Finally – the real story about Sweeney and ELEC

The Star Ledger was able to get the story I wasn’t. During my interview with Matt Friedman of the Star Ledger, the subject of NACo and Sweeney’s improper contribution came up. Rumors have been flying wild, and one story that I was told repeatedly (and repeated here) was not correct. Apparently Sweeney was NOT fined $5,000 for his contribution. But, in his own words, the contribution was improper. And in Lou Magazzu’s words, “Lou4NACo” was “incorrectly called a PAC” by Lou himself, even though that was an outright lie.

Months before former Cumberland County Freeholder Lou Magazzu’s career went down in flames over e-mailing nude photos of himself to a woman, Senate President Stephen Sweeney asked him for a refund.

In 2007, Sweeney donated $6,000 from his own campaign funds to Magazzu’s unsuccessful bid to be second vice president of the National Association of Counties.

That led to a complaint by Republicans and an investigation by the state’s campaign finance watchdog agency last year. So Sweeney asked Magazzu for the money back. Then, he informed the agency.

“I got the money back, deposited it and I think it satisfied (ELEC) concern,” Sweeney told The Auditor.

Question. Where does somebody that earns $16,000 a year come up with $6,000 cash out of the blue, to repay a debt? The IRS needs to look into this particular transaction.


3 Responses to Finally – the real story about Sweeney and ELEC

  1. Guess-Who says:

    Although Sweeney said he couldn’t recall details of the letter from ELEC, he did concede the agency told him the donation was improper.

    “I don’t have the letter in front of me,” he said. “I can’t tell you. I’d have to look at it and tell you. They said I made a donation I shouldn’t have made.”

    Here is another REASON this Agency(ELEC) is a JOKE.
    He makes a $6,000 Contribution to an Individual, NOT a PAC and Claims he has Received a Letter saying Oh you did a No-No.
    The Punishment for this Offense is a Letter that says, Call Us first before you make any QUESTIONABLE Donations in the Future.

    Where is the PROOF of the Money ($6,000) coming from the Former Freeholder (Magazzu) back to Senate Prez Sweeney?

    Where is the Cancelled CHECK or the Deposit Slip to PROVE the FACTS that Sweeney Claims?

    Why are People taking this WORD as True?

    Did the SL Reporter actually see the PROOF or did they just take his Word as being True?

    Did Magazzu REFUND the Others that Contributed to the NACo Campaign?

    Where is Magazzu to back this Story UP?

    I don’t Believe IT and find it hard for others to BELIEVE this Non-Sense!

    CHECKS and BALANCE make the County a Better Place

  2. Calhoun says:

    Doesn’t ELEC have to make some of this information public? To date they haven’t, the last batch of reports on complaints being published on 20 July 2011. If information is not made public on its website, then I have concerns that ELEC is giving Sweeney special treatment. The letter from ELEC to Sweeney should be OPRAed. Also, if it was not OK for Sweeney’s campaign to give, then I would also assume it was also not OK for Joseph Cryan’s and Glen Vetrano’s election campaigns to also contribute. Were they also given refunds?

  3. Im sure there will be alot of unaswered questions. Will Senate Preident Sweeney show the proof if asked or will he blow them off. That will be the million dollar question. I would hope that Senate 0resident would want to clear this mess up and move on with state business.

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