More “Pay to Play” Crap

12/3/2007:

Again, another example of how our local government officials (i.e., judges, mayors, council members, etc.) in Hudson County have no interest in reasonable community methodologies.

A reporter for the Journal, Ken Thourborne, wrote today that an appellate court is hearing oral arguments today regarding the whole “pay to play” ordinance in Hoboken.

To sum it up, the “pay to play” ordinance basically shuns upon companies with vested interests in our community to “contribute” (i.e., pad the pockets) of individuals running for office of “influence” (yes I love the quotes “Maria”).

The People for Open Government (POG) “filed the lawsuit in June 2005, claiming a slate headed up by Hoboken Mayor David Roberts, collected more than $1 million in campaign contributions from businesses that have no-bid professional contracts with the city. The lawsuit claims that these actions are in violation of the “Hoboken Public Contracting Reform Ordinance.”

Hudson County Assignment Judge Maurice J. Gallipoli decided the the POG didn’t have the right to sue, since they weren’t directly affected. (This is complete crap, IMO. They’re suing because they’re tired of the way our corrupt city government is easily manipulated).

Additionally, now Mayor Roberts is clamoring that he wants these “petitions” to require more signatures before they get placed on the ballot. No duh, sherlock. Of course you want to make it more difficult for “change” to take place in our city.

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5 Comments on "More “Pay to Play” Crap"


strand tramp
Member
strand tramp
8 years 9 months ago

it the citizens cannot sue to force the city to enforce their own laws, the only other choice is civil disobedience, which could be anything from a protest march, to burning down city hall.

estevens
Member
8 years 9 months ago

Many thanks to Renee Steinhagen of New Jersey Appleseed for preparing and arguing our case pro bono. She’s a great person and truly does good works for the public interest.

http://njappleseed.net/

estevens
Member
8 years 9 months ago

It will be a while before we receive a ruling on the standing issue – whether a citizen or citizens group can sue the city to enforce an ordinance – but the appellate court judges seemed to be somewhat favorable to our argument.

This case is important because there are approximately 90 other New Jersey communities that have adopted pay-to-play laws as well. How well these laws are enforced and what remedies are available to citizens when they are not enforced will in some small way be decided by this case.

professor pinetop
Member
professor pinetop
8 years 9 months ago

the p.o.g. antipaytoplay ordinance was a great and hard fought victory. for those who do not remember, the council fought against putting it on the ballot at all, then fought for placing a second toothless version to confuse the voters and then fought to put it on a secondary ballot that would require voters to vote in a seperate location on election day. fortunately the council lost on all counts.

note that the biggest opponent to the p.o.g. ordinance is peter cammerano who seems to feel that the system of incumbents getting massive contributions from people who do business with the city and developers who get massive tax abatements is a good and proper thing…. peter thinks we cannot legislate morality – perhaps he is right but that doesn’t mean we cannot legally force ethical behavior. for those out there who honestly think this guy would be a good mayor, please think about his attitude towards campaign finance reform. campaign finance reform doesn’t hurt the little guy. it hurts the entrenched power elite.

thank goodness for p.o.g. thank goodness for beth mason’s fighting for open records and the filming/televising of meetings, thank goodness dawn prevailed over politically motivated allegations. good things are happening – true democracy will prevail as long as people stay aware of issues, involved, and above all, remember to vote in local elections.

homeworld
Member
8 years 9 months ago

I guess that judge was never a fan of pogs in the 90s

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