Monday, July 02, 2007

"Poison Pill" is good medicine

Freeholder Rob Clifton's campaign reform proposal has a "No Severablity" clause, or "poison pill" which means if a court invalidates any part of the resolution, the whole thing is void.

Democrats are opposing this clause, and Clifton may go along with removing it, because they expect that a court will invalidate the parts of the resolution that restricts labor unions campaign contributions, a major source of the Dem's mula. Democrats want to continue the practice of restricting the way Republicans can raise money, without endangering their own flow of funds.

If anyone's First Amendment right to contribute to political campaigns is to be restricted, everyone's should be . If a vendor is going to lose the ability to get government contracts by virtue of its political contributions, unions should be forbidden from contributing to any race that would impact a branch of government where its members work. Fair is fair, except in New Jersey.

Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Victor Scudiery was quoted in the Asbury Park Press as saying, "(Adam) Puharic and the Monmouth County Republicans are now doing what they have always done: attempting to sabotage any reform efforts with a sham substitute resolution so that they can perpetuate their Club Monmouth."

Scudiery is right. However, it is also true that Democrats throughout New Jersey have proposed and passed "reforms" that don't impact their ability to raise money from unions. If Scudiery is serious about reform, he should call Puharic's bluff and propose a plan that restricts the flow of money from all sources into Monmouth County campaigns. Otherwise, all this noise about pay to pay and wheeling is nothing more than campaign rhetoric. Same old same old from both sides.


Anonymous said...

Agree. All moneys that might unduly influence elected officials should be cut off. If it is more than clear that unions for better or worse play a large part in the political life of our state. If they contribute to one side more than the other, leaving only them would make the reform unfair and unbalanced. If restricting who might contribute is unconstitutional than the best reform package might be one that simply restricts total spending in a race. Chances are both sides could get to reasonable limits and than it would be even (assuming 529-type spending were controlled. Why do county races spend 1/2 million or more money. In Bergen they are over a million routinely. Nobody knows what a freeholder is anyway. Limit the spending on each side in Monmouth County to 100 or 200K and then you don't need the other reforms.
And by the way look at what the democrats in Middlesex did with their county reforms. They took all the vendor money, hired the people who gave and then said it was OK because they distinguished between taking the money personally and taking it in their campaign accounts. They then had a sham ethics committee condone their violation. Clifton should get Scudiery, Mcmorow and all those others to comment on the "Middlesex reform".

Ambrosiajr said...

No one elected Stalinista Puharic to any county position. Yet we know he is the author of this proposal. Clifton had nothing to do with it. This again shows us that he's the puppet master and that the republican freeholders have no backbone to stand up to this petty tyrant. Its time to stop the corruption on this board and vote in people who will represent us and not think that this is a private playland for the benefit of those that feel they are entitled to it. First appointing Tobia to a plum postition, then putting Oxley up for a nice, fat paycheck to boost his pension, re-appointing Carton as county counsel so he can continue to gouge us, Barham and his connections to B. Harvey Construction. Burry on all sorts of farmland preservation committees and is a real estate broker. The list goes on and on. Why doesn't anyone talk about the lack of ethical sensibilities on this suspect board? I'll tell you why, because Comrade Puharic works for the federal government and disregards the Hatch Laws, so why should any of those member change their ways.

ambrosiajr said...

I guess you're only taking comments that support the puharic version...
Nice censorship.