A Star-Ledger report that Gov. Jon Corzine contributed $87,000 to Rev. Reginald Jackson's church is more evidence that the governor is trying to buy endorsements, said State Sen. Joseph Kyrillos (R-Middletown), the chairman of Republican Christopher Christie's campaign.
"For the past ten years, Jon Corzine has used his personal wealth to influence elections and voters across our state and, now, it appears he is using contributions from his charitable foundation to continue this excessive influence," Kyrillos said. "It is improper for Governor Corzine to contribute such large sums to organizations with a vested interest in the governor's race and with significant political sway during an election year."
Corzine's charitable foundation has applied for an extension on the filing of their 2008 tax return with the Internal Revenue Service, a move that can delay disclosure of their contributions until after Election Day.
"Governor Corzine must adhere to the standards of good governance and transparency he has frequently spoken of, but seldom employed as evidenced by his flat-out refusal to make his foundation's contributions public. Instead of using loopholes to avoid transparency, he must fully disclose the scope of his foundation's gifts and influence," Kyrillos said.
During his 2000 campaign for the U.S. Senate, Corzine contributed to Jackson's church just before he received the endorsement of the influential Executive Director of the New Jersey Council of Black Ministers. Corzine has also forgiven a $50,000 personal loan to Jackson.
Herbert Glenn, a Republican Assembly candidate from Newark and a Jackson critic, alleged today that Corzine is trying to buy the support of clergyman because he "has done nothing for the black community."
"We are suffering from a political system that distorts the truth," said Glenn. "I love my pastors. I believe that if they step into the political arena, then they should be doing it to advance their ministry, not their own personal agenda."
Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini (R-Ocean Twp.) said that Corzine told the Star-Ledger in 2005 that he would assure full transparency of his foundation.
"Governor Corzine must live up to his pledge and tell the voters the full extent of his foundation's contributions," Angelini said.