August 20, 2014
Executive Director Jeff Brindle of the Election Law Enforcement Commission is calling for comprehensive pay-to-play reform after critics revealed a loophole in Trenton’s laws. The loophole became apparent after a South Jersey law firm was awarded a contract with the city worth up to $20,000.
One of the firm’s founding partners was serving as the treasurer of a PAC when the PAC donated $8,200 to the election campaign of Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson. Because neither the law firm nor any of its partners made a donation to the PAC, the contract award was not deemed a violation of the city’s pay-to-play law.
Critics, however, want the law revised to include such contract awards. Part of Brindle’s recommendations for reform include simplifying complex laws, creating a single pay-to-play law to apply to all governments at the state, county, and local levels, and prohibiting the pay-to-play loophole for publicly bid contracts.