Thursday, June 08, 2006

DEM PAC BAGMAN PLEADS NOT GUILTY

The Asbury Park Press reports today that Charles G. Betancourt, former treasurer of the Central Jersey Democratic Leadership Council (CJDLC), has pleaded not guilty in Middlesex County Superior Court to embezzling $53,238.00 from the Democratic PAC.

The CJDLC is a Rahway-based PAC led by the oompaloompaesque Union County publisher and Bill Flynn associate James J. Devine.


Formerly, the CJDLC weBSite claimed the CJDLC is not subject to ELEC reporting as it is organized as a 527 fund. It now states, "Membership fees or gifts to the Central Jersey Democratic Leadership Council are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. They are also not subject to federal or state election law limits."

The CJDLC was a major contributor to the losing 2005 Bill Flynn - Mike DaSaro assembly campaign, and Devine was treasurer of Lenny Inzerillo's unsuccessful 2003 assembly campaign. Both campaigns were in the 13th District.

Ironically, Devine stated on the Handlin-Thompson.org website, "Donations will be deposited into the personal bank account of this website's owner/operator and will be used to defray expenses for research and reporting about the corrupt politicians to whom this site is dedicated." Guess Betancourt decided to take that one to new levels.

Betancourt is still listed as treasurer on the PAC's weBSite.

7 comments:

Everyone Loves Anna ;( said...

Maybe that guy took the money when my campaign account closed

Honest Abe said...

Oh, you mean like nearly a month before the '03 election?
Look into this Lenny. It's not going away.

Everyone Loves Anna ;( said...

Do you think it would work it I filed a form that said Maybe Betancourt took the money?

Honest Abe said...

Maybe. But, you see, ELEC doesn't have a "Betancourt Took The Money Form."
It's not going away.

JIM_PURCELL said...

Just for a moment. Lenny's campaign had a problem. Something went on that Lenny didn't know about...it happened and he's getting a bullet for it here. At no point here, though, is anyone saying or concluding that Lenny Inzerillo absolutely did this or that. But, I understand the princile. It's my point of view that candidates, regardless of who does what when, are absolutely responsible for everything that happens in their campaigns. I've always maintained that. Recently, a strong argument regarding another issue made me think twice about that position. But, it has virtue. Fix responsibility and hold accountable. But, the question begs asking: Is that a uniform standard and if it is then should it be applied broadly, both parties, all candidates, for the length of their public careers and with regularity? I understand exactly what you guys are saying. I'm almost in agreement. If it's right to do that with Lenny, then it would also be right to apply that principle broadly, wherever such issues exist in ALL candidates. If it's good for both sides of the question I see it being fair, as are your positions.

Honest Abe said...

Not for the length of his public career, but until the problem is dealt with.
Till then, it's not going away.
Candidates are put in a position of having to trust their campaign staff, in this case a treasurer. They must be able trust that the treasurer not only files the ELEC reports on time, but keeps an eye on where the contributions are coming from and spends the money wisely and honestly. It is the candidate's name on the account and he is ultimately responsible.
Lenny needs to deal with this issue or it will dog him through November. This would apply to Tom Perry too if he were running for something. Whether it was Jim Devine who was treasurer of the second unreported account, or if it was someone else, even Betancourt, those reports need to be taken care of. Lenny should contact that treasurer and demand that the reports be filled out and sent to ELEC.
Till then, it's not going away.

JIM_PURCELL said...

That's fair.