The campaign police

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. The campaign police