On October 25, 2017, the Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) fined a Fairfield Township (Cumberland County) Committeeman $275 and reprimanded him for filing a campaign financing statement 609 days late.  A similar complaint against another Fairfield Committeeman is pending.

According to state law, candidates for public office are supposed to file various election-cycle reports that set forth contributions received and expenditures made.  Relieved from these filing responsibilities are candidates who run small campaigns in which less than $5,100 is spent and no contributions in cash or more than $300 from a single source are received.  Candidates who run such a small campaign are required only to file a simple one-page form known as an “Form A-1.”

According to ELEC’s May 10, 2017 complaint, Bernard Manson failed to file either his regular election-cycle-reports or a Form A-1 when he ran for a Fairfield Township Committee seat in the November 2015 general election.  On May 29, 2017, apparently after receiving ELEC’s complaint, Manson filed his Form A-1 in which he certified that he met the small-campaign qualification that relieved him from filing the more complex election-cycle reports.  Because he failed to make any timely filing at all, ELEC reprimanded Manson and fined him $275.

ELEC’s April 12, 2017 complaint against Committeeman David Gonzalez is similar except that it dealt with the 2015 primary election rather than the general election.  Gonzalez filed his Form A-1 on July 14, 2017 so it is expected that ELEC will issue its ruling shortly.  Those interested in searching ELEC’s complaint database may access it here.

Chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Open Government Advocacy Project. Please send all comments to [email protected]