A group called “Wake Up Bloomfield” has circulated mail pieces to Bloomfield’s Democratic residents that target Mayor Michael Venezia and encourage voters to “say no to corruption” on the June 7 primary when the mayor is challenged by Councilman Joseph Lopez for his office.
The mail pieces were distributed last week to Democratic households in Bloomfield.
According to the mail, Venezia has “embraced the endorsement” of Councilman Elias Chalet, currently facing indictment for accepting bribes, and his relative Daniel Chalet, currently serving a probation sentence for defrauding the Home Depot. The mailer goes on to say “Venezia has wasted tens of millions of dollars, creating a culture in his administration that fosters corruption.”
Venezia spokesman Phil Swibinski blasted Wake Up Bloomfield for the content of the mailer. He also tied the group to Lopez and Bloomfield Municipal Chairman Peter Strumolo. Strumolo is backing Lopez in his run for mayor.
“Everything in this mailer is deceptive, from the over the top innuendos to the fake budget numbers, right down to the name of the fraudulent organization that it says it was paid for by, when it’s obvious it came from Strumolo-bossed mayoral candidate Joe Lopez,” Swibinski said. “This kind of negative campaigning while attempting to hide behind a shady Super PAC is a desperate and disappointing way for the Lopez/Strumolo team to begin this race and it’s already backfiring with voters. Along with Team Venezia’s strong record on stabilizing taxes, making neighborhoods safer and fighting for working families, this fraudulent mailer is just one more reason why Bloomfield residents will reject Lopez and Strumolo in June once and for all.”
While Swibinski tied Lopez to Wake Up Bloomfield, the councilman said he had nothing to do with the distribution of the mailer.
“I have no knowledge of these mailers that are being sent to the residents,” Lopez said. “Unfortunately, Mayor Venezia has mastered the art of playing the victim and blaming others.”
Councilwoman Wartyna Davis, Councilman Carlos Pomares and candidate Ted Gamble are also part of Venezia’s team. Lopez is running with Kathy DeMarino, Jo Lewis and Yudi Sobharam. The two teams, both Democratic, will be facing off in the June primary election.