Kate Rappa is a registered Democrat running for Cranford Town Council. The problem with Ms. Rappa is that her campaign finance documents filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission firmly establish her as an establishment swamp creature. Rappa took in more than $20,600 from Democratic establishment sources in the course of her campaign for town council. Why are all of these politically connected entities contributing so many thousands to Rappa?
The Cranford Town Council consists of five members: Democrats Mayor Kathleen Prunty, Commissioners Brian Andrews and Jason Gareis, Republican Mary O’ Connor and Independent Democrat Tom Hannen. Three acting members of the Cranford Town Council (all Democrats listed above) successfully conspired against Tom Hannen in his bid for re-election. Brian Andrews and Jason Gareis collectively donated over $1,500 to Rappa’s campaign.
The impropriety gets worse. Cranford’s Township Attorney, Ryan J. Cooper, hosted a campaign fundraiser for Ms. Rappa and also received monetary compensation DIRECTLY from her campaign. If elected, Rappa would vote on township contracts for the services of Attorney Cooper – clear pay to play.
Bette Jane Kowalski, Union County Commissioner and chair of the Cranford Democratic Party, ensured $6,000 was steered into Rappa’s coffers. Listed as officers on Rappa’s campaign were both Commissioner Kowalski and Mayor Prunty – boy, they sure didn’t like Commissioner Tom Hannen! The Springfield Democratic Club thought Ms. Rappa such a great fit for Cranford that they generously donated $1,000 to her swampy campaign. The icing on the swamp cake that Ms. Rappa is so enthusiastically offering to Cranford voters is this: the (Democratic) Speaker of the New Jersey House of Representatives, Craig Coughlin, contributed $866.67 to Ms. Rappa’s campaign.
To summarize the Cranford swamp, we have a majority of the Cranford Township Council and the Township Attorney all conspiring to elect elite political insider Kate Rappa. If elected, Rappa would guarantee that Trenton style corrupt politics would manifest itself in the daily operations of Cranford Government.
Cranford needs an independent voice on the town council, someone who can and shall act out of independent conscience for the benefit of the community. There is only one candidate who can be said to offer that to Cranford on Election Day: Gina Black for Cranford Township Committee.