In case you missed it: the Legislature actually wrote a Clean Elections law that provides relief money to a candidate who is “the subject of unfavorable campaign publicity.” The relief package is up to $100,000 in public funds.
Suddenly, the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission finds itself in a fairly powerful position – deciding what constitutes “unfavorable publicity or advertisements.” This is a fairly broad and subjective area. Does it require more than a closed-door ELEC meeting without an appropriate investigation? A bad ruling could negatively impact the future of the Clean Elections program.
The deciders are the three ELEC commissioners: Jerry Fitzgerald English and Albert Burstein, both former Democratic legislators, and Peter Tober, a former Assistant Counsel to two Republican Governors. And the author of the potentially flawed law is Assemblywoman Linda Greenstein, who is also the potential beneficiary of the relief money.