UNION COUNTY – Republicans have called on Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Union) to return contributions she received from three men named in last month’s federal corruption probe.
The money, almost $4,000 donated to Stender’s unsuccessful Congressional campaign, was donated last year by former Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano, former Assemblyman Lou Manzo and his brother, Ronald Manzo.
Martin Marks and Bo Vastine, who are running against Stender to represent the 22nd District in the state Assembly, want the Democrat to return the cash.
“I spent 9 years as the Mayor of Scotch Plains and the thought of any elected official accepting a bribe makes me sick,” said Marks. “Linda Stender should immediately return the almost $4,000 in campaign contributions she received from Mayor Peter Cammarano and the Manzo brothers. These men are alleged to have accepted cash bribes in an attempt to peddle their political influence, and that should have no place here in the 22nd District.”
Stender spokesman Ed Oatman brushed aside Marks’ and Vastine’s request, noting that the money was donated to a campaign account which is now closed.
“As former Mayor Marks knows, those contributions were made to Linda Stender for Congress,” said Oatman. “As he also knows, Stender for Congress no longer exists. The FEC views it as officially closed. If Mayor Marks is urging us to use the assembly account, that is a violation of state and federal law. I would hope he’s not urging us to break those laws.”
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