A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Pay Gets New Scrutiny in NJ; Play Still Has Free Ride

As part of its effort to quell Pay to Play in the Garden State, the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) has posted a new database on its Public Information page online that makes election contributions searchable. According to NJ.com, the database only contains donations for the 2009 primaries so far but will include contributions towards the 2009 general elections by sometime in February 2010.

Maybe we should have a look and see what's happening around here in the realm of political contributions?

T & M Associates, which operates in 19 of New Jersey's 21 counties, contributed $121,000 to local and county campaigns statewide, the largest single contributor, according to NJ.com. The database shows that for the 2009 primary, T & M Associates donated 99.9% of the funding for political campaigns in  Matawan: $5,200 to the Matawan Republicans.

CME Associates contributed all of the political campaign funding in Aberdeen: $1,500 to Tom Perry (Aberdeen Democrat) and $1,500 to David Sobel (Aberdeen Democrat).

So, two major engineering firms provided virtually all of the political funding in Matawan-Aberdeen. In comparison, Old Bridge campaigns received a total of $100 in contributions.

As for Monmouth County, all the money seems to be heading to the Dems. Of local interest, Mullaney Tires gave $500 to Monmouth County Democrats. A large number of contributions are coming from Hazlet, including IEI in Airport Plaza, which is owned by the Chairman of the Monmouth County Democrats.

ELEC is dedicated to administering “The New Jersey Campaign Contributions and Expenditures Reporting Act,” “The Gubernatorial, Legislative Disclosure Statement Act,” “Legislative and Governmental Process Activities Disclosure Act,” and various portions of the “Uniform Recall Election Law.” Its website is a great resource for pay to play information. Check out this Powerpoint presentation, for example.

Unfortunately, the database is heavy on PAY but light on PLAY. Only political contributions are logged into this database. The quid pro quo, in the form of total value of contracts acquired, is not part of this database.


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