SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – According to the head of the local Republican election campaign, mayor candidate Chrissy Buteas and her party have violated campaign finance laws and are being hypocritical in castigating Republicans for making similar mistakes five years ago.
GOP Campaign Manager Bob Jones made the charges after seeing news accounts in which Buteas commented on a recent fine arising from the Republican 2009 campaign. That campaign was fined by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission for late reporting and for accidentally failing to include certain in-kind donations.
Jones charged local Democrats and candidate for mayor Chrissy Buteas with making the same mistakes.
“They are taking a holier-than-thou attitude, but their campaigns have made the same mistakes, some even worse” said Jones. “They want to throw stones, but they live in a glass house.”
According to Jones, the Republican campaign settled with the commission in April. “Everything was actually reported, but it was not on all the right forms,” he said.
“I find it hypocritical that mayoral candidate Chrissy Buteas would attack Republicans for making these mistakes, when she and her party also made them.”
According to publicly available documents, Buteas filed her campaign reports a month after they were due in the third quarters of 2012 and 2013, and she filed them over 20 days late in the first quarters of 2013 and 2014. In three instances, reports due before the general election but were not filed until after.
“But it gets worse,” Jones said. The Democrat committee report that was due in January 2014 was not submitted until March, and the one due in April wasn’t filed until two weeks ago—three months late.”
“Buteas demanded an apology from Republicans for this,” Jones said. “Will she apologize herself?”
Local Republicans also say Democrats violated campaign-finance laws by failing to put required disclaimers on a campaign ad and by failing to report in-kind donations.
“The Democrats failed to include paid-for language in an ad that ran in a local paper,” Jones said. “That’s illegal.”
According to Jones, the Democrats also failed to report in-kind donations last year. “I have copies of their advertising, but the donations appear nowhere in their reports.”
Jones, an attorney, says he plans to submit a formal complaint to the election commission. “We all have to play by the same rules, even Chrissy Buteas,” he said.