Crabb: Sussex County doesn't deserve transparency
It's the law. New Jersey election law is administered by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (NJELEC). On Page 38 of NJELEC's Compliance Manual for Candidates (published in 2013), every candidate for county office is given notice that he or she is mandated to do the following:
"File a copy of every election fund report (reports filed at the 29-day and 11-day period and 20-day post-election period, along with quarterly reports) with the county clerk in the county where the candidate(s) seek(s) office."
Unfortunately for the taxpayers and citizens of Sussex County, Freeholder Phil Crabb couldn't be bothered with filing with the county clerk.
We've already seen that in 2011 Crabb was years behind filing his campaign finance reports and that since 2011 he has been consistently late in filing his reports. But that only covers what he is obliged by law to file in Trenton, with NJELEC. As far as following the law and filing with the county clerk in Sussex County, Crabb has pretty much ignored that.
And that's a problem, because Sussex County residents shouldn't have to drive two hours each way to Trenton to get a legal copy of what their elected representatives have been up to. It should be available from their County Clerk, in Newton. It should be available not only as a courtesy to the taxpayers of Sussex County, it should be available because that is the law.
Ever hear of the movie Casino Jack? It is based on the true story of lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
It makes the case for citizens to be curious about who is giving their elected officials money and why. That goes for Sussex County as it goes for the rest of America.
Since getting out of prison Jack Abramoff has cleaned up his act and now offers straight advice from someone who knows why business people, vendors, and other interest groups invest in political campaigns.
People need to know who is giving politicians money. They should know. It is their right to know. It is the law. But Phil Crabb doesn't think so.