket there captured the school board. Last year, using the same identical campaign message being employed in Howell, he was able to win three of four seats on the Toms River Township council.
Despite the ticket’s “anti-Lakewood” rhetoric, Seim’s ties to Lakewood run deep. His political ally, Monmouth County Senator Vin Gopal just introduced a bill in the state assembly that would provide the town’s public schools with as much as $11.3 million in public funding if passed, as expected by Governor Phil Murphy.
Seim, according to public records lived in Lakewood at the home of former Lakewood Township Mayor Marta Harrison, where he was elected by the community to serve as a committeeman on the Lakewood Democrat Committee.
The effort in Howell is part of Seim’s campaign to take political control over the towns immediately surrounding Lakewood, including Howell, Jackson, Toms River and Brick. He has successfully taken over Brick, hopes to seal the deal in Toms River in 2019 and is working feverishly this year in Howell and Jackson.