By Gary Masino
The Northeast Times fell short on explaining an important issue last week. In the article titled “Battling over campaign finances,” your paper printed serious allegations made by my opponent’s campaign.
Council Member Brian O’Neill’s campaign incorrectly characterized a campaign finance issue as an ethical violation. Our campaign’s lawyer explained the situation to your reporter, Tom Waring, whom I have much respect for, but he fell short in this case.
At issue is the payment for our mailer program. Because of the way the mailing program works, we sent our payment to the Pennsylvania Democratic Committee, who then transmitted that money to the printer and the Post Office. We listed all of that in the financial reporting to be fully transparent. Our lawyer was accurately quoted as saying, “This is a nothing.” But we feel potential voters should know just how much of a “nothing” it really is.
Look, I don’t know all of the ins and outs of campaign finance as well as career politicians, like my opponent. I know there was no problem when I and my union members signed off on giving more than $12,000 to Carlos Vega when he challenged Larry Krasner. I know there was no problem when we gave $20,000 to the Protect Our Police PAC in 2021. I also know O’Neill had no problem accepting the multiple checks we gave him in 2019, totaling more than $12,000! So what’s the problem now? The problem is he stopped working for the Northeast so we stopped supporting him.
When a career politician attacks an opponent, who never ran for office before, it may seem petty. But it’s worse than that. After 44 years, he has no signature accomplishment. His lack of attention and absenteeism in City Hall is leading to a degradation of our quality of life. Violent crime is increasing. Cops are being shot in our community. That’s not how things used to be. It’s not how they should be. And it’s not how it will be if you elect me to represent you on City Council. ••
Gary Masino is a candidate for District 10 City Council.