Trenton Democrats have finally put an end to a practice that has plagued NJ for years: Dual office holding. And sometimes, triple and qradruple office holding. Both parties have been guilty of this practice. Tom O'Neill wrote about this back in June of 2006 for New Jersey Policy Perspective.
Here is a blurb from an article from the Star-Ledger about the issue:
"After a year of political wrangling and false starts, legislation to make it illegal for public officials to land more than one elected post after next February easily cleared the Assembly yesterday. Assembly members argued for about an hour before passing the measure 69-3 with eight abstentions. The bill (A4326) is scheduled for a final vote in the Senate later this month."
In our own County of Hunterdon, Repubs will squawk that this bill does not "do enough". It is a compromise for sure, but it does address the issue just the same. Now that dual office holding will be illegal in NJ, those who do hold more than one office will be pressured come election time to make a choice. Indeed, their feet will be held to the political fire by their opponents in both the primary and the general election.
Of course, many in the Repubs Party have held dual offices themselves:
George Melick was on the Tewksbury Twp Committee very early when he was freeholder.
Marcia Karrow was a Raritan Township Committee woman, and freeholder at the same time. And then she was freeholder and Assemblywoman at the same time.
Melick and Karrow gave up their offices, and now hold just one elective office.
Ron Sworen is the mayor of Frenchtown and a freeholder --- and he is running again for Mayor. Dual office holding should most definately be an issue in his race in November.
Now it will be phased in as the law. It is a good start to handle an old problem.
Next: Those seeking office should have to pinpoint where they take money from developers on their ELEC filings, regardless of the amount.