Change Team On TV

ELIZABETH — Six city council candidates who are challenging the regular political organization have purchased $35,000 worth of television airtime to broadcast a message that accuses political insiders of being corrupt.

“Wealthy politician Ray Lesniak has controlled our city council for years by handing them one public job after another,” says the commercial, which claims members hold 13 public sector jobs. “In turn Lesniak’s clients pay no city taxes.”


The spot also reminds voters that the same city council incumbents gave $2 million to Raymond Vella, a developer in federal prison for a conviction of bribing government officials.

“While thousands of Elizabeth homes were being foreclosed, what did Lesniak’s city council do?” the spot asks, providing two answers: “They voted themselves a pay raise while they’ve raise our taxes year after year.”

“This is a powerful message backing the Democrats for Change candidates on Column B,” said Tony Monteiro, a former Democratic councilman. “The regular political organization has gone too long without a correction by voters who have been betrayed by politicians who have grown out of touch,” he said. “People forget Lesniak broke onto the scene as an outsider, but that was 30 years ago.”

Monteiro said the spot will be broadcast on news networks such as CNN, MSNBC and Fox News as well as a wide variety of entertainment channels in Elizabeth, which includes about 30 percent of the Democratic turnout in primary elections.

“Television is a powerful medium,” said Monteiro. “This is the year for change. If people do not come out to vote to replace corrupt political insiders now, then there is little hope.”

Monteiro said that the commercial can be viewed online at

The empire of power broker Ray Lesniak is under attack by Democrats for Change on Column B in the June 8 Democratic primary election. Candidates who are challenging the regular political organization accuse political insiders of being corrupt, citing connections to jailed bribery convicts and Lesniak clients that pay no property taxes.

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