TRENTON – Senator Ellen Karcher, D-Monmouth and Mercer, a leader in the State Senate on reform measures to promote ethical government, issued the following statement today regarding the approval, by a vote of 34-0, of a bill banning pay to play at the State level:
“Pay to play, or the practice of trading campaign contributions for lucrative governmental contracts, is an insidious disease, eating away at the effectiveness, honesty, and integrity of government in New Jersey. Today, we took the first step, of many, to cure State government of that disease.
“Despite the positive aspects of the bill voted on today by the Senate, which codifies a strong pay-to-play ban enacted by Executive Order by former Governor McGreevey, the Republican caucus chose to highlight the negative, for purposes that seemed almost overtly political. While I’ve extended my hand to work with both parties to advance ethics reforms, I have yet to hear a single Republican voice offer me anything but political rhetoric.
“The time to stand on the side of policy over politics is fast-approaching, and I hope the Republicans can forget the Governor’s race long enough to do something positive for the people of New Jersey, regardless of whose name is on the bill, or which political party can claim responsibility.
“New Jerseyans are starving for ethics reform. Every public official indicted on unethical behavior is a dagger in all of our hearts. We’ve taken an important first step today, and I look forward to pushing ethics reform to its ultimate end.”