It's been a long time since I've fiddled around with my trusty highlighter and ELEC documents. So I figured now was as good a time as ever to embark on some early spring cleaning.
I'll be diving into the reports of Monmouth's ruling Republican Party and publishing what I find. Do contractors still contribute in spite of pay-to-play regulations? Are PACs and municipal organizations being used by the county GOP to navigate around pay-to-play regulations?
Let's start with the easy stuff.Middletown
The Middletown Republican Committee received $7,200 from T&M Associates on October 2, 2006
How this is not a blatant violation of the state's Pay-to-Play law is beyond me. This nifty little chart from ELEC tells me
: "At the county-munic level, contributions of over $300
made to candidates holding office at the time of the awarding of the contract and to the political party committee to which such a candidate belongs in the year preceding the award of a contract are illegal
T&M is once again Middletown engineering firm in 2007.Aberdeen
I have to thank an anonymous tipster for pointing out the following information, which all bore true in the reports.
The Aberdeen Republican Committee received $7,200 from T&M Associates on October 23, 2006
. (It is completely legal
for the Aberdeen GOP to receive money from T&M since there are no Republicans currently serving on the Aberdeen Township Council and therefore couldn't vote on an engineering appointment for the town.)
Curiously, the Aberdeen GOP contributed $5,000 to the Monmouth GOP on October 24, 2006
. That's right - the day after T&M contributed over $7K, $5K was wheeled over the county.
I say "wheeled" because T&M is an engineering firm for the county. They could not legally contribute to the Monmouth GOP (even though that didn't seem to stop the firm when it came to doing business in Middletown). Sending the money through the Aberdeen GOP's account essentially cleans the money, allowing T&M and the county GOP to violate the spirit of the pay-to-play regulations, though not the law.
Also of note is a contribution of $2,000 by Gibbons, Del Deo, Griffinger & Vecchione on November 11, 2006
. (Gibbons, Del Deo is the county's bond counsel. Aberdeen Republicans can legally take money from Gibbons, Del Deo, but the county GOP cannot.)
Why might Gibbons, Del Deo be contributing to the losing Aberdeen GOP after
the Nov. 7, 2006 elections, you might ask? I'd be curious to know that as well. What we do know is that the Aberdeen GOP was generous enough to put down a $3,000 deposit on December 23, 2006 for the county GOP's 2007 Lincoln Day dinner
at the Addison (formerly the Garden Manor).
Interestingly enough, the contributions by Gibbons, Del Deo and T&M were the only major contributions received by the Aberdeen GOP last quarter. And, aside from $1,000 for what appears to be a municipal event, the only major expenses by the Aberdeen GOP were the Lincoln Day deposit and the contribution to the Monmouth County GOP.
Labels: Aberdeen, ELEC, Middletown, Monmouth County, Republican