Oink! Oink! Wayne Bryant wants to use campaign funds for criminal defense; Corzine still hasn’t named Republican to ELEC

The New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission will discuss a request by former State Senator Wayne Bryant’s attorney for an

The New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission will discuss a request by former State Senator Wayne Bryant’s attorney for an advisor opinion on whether Bryant can use leftover campaign funds to pay for his legal defense. Bryant, who left the Senate yesterday, faces a 20-count federal criminal indictment. Bryant has nearly $650,000 in his campaign account – accrued through years of non-competitive campaigns in a safe district.

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ELEC has placed the Bryant matter on its January 15 agenda. State law requires the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission to be equally divided among both political parties, but in the months preceding the 2007 general election, Democrats have a 2-1 majority. The second Republican seat has been vacant since Corzine named retired Judge Theodore Davis to serve as the Chief Operating Officer of the City of Camden in December 2006.

In late October, when the commission was dealing with potentially sensitive campaign finance matters — like whether Democratic Assemblywoman Linda Greenstein should receive $100,000 in Clean Elections relief money – Corzine appointed Gabriella Morris as the new Republican Commissioner. The appointment was withdrawn one day later when Corzine realized that Morris, who handles government affairs for Prudential, could not hold the post because ELEC also regulates lobbyists.

Oink! Oink! Wayne Bryant wants to use campaign funds for criminal defense; Corzine still hasn’t named Republican to ELEC