Gov.’s office responds to pay to play report

Governor’s spokesman Michael Drewniak today responded to a state Comptroller’s report slamming the state’s pay to play laws governing local contracts.

Drewniak said it’s time for the legislature to act on comprehensive reforms to the pay to play laws.

“The time for excuses and inaction from the Democratically controlled Legislature is over: We must expand pay-to-play laws to all levels of government and stop this corrosive, corrupting process involving local contracts.  The report today from state Comptroller Matthew Boxer makes an urgent, crystal clear case for reform,” Drewniak said.

Last year, Gov. Chris Christie proposed a series of ethics reforms that included the elimination of the fair and open loophole decried by Comptroller Matthew Boxer in a report issued earlier today.  Among the proposed changes were the inclusion of labor unions in pay to play legislation and a prohibition on wheeling, which is funneling campaign donations though another entity to circumvent pay to play regulations.

The governor’s ethics proposal also included provisions to end dual government employment and dual office holding, require forfeiture of pensions by convicted public officials, prohibit use of campaign funds for criminal defense costs, and redefine conflict of interest for legislators by making recusal mandatory for direct financial conflict.

To date, none of the measures have been acted upon by the Legislature.

Drewniak said despite the Legislature’s reticence, Christie enacted his own reforms, incuding requiring any town receiving traditional aid to adopt pay to play legislation.

Gov.’s office responds to pay to play report