HOBOKEN -- Mayor Dawn Zimmer, simply put, wasn't happy with the council meeting last night.
The council voted down an ordinance that included a provision to stop people from donating large sums of money to local candidates via political action committees. This practice of getting around campaign finance laws is known as "wheeling." The provision is meant to block situations like the one in which Council President Beth Mason gave more than $12,000 to a councilman in last November's 4th Ward Council race. That council candidate ended up beating a Zimmer-backed candidate.
Wednesday night, some members of the City Council claimed that Zimmer herself is guilty of wheeling.
Zimmer denied these charges this morning in a statement.
"Councilman Russo asserted falsely that I had received a campaign contribution from County Executive Tom DeGise that I had 'wheeled' to former Councilman Michael Lenz in the last election," Zimmer said in a statement. "While Councilwoman Mason and Councilman Russo are fully aware that their allegations are untrue, the ironic thing is that if they were true, they would be compelling arguments for passing the anti-wheeling legislation, not for voting it down."
Those on the opposite political side of Zimmer maintained these claims this morning.
Zimmer asked for an apology.
"I urge Councilwoman Mason and Councilman Russo to issue an immediate public apology to me, County Executive Tom DeGise, and former Councilman Michael Lenz for their knowingly false and defamatory statements," she said.
Check back on this site and in this weekend's newspaper for more on this story.