Our very good friends on BlueJersey.com have pointed out a concern about the way certain Democratic County committees have been using their resources to support ONLY the Clinton for President campaign --- in spite of the fact that Hillary Clinton had not been endorsed in those counties. Additionally, supporters of Edwards, Obama and Kucinich were not allowed use of the county offices.
In Camden County and Burlington County, for example, it was pointed out on BlueJersey.com that
“Upon walking into the [Camden County] headquarters in the Garden State Pavillion, one might mistake the building for a Clinton campaign office. Hillary signs dot the doors outside, and only, you guessed it, Hillary literature is available inside. One wouldn't know that John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich or Barack Obama even existed in this Democratic office because of the lack of material available on any other candidate than Clinton."In Burlington County, the fine folks of BlueJersey pointed out that
“Although the Burlington County Democratic Committee has never voted to endorse anyone for the presidential primary, party leadership has decided to devote the county party's resources to the Hillary Clinton campaign. Many rank and file County Committee members are not happy.”Chances are that in many counties in New Jersey, Hillary Clinton would receive a vote of endorsement from the majority of Democratic County Committee members, anyway. However, it does not seem very democratic for County resources –mailers, phones, office space-- to be used for only one candidate when there is a presidential primary imminent on February 5th.
A strong case can be made that County Committees should share their resources equally amongst all candidates that have some support from their members. OR use their resources for a single candidate only when that candidate has the official endorsement of the County Committee.
For their strong advocacy for small ‘d’ democracy, as well as their support for openness and transparency in the endorsement process at the county committee level, our Mensch of Week this week goes to the folks at BlueJersey.com.
Putz of The Week
Each year in New Jersey, tens of hundreds of thousands of dollars are donated by people, unions, lobbyists, political action committees, and political parties to candidates running for office. These entities donate money to candidates of both parties for the single objective of getting their choice candidate elected to public office.
Whether they are seeking a political favor for a client, a government job for their unemployed cousin Marvin, or truly believe their supported candidate has the vision, experience, and skills to make the quality of life in New Jersey better for all of us---there is one thing that financial supporters do not expect their donations to be used for: Legal fees to defend against corruption charges.
From this week’s Star Ledger:
State election regulators yesterday banned former state Sen. Wayne Bryant from using leftover campaign funds to pay his legal bills to defend against corruption charges. The ruling by the Election Law Enforcement Commission could open the door for action against two others who have already tapped campaign war chests to pay criminal defense attorneys: former senators Sharpe James and Joseph Coniglio. (Hester and Shearn, Star-Ledger)The fact that campaign funds should not be used for legal fees should be a no-brainer. It’s why they’re called ‘campaign funds’, folks.
For even asking the Election Law Enforcement Commission to rule that campaign fees be allowed to be used for legal fees, former state Sen. Wayne Bryant is our Putz of the Week.