I hate to harp on the same issues repeatedly, but a blatant violation of ELEC laws is irksome. It is quite apparent that Stephen Sweeney and Louis Magazzu are scoffing at ELEC. Lou proudly publishes the people that donated to his failed NACo campaign. On the top of the list is Sweeney, with a $6,000 contribution from his freeholder campaign war chest.
Both Sweeney and Magazzu are intimately familiar with ELEC rules. You have to know what your campaign money can, and cannot be used for. As a refresher, here is the section of ELEC dealing with the ways campaign money can be legally used:
1. Section 17 of P.L.1993, c.65 (C.19:44A-11.2) is amended to read as follows:
17. a. All contributions received by a candidate, candidate committee, a joint candidates committee or a legislative leadership committee shall be used only for the following purposes:
(1) the payment of campaign expenses;
(2) contributions to any charitable organization described in section 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended or modified, or nonprofit organization which is exempt from taxation under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, except any charitable organization of which the candidate or a member of the candidate’s immediate family is a paid officer, director or employee or receives compensation for goods or services provided to the organization;
(3) transmittal to another candidate, candidate committee, or joint candidates committee, or to a political committee, continuing political committee, legislative leadership committee or political party committee, for the lawful use by such other candidate or committee;
(4) the payment of the overhead and administrative expenses related to the operation of the candidate committee or joint candidates committee of a candidate or a legislative leadership committee;
(5) the pro rata repayment of contributors; or
(6) the payment of ordinary and necessary expenses of holding public office.
Sweeney’s generous donation of $6,000 of his campaign money to Lou Magazzu’s personal campaign for NACo does not fall into any of the above categories, not even by the wildest imagination. And yet, ELEC has not taken any action on this, to my knowledge. What gives? Are certain politicians exempt from having to obey the law?