Following an initial ELEC complaint that caused one incumbent city councilman to drop out of the race for his own reelection, state officials will be conducting an investigation into the Lumberton Township Committee as a whole. Mike Dinneen, who would have gone up against Democrat Terrance P. Benson to keep his seat, bowed out in August.
Memos from ELEC, New Jersey’s Election law Enforcement Commission, shows the agency’s Shreve Marshall granting Benson’s request for investigations into fundraising groups “Friends of Mike and Jim,” Dinneen, and joint candidates committee “Friends of Lew and Sean.”
Benson’s complaint alleges that Dinneen and his fellow Republican committee members illegally pooled their campaign cash, transferring funds between their respective committees in excess of state candidate-to-candidate contribution limits.
“The State’s decision to investigate the blatant violations of my opponent’s Republican allies speaks volumes about the toxic political culture and climate in Lumberton,” Benson said of that decision. “I’m confident our State investigators will leave no stone unturned and justice will be done on behalf of the township’s hardworking taxpayers.”
Committeeman Mike Mansdoerfer fell on his sword for the violations back in August. Mansdoerfer had transferred $43,010 this year from the joint account of Republican committee members Jim Conway to Dinneen’s camapaign, and $19,229 from Conway’s campaign to his own and then to Dinneen’s in 2013. Republicans committee members Lewis Jackson and Sean Earlen also received $19,077 from Dinneen’s fund in 2014.
The limit for contributions from one candidate committee to another is $8,200.