by Haystacks Calhoun
Those who are confronting the D freeholders about the whole Greco mess are being told that they (Joe, Nelson) had nothing to do with it and that it is being authorized and funded by the Cumberland County Democratic Organization (CCDO). The cynical strategy here is to give Joe and Nelson some wiggle room when they catch heat for it. They can say things like “Yeah, it’s unfortunate but that’s being done by Jane and Lou.” I have noted that the flyers in question identify CCDO as the funder. But is that so? The Pepitone-Thompson campaign submissions to ELEC report the following expenditures for advertising: $2,000 to Quinn Broadcasting (Millville) and $15,000 to Strategic Message Design Group (Thorofare). The only report to ELEC by the CCDO for advertising expenses is $5,000 to Shoot the Moon (Bridgeton) (fortunately, for all of us Joe and Nelson don’t actually shoot their moons in their ads) for development of T.V. and radio ads paid way back on 29 June 2010.
I doubt the local Shoot the Moon company did the slick T.V., radio and flyers that highlight the Greco issue, especially for a measly $5,000 paid way back in June, well before the Greco ads were released this month. I don’t doubt that the local Shoot the Moon had a hand in other ads like that lame-o one on You Tube.
It seems much more likely that a better-known firm like the recently paid Strategic Message Design Group would do the recent Greco ads (the County Ds also used them last year). Take a look at SMDG’s website (http://www.smdginc.com) and decide for yourself if they have the capability to make the slick ads like the Greco ones. If they did do it, then this was directly paid for by the Pepitone-Thompson campaign. On 26 October 2010, the Pepitone-Thompson campaign submitted to ELEC a 48 Hour report in which the disbursement of $15,000 to Strategic Message Design Group is identified. This report is signed by Nelson Thompson (the pdf is viewable at ELEC’s website). I also note that another 48 Hour report submitted on 28 October (also signed by Thompson and viewable at ELEC) shows the Pepitone-Thompson campaign donated $5,000 to the CCDO – the same amount as the CCDO spent on the ads developed by Shoot the Moon. Thus, if you factor in this “shell game” aspect of money shuffling, all advertising as reported to ELEC as of today has been paid for by the Pepitone-Thompson campaign either directly or indirectly (through donations to the CCDO that exactly match the amount the CCDO has spent).
Sure there may be more post election reports, not yet available, that show the CCDO spent more on advertising than yet reported, and maybe those post-election reports will identify who was hired to make the Greco ads. However, based on the information available now, one would have to be a fool to believe that Joe and Nelson are not involved with the smear campaign currently being waged.