State Senator Ellen Karcher has filed an ethics complaint against her opponent, Assemblywoman Jennifer Beck.
Karcher filed the complaint with the Joint Committee on Ethical Standards the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, alleging that Beck used official legislative stationery to direct recipients to a Web site sponsored by the 12th district Republican campaign.
The Web site asks visitors to sign a petition that opposes allowing civilians to live on the grounds of the Naval Weapons Station Earle. The top of the homepage identifies the site as being sponsored by Beck and her Assembly running mates, Carolina Casagrande and Declan O’Scanlon.
“The taxpayer funded mailing is clearly intended to mislead the residents of Tinton Falls into thinking they are participating in a valid governmental function when in reality they are being directed to a campaign website in support of her and her running mates election to the Legislature,” said Karcher, who made ethics reform her campaign platform four years ago and is running on the issue again.
Beck responded that the complaint was "frivolous," and that she never mailed the letter. Instead, she handed it out during a visit to Seabrook Village, a senior living center in Tinton Falls. Beck said that handing out the letter did not violate the "spirit or letter of the law."
Beck said that the ethics committee's time would be better spent on getting state Senators Wayne Bryant and Sharpe James to step down from their committee assignments. Although Karcher has called on both state Senators to resign from the legislature, Beck said she had not joined her call for them to relinquish their committee roles.
"This is a frivolous complaint that she has made to the ethics committee at a time that they should be focused on her colleagues, Senators Bryant and James, who continue to have committee assignments, and she has yet to speak out there," said Beck.