Who is paying Curley’s Legal Fees? Are Those Fees Campaign Expenses?

Where is John Curley getting $300,000 to $500,000 to pursue his ridiculous lawsuit?

Angelo Genova, $850 per hour

Disgraced Freeholder John P. Curley’s attorneys, Genova Burns, submitted an invoice for $30,483.92 for their work on Curley’s contempt motion only yesterday in federal court.  Curley sued Monmouth County taxpayers, his fellow freeholders, County Administrator Teri O’Connor and County Counsel Michael Fitzgerald late last year in an effort to keep an investigative report into his alleged conduct of employee harassment, sexual and otherwise, from becoming public.

U.S. District Court Judge Brian R. Martinotti dismissed Curley’s 12 count suit (not covered in the $30,483.92 invoice), but held the freeholders in contempt for revealing parts of the report in their Censure and Reprimand Resolution of Curley in December.  Judge Martinotti ruled the County must pay Curley’s legal fees associated with the contempt motion.  The County has appealed the contempt ruling, arguing that the information in the Censure and Reprimand did not come from the investigative report prepared by retired Acting Supreme Court Justice Mary Catherine Cuff.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: August 24th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County News, New Jersey, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

Monmouth Dems Outraise Monmouth GOP

In their first quarters as party chairmen, Democrat Vin Gopal bested Republican John Bennett in the fundraising battle by over $10,000.

According to their reports filed with the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission, the Monmouth County Democrats raised $38,647.50. and spent $28,096.01.  The Democrats started the quarter with only $957 in cash. As of September 30th they had $11,509.

The Monmouth GOP ended the quarter with almost $2,000 less cash than it had when Bennett was elected.  The GOP reported raising $28,296 and spending $30,284.  Former Chairman Joe Oxley left Bennett with $34,790.  Of the $28K  Bennett raised, $6000 was donated by the Election Fund of Assemblyman Dave Rible and $3000 was donated by Senator Jennifer Beck’s campaign account.

Gopal’s large donors were Local Union 400 IBEW ($3500), the Middletown Democrats ($1850), Plumbers and Pipe fitters Local Union #9 ($1000) and the Uliano Law Firm of West Long Branch ($1500).

Gopal raised $20,710 in contributions of $300 or less.  Bennett raised $9,802 in donations of $300 or less.

“The Monmouth County Democrats are organizing at a grassroots level because residents across the county are beginning to realize there is a very clear difference between the two political parties,” said Gopal,   “At our convention last June, we had a turnout of over 90% of our county committee with hundreds of new county committee members entering the political process, many of them first time contributors to our party,”

” With party standard bearers like Barack Obama, Bob Menendez and Frank Pallone, people see that we are building and we are organizing.  The Monmouth County Democratic Party is fighting for middle-class taxpayers, fighting for small business owners and working to protect our environment.  There is a clear difference between the two county parties and our messages and people across the county are beginning to recognize these differences.”

Bennett did not return a call for comment.

Posted: October 24th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: John Bennett, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth Democrats, Monmouth GOP, Vin Gopal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

ELEC Reporting Lacks Transparency

NJ ELEC needs to improve its service to the citizens of New Jersey

By Harold V. Kane

Harold V. Kane

The print and electronic media have, since last September, shone a spotlight on the Middlesex County Democrats fundraising activities. The Democrats established a number of Political Action Committees designed to subvert the 2006 changes to the NJ election finance laws. The question arises-why did they think that they could get away with it, when all contributions are reported to the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission. One answer could be because of a flaw in the ELEC computer program. The ELEC program is, at best, difficult to use. However once persons making queries understands how the programs work, then they also determine that all contributions and expenditures are there, somewhere. Even the administrators/treasurers for the Democrat PACs dutifully complied with the reporting requirements.

The ELEC reporting program offers a category of “Simple Search by Contributor”. When a user clicks on this category a page opens that states: “The Simple Search will search the campaign finance database for a contributor to campaigns, Political Party Committees, Legislative Leadership Committees and Political Action Committees.” Except that it doesn’t!

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: May 5th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Harold Kane | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on ELEC Reporting Lacks Transparency

Turning up the heat on Middlesex County pay to play scandal

Politickernj writers Darryl Isherwood and Max Pizarro posted an in depth piece yesterday afternoon that exposes an incestuous web of influence driving planning, zoning and development approvals before the Middlesex County Freeholder Board and several municipal planning boards in the county.  

State Senator Bob Smith of Piscataway is the leader of the PACs that fund the campaigns of the Freeholders and municipal officials who approve the applications.  The applicants are donors to the PACs.  Smith is the applicants’ attorney.

It’s all legal.  And no one would know about it if not for Harold Kane of Monroe Township painstakingly examining thousands of pages of ELEC reports to find out where all the Middlesex Democratic money was coming from and the good journalists at Politickernj and The Star Ledger following the money.

Smith, the Senator working the system, and Peter Barnes, the Assemblyman and Middlesex County Democratic Chairman who’s candidates benefit from the system, know the solution to this “craziness.”   Barnes said that “any impetus to close the hole lies with the legislature.”  Smith said, “There is a solution to the craziness we have now and that is publicly financed elections – or complete transparency. “In New Jersey, we have nothing but chaos. The state needs one set standard across the state.”

Where is their legislation?   Smith and Barnes are both powerful members of the legislature.  They obviously know how the work the system.  They know how to fix it. 

Sponsor the legislation gentlemen.  Publicly financed elections won’t work.  Complete transparency will.

Here’s a campaign finance system that would be transparent:

1) Remove all limits on campaign contributions.

2) Require that all candidates and campaigns disclose all contributions of any amount on a dedicated website within 24 hours of receipt.

3) Competing campaigns, good citizens like Kane, and good journalist will examine the donations and expose influence.  Voters will decide if the influence is acceptable of not.

Correction: Peter Barnes, Jr, the Middlesex Democratic Chairman is no longer in the legislature.  His son, Peter III is an Assemblyman.

Now there are two Barnes and a Smith who can advocate for legislation that creates complete transparency.

Posted: April 20th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Campaign Contributions, Campaign Finance, ELEC, Middlesex County Democrats, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

ELEC Meets Today

Is Lonegan On The Agenda?

By Art Gallagher

The New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission meets in Trenton this morning. 

It is the commission’s first meeting since the Think Progress blog reported that Lonegan apparently lied about his compensation from Americans For Prosperity when he sought and received $2.7 million in taxpayer “matching funds” for his 2009 Republican gubernatorial primary bid against Chris Christie.

ELEC forbids candidates from receiving matching funds if they were “involved in anyway” in the management of a political advocacy organization unless the organization discloses the names of its donors.  Lonegan, who is and was the Executive Director of Americans For Prosperity-NJ, said the disclosure requirements did not apply to him or AFP because he was paid from the organization’s education account rather than its lobbying account.  Think Progress says they’ve seen tax records that reveal he was paid by the lobbying branch.

The Lonegan controversy is not on the commission’s published agenda, however it could come up in public comments or executive session.

In addition to the fund raising controversy, our friends at The State-NJ report that Governor Christie’s office has suggested that AFP national president Tim Phillips prevail upon Lonegan to tone down his rhetoric.


Posted: April 26th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Americans For Prosperity, ELEC, Steve Lonegan | Tags: , , | 4 Comments »