Mystery flyer falsely ID’d as paid for by Roselle NAACP stirs challengers in LD 20 contest

The LD 20 Democratic Primary challengers are going on offense with a complaint filed this week demanding an investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service into the origins of a mysterious flyer.

The challengers allege that a flyer fronting as congratulations by the NAACP to James Wilson of Roselle on his nomination to a Superior Court judgeship in Union County is actually a campaign piece for state Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-20).

“On one side of the flier was information regarding membership in the NAACP, and a bulk mail notice of a mailing permit from Hackensack, New Jersey,” wrote Francisco Gonzalez, campaign manager for “Real Democrats for Change.” “A review revealed the bulk permit belongs to a printing firm that does political mailings.

“More troubling, the other side of the mailing includes a smiling picture of Senator Raymond Lesniak and a quote praising Lesniak for his efforts regarding the nomination of the judge.”

Gonzalez said his investigation reveals that the NAACP did not sanction or approve the mailing of the flier.

“This is a fraudulent mailing which attempts to deceive the residents that the decidedly positive view of candidate Lesniak was somehow sanctioned by the NAACP,” Gonzalez wrote.

Myrtle Smith Counts, president of the Roselle NAACP, confirmed that her organization did not pay for the flier.

“In good faith, I congratulated Mr. Wilson,” Smith Counts said. “My only complaint was the fact that the flier shows it was paid for by the Roselle NAACP. That’s not true.”

Smith Counts said her group does not endorse candidates for political office.

She said she is not getting involved in Lesniak versus his challenger, Roselle Board of Education President Donna Obe.

So it hurt to see her organization listed as the one responsible for the flier.

Contacted for comment, Lesniak said he didn’t pay for it either.

“She authorized it,” he said of Smith Counts. “I have no idea who paid for it. I certainly didn’t pay for it.”