Who’s worth voting for in Clinton Township for town council, the local school board and the high school board? How about political candidates who show they respect and follow the law before they get elected?
Among 13 political candidates on the November 6, 2018 General Election Ballot, 6 seem to already be in violation of New Jersey Election Law.
Before we give them a chance to show they will “uphold the law” as elected representatives — public databases suggest they’ve already shown they can’t be bothered to follow the law.
How’s that for blowing the job interview before the job interview?
Scroll down for the list of apparent election law violators.
The New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) monitors the campaign financing of all elections in the State. Its purpose is to ensure transparency in elections by giving the public a look at every political candidate’s finances — during campaigns well before election day.
How else are voters supposed to decide who’s worth voting for?
ELEC also publishes a Compliance Manual for Candidates that explains the law, details requirements of all candidates, provides examples, and includes all forms that must be filed before, during and after political campaigns and elections.
There’s no excuse for violating New Jersey Election Law.
It’s all public and online
Anyone can monitor any political candidate’s filings and reports day-to-day in ELEC’s public database.
- Want to know who donated money to a candidate? It’s in there.
- What did a candidate spend money on? It’s in there.
- Who is a candidate’s treasurer? It’s in there.
- At what bank is the candidate’s campaign account held? It’s in there.
Well, it’s supposed to be in there if the candidate is following the law.
Anyone can also see which candidates that are on the November 6 ballot have not filed the legally required reports.
All candidates must file fund-raising and spending reports
If a candidate buys campaign signs or advertisements, or mails out campaign literature, using donations or their own money, they must file disclosures prior to the election.
ELEC sets dates when required financial disclosure reports must be filed and made public.
6 candidates on the ballot for Clinton Township Council, Clinton Township School District Board of Education, and North Hunterdon-Voorhees Board of Education have not filed disclosure reports by the dates required — or at the time of this publication — according to ELEC’s public databases.
ELEC requires political candidates to publicly disclose what monies they raised and spent — including their own money.
Which Clinton Township candidates seem to be in violation of New Jersey’s Election Laws?
If a candidate’s campaign buys signs or advertisements, or mails out campaign literature, using donations or their own money, they must file disclosures prior to the election.
Of 13 political candidates on the Clinton Township ballot, 6 have failed to file required ELEC documents and reports, according to ELEC’s public databases.
Listed in order of appearance on the 2018 Clinton Township General Election Ballot:
How can any of these political candidates seriously expect voters to believe they will “uphold the law” once they are elected — if they apparently haven’t bothered to comply with New Jersey’s Election Laws before the election?
NOTE: North Hunterdon-Voorhees School Board candidate Chris W. Kemprowski appears not to have raised or spent any funds on campaign signs or other campaign materials and thus appears to be exempt from disclosure requirements.
We can hear the excuses now:
- “It’s no big deal — just a formality! I’ll file it later!”
Translation: The law doesn’t apply to me. Get off my case.
- “I was too busy!”
Translation: I really haven’t got time to do the job, but I was asked to run and was told not to worry — just show up for a few meetings.
- “I didn’t know!”
Translation: And I won’t bother to learn the law once I’m elected.
- “You’re kidding, right?? It’s a technicality! It’s not like they’re going to arrest me!”
Translation: The law doesn’t apply to me. Who cares, once I get into office!
This is where trouble in our government starts. This is why taxpayers complain their elected officials are doing a lousy job.
Who should know better?
Perhaps the worst scofflaws are the political candidates who are already in office. They should know better:
- Thomas Kochanowski — Clinton Township Council Incumbent
- Rachel McLaughlin — Clinton Township Board of Education, Vice President
- Alissa Olawski — Clinton Township Board of Education, Member
- Robert Holliday — Clinton Township Board of Education, Member
If these people don’t bother to follow Election Law, what does that tell their constituents about whether they’re bothering to follow the law in their elected positions?
- The Clinton Township Council has already been busted for violating the New Jersey Open Public Meetings Act — while Tom Kochanowski was on the council.
- The Clinton Township School Board has already been busted for violating the law — while Rachel McLaughlin was on the board.
Illegal campaign signs and advertisements
ELEC also requires all candidates to label campaign signs, mailing pieces and other “political communications” with a statement that identifies the candidate.
At least one candidate, Jean Paul “JP” Vincenti — for Clinton Township Board of Education — is in violation of this requirement. Vincenti’s half-page ad in the Clinton Township Newsletter (November 2018) does not include the required “paid for by” label identifying the source.
Clean up government — expect candidates to follow the law
Who deserves your vote on November 6 in Clinton Township? How about political candidates who show they follow the law before they get elected?
It’s shocking that almost half the candidates running for office in Clinton Township have not filed required ELEC disclosures.
How can citizens expect our State and Federal government to be clean, when they vote for local officials who ignore the law even before they get elected?
Concerned voters may file formal complaints about candidates with NJ ELEC: Request An Investigation.
VOTE on November 6!