Candidate paid for and ‘had a literal bag full of vote-by-mails’…
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) A corrupt New Jersey Democrat political figure was indicted by a federal grand jury on Wednesday for paying citizens for votes during a 2013 municipal race.
Frank “Pupie” Raia, a real estate developer and Hoboken, N.J. politico, was accused of directing an associate, Dio Braxton, to promise voters that they would be paid $50 if they voted in Hoboken’s 2013 race. Braxton was also indicted, according to NJ.com.
Raia ran in 2013 as an at-large council candidate, but he lost the election.
The indictment says Braxton and others bribed voters into voting for Raia, and even altered ballots to ensure Raia received enough votes.
The cash-for-vote operation targeted the city’s poorer residents who live in public housing, often sponsored by Raia’s real estate company.
One Democratic source told NJ.com that when he ran for office recently, he knocked on doors at the Fox Hill Gardens senior building and ran into a Raia operative “who had a literal bag full of vote-by-mails.”
Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla urged federal officials to launch a bigger investigation into Raia, his allies, and anyone who “employed similar campaign tactics.”
“If true, Mr. Raia and any other public officials participating in voter bribery must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Bhalla said. “Paying people for votes is a serious breach of our electoral integrity, and sadly remains a part of Hoboken’s elections.”
The U.S. Department of Justice helped bring the case against Raia, but has not commented on whether it will be continuing its investigation.
“Jeff Sessions is doing a tremendous job reversing the sorry record of the Obama-Holder era in prosecuting voter fraud,” The Public Interest Legal Foundation President J. Christian Adams said in a statement. “Their record was they turned a blind eye to it while their allies in nonprofit groups like the Brennan Center deceived America and said it was a myth.”