Wednesday, June 21, 2017

So, the guy who wrote the pay to play law, to much fanfare, doesn't want to follow it

Mayor Fulop, Suez (formerly United) Water and the old checkbook are getting each other in trouble anymore. See, you'll recall when councilman Fulop did that great thing of creating a Jersey City pay to play law to help clean up government that was so good it was adopted by the state of New Jersey.

That's a fine accomplishment. Know what might be more impressive? Following your own damned law. Our play tonight comes in three acts, directed by Jersey Journal Terrence T. McDonald.

Act I The Money Flows
Suez and its political action committee gave Fulop's re-election bid at least $10,800 in the last four years, plus another $1,000 to the Fulop-controlled Jersey City Democratic Committee, campaign reports show. Those amounts exceed contribution limits placed on some city vendors by the city's pay-to-play law. (Add to this the generous 10K contribution to Fulop's SuperPAC in his canceled run for Governor)

Act II The Word Salad
Asked to comment, Suez spokeswoman Madeline Power said, "The Suez Political Action Committee ensures that all of its contributions comply with local, state and federal laws."

Act III Salience
Craig Holman, a lobbyist for the Washington group Public Citizen, helped draft New Jersey's pay-to-play ban, which was modeled after Jersey City's law. Holman reviewed the city's pay-to-play ban and the Suez donations for The Jersey Journal. "They would appear to be a direct violation of the pay-to-pay law," Holman said. "The MUA ... agreed to the pay-to-play policy, which it should, but is clearly not abiding by it."

So, as McDonald points out, it sounds like Fulop has no intention of following his own law or if he does at best in a slapdash fashion with plenty of excuses. Suez is willing to say anything and it would appear pay anything to keep the MUA contract that's coming up for them. This might lead some cynical reporter like Johnny to ask if Mr. Fulop meant the law he backed or if he only wanted to hurt former Mayor Healy with it.

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