Sunday, March 20, 2011

An Open Letter to NJ Assemblyman Paul Moriarty - Has Governor Christie Violated Election Laws?

The Honorable Paul D. Moriarty
NJ State Assemblyman, Legislative District #4
129 Johnson Road
Suite 1
Turnersville, NJ 08012

Dear Mr. Moriarty:

As a citizen and taxpayer in the State of New Jersey, I applaud your recent remarks criticizing Governor Chris Christie for his partisan political rallies, masquerading as "Town Hall" meetings, at taxpayer expense. I am proud to be represented by such a dedicated public servant, looking out for the best interests of the citizens of New Jersey.

You stated:
These are taxpayer-funded events organized and promoted by the taxpayer-funded governor’s office. If the governor sticks to public policy, that’s fine. But if the governor wants to campaign, he must dip into his own wallet.

I agree with you 100%

These so-called “Town Hall” meetings are, in fact, political rallies to benefit the Governor’s political agenda, characterized by:
  • The events are purportedly open to the public, but appear to be planned in stealth and supporters are notified in advance. Public notice is typically two days before the event.
  • It appears the non-supporters have been identified and purged from the Governor’s email list.
  • The events are always held during the day, on a weekday, making it difficult or impossible for working people to attend, and all but ensuring a homogenous pro-Christie crowd.
  • Governor Christie has in the past used the Q&A section of the events to rudely berate constituents who do not agree with him, for the benefit of his taxpayer funded YouTube channel. This practice has recently subsided in favor of Q&A involving what appear to be planted questioners lobbing softballs, again to be promoted on the Governor’s taxpayer-funded YouTube channel.
  • The Governor typically makes a show of referring at least one of the questioners to his Constituent Relations staffer to make the event appear to be non-political.
  • His most recent egregious partisan move at a “town hall” was to conscript a group of students from St. James School in Woodbridge to support passage of the Opportunity Scholarship Act, a proposed school voucher program. The students appeared wearing t-shirts supporting the Act.
In light of the above, and other examples not listed of which you are certainly aware, I respectfully request that you initiate in the Assembly, hearings and investigations of possible violations of the Campaign Contributions and Expenditures Reporting Act, N.J.S.A. 19:44A-1, the Personal Financial Disclosure Act, N.J.S.A. 19:44B-1, and the Legislative and Governmental Processes Activities Disclosure Act, N.J.S.A. 52:13C-18, for the purposes of filing a complaint with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission ("ELEC") on behalf of the taxpayers of New Jersey.

Thank you for considering this request and your consistent excellent service to your constituents in the 4th Legislative District.

Respectfully Submitted,
Jeffrey R. Pickens

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