Sweeney says Magazzu lied to him

The Star Ledger broke a story today.  I have said all along that either Sweeney violated ELEC laws willingly, or that he did so believing that he donated to a bona-fide PAC. Sweeney is implying that Lou misrepresented his NACo slush fund, and lied to accumulate well over $80,000 in undeclared income for his failed run for power.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) said he was helping a friend when, three years ago, he donated $6,000 from his campaign kitty to Cumberland County Freeholder Director Lou Magazzu’s bid for second vice president of the National Association of Counties.

Turns out it could cost him a bit more: The Auditor has learned the state’s watchdog agency is investigating whether the donation may have been illegal.

I wonder how many of the attorneys and developers that contributed to Lou’s slush fund were also led into believing they were donating to a legal PAC, and not to Lou’s personbal bank account?

Sweeney, who made the contribution from his Gloucester County freeholder campaign, listed the donation on his reports to the commission. He said Magazzu told him it was legal.

I wonder where Lou is going to get the money to repay Sweeney, seeing as he has not paid his mortgage for a year?


6 Responses to Sweeney says Magazzu lied to him

  1. Calhoun says:

    Carl, are you still hung up on this Lou’s NACo thingie? Didn’t you read Kavanagh’s take back in the 18 Sep. 2009 Cumberland News? Brendan “It’s Not A Plum!” Kavanagh said: “I know some people’s disdain for Magazzu runs deep but at least give him credit for his intelligence. By not admitting the good things Magazzu has done for the county, I think, not only disrespects him but shows a lack of intelligence on the part of his detractors. That’s my feeling on NACo-gate. It’s a non-issue.”

    Seriously though, Brendan NACo-gate is a “non-issue” just like your county appointment is “Not A Plum!”

    As per an earlier post on this matter a few weeks ago, the “who’s the bigger dumbass” contest has begun. Thing is from a legal standpoint both Lou and Sweeney probably want to win this contest.

    As I mentioned in my earlier post, this is one case where Sweeney outdumbassed Lou. How is it possible that N.J.’s Senate President (and Gloucester County’s Freeholder Director and union adminstrator) could win this contest?

    Well, back in September of 2009 when this issue was bubbling over, the media reported on a rumor that Lou was going to drop out of the race. On 8 Sep. the Cumberland News (article by Matt Dunn) ran a follow up story (http://www.nj.com/cumberland/index.ssf/2009/09/internet_report_citing_rumors.html). What follows is a passage from this report with a quote from Sweeney: “As for any unhappiness with Magazzu about his NACo loss, Sweeney denied that as well, reiterating that he was a contributor to Magazzu’s NACo election campaign. ‘I knew exactly what I was donating to,’ Sweeney said.”

    Boom! Another smoking gun destroying Sweeney’s credibility. The first smoking gun was reported in detail here at MWatch and involved Sweeney’s obviously illegal contributions from his Freeholder camapaign to Lou’s NACo account.

    Now we have Sweeney bascially asserting that he didn’t know what he was contributing to and that he was misled by Lou. Baloney, Sweeney. Back then you stated you knew “exactly” what you were contributing to.

    While this is MagazzuWatch and most of us want Lou out, the reality is that he is pretty much already irrelevant (Note to the other freeholders: you need to get him off the board soon; otherwise all of you are also part of the problem. Can the public routines where you act like nothing is up while many of you are whispering in private that something is indeed up. It’s getting old real fast.), I hope Lou does not become the scapegoat for the malfeasance of other public officials like Sweeney.

    Look for efforts now by others close to him to dump all baggage on Lou now that he is no longer relevant. I hope we don’t let them do this. Lou is a bad dude and deserves to go. But Sweeney and others shouldn’t use him as their whipping boy for their own trangressions. Be a man Sweeney and take responsibility for your illegal contribtuion. Blaming it on Lou is gutless, especially when you’re on record as knowing “exactly” what you were contributing to.

    It’s important ELEC officials know about Sweeney’s quote back in Sep. Sweeney is not blameless in this matter. Lou needs to fall but that doesn’t mean he gets to be everyone else’s fall guy.

  2. Guess-Who says:

    Two WRONG[S] don’t make a RIGHT!

    Checks and Balance make the County a Better Place

  3. mango says:

    Okay….so how do we share this quote with ELEC officials? Any idea who is handling this case?

  4. Calhoun says:


    The recent letter from ELEC on this matter that was sent out was by Leonard Gicas, Director of Review & Investigation at ELEC. I would think correspondence should be sent to him. Not to leave anything to chance, I would also send to the ELEC Commissioners.

    I would send a copy of the recent Star Ledger article as well as a copy of the Cumberland News 2009 article, since they highlight Sweeney’s contradictory positions.

    I plan on doing this and think others should to, especially those that filed the original complaint. Let’s make sure ELEC knows that Sweeney stated he knew “exactly” what he was contributing to when he gave Lou for NACo that 6K from his Freeholder campaign fund.

    Republicans should be all over Sweeney’s conflicting statements like stink on shit. If they don’t jump on this they will have outdumbassed Lou and Sweeney — a remarkable feat!

  5. Calhoun says:


    I have some updated info on who’s handling the investigation. Apparently ELEC staff has its hands full at the moment, so they have farmed this out to other state staff people.

    Michael Magazzu from the NJ Division of Taxation is conducting the investigation. Legal counsel is being provided by Kavanagh, Kavanagh and DiLazzero and Arnold Robinson. Edward Salmon and Mordechai Neustadt are consultants. Assemblyman Louis Greenwald is serving as the independent monitor. The entire proceedings are being presided over by the Honorable Judge Gary Wodlinger, with electricity being provided by Tony Danza. The state of course is broke, so the investigation is being funded by George Norcross III.

    Hope this helps. I sure hope they get to the bottom of this!

    [See that post up there. It was a joke. It is most definitely satire, but it is not, however, a plum.]

  6. byelou says:

    You are not far from the truth.

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