We found other things while surfing ELEC. One is that the Aberdeen, Hazlet and Middletown Democrats' reports all seem to be in the same handwriting, although they each have different treasurers. Weird I know. Also, of the ten Bayshore towns, six have not filed ELEC reports for their Democratic County Committee in years. They are Hazlet, Highlands, Holmdel, Keansburg, Keyport and Matawan. So a whole "cottage industry" of fundraising and spending could be going on, below ELEC's radar. In fact it is; sometimes it appears:
- Hazlet: On Oct. 24, 2005 we have a $2,600.00 contribution from a "Democratic Club of Hazlet" to the local Dem campaign. No ELEC reports filed by this club, so we don't know how much money it has, or where it came from.
- Keyport: On Oct. 14, 2005 the "Keyport Democratic Club" gave $5,000.00 to the local Democratic campaign. No ELEC report for that club, either.
- Matawan: This one was a little involved to find, but we found it while looking for payments to Courier. The 2005 Democratic campaign closed out its accounts by contributing to a future 2008 local campaign. OK, it's legal, and there are ELEC reports for the '08 account. There aren't ELEC reports to be found for "Matawan Democrats", which received $500.00 from the 2008 campaign fund.
- Middletown: There appears to be a "Middletown Democratic Social Club", with an address in Long Branch, which shows up on the Middletown Democratic Executive Committee's fourth quarter 2005 ELEC report with a $1,200.00 contribution on October 5. There are no ELEC reports for the Middletown Democratic Social Club.
Compliance with ELEC is very important. It appears however that the Monmouth County Democrats honor this mainly in the breach and otherwise take a very cavalier attitude. This was a survey of ten towns; certainly this behavior will show up elsewhere in the county; we'll be looking, too.
As part of his Ethical Roadmap, Monmouth County Republican Chairman Adam Puharic has established a Compliance Commission for the purpose of providing reference to local GOP organizations for compliance with Campaign Finance Laws. The Democrats ridicule this; they do so at their peril as they are frequently out of compliance.
This is not going away, Vic.