By Jennifer Amato
SOUTH BRUNSWICK – Volunteers with Represent Central New Jersey helped pass an anti-corruption resolution in South Brunswick on April 12, the third town in Central New Jersey to do so.
The American Anti-Corruption Act sets a standard for local, state and federal laws to stop bribery by preventing lobbyists from donating to politicians and/or offering them any deals that could influence policymaking; to end secret money by mandating the disclosure of all political money and “bundlers” who gather contributions for politicians; and to empower voters by imposing strict limits on political action committees and giving voters an annual $100 tax rebate to be spent supporting the candidate or party of their choice, according to a statement posted on Represent.Us.
The American Anti-Corruption Act was drafted in 2011. In 2014, Princeton became the first town to support the reform, followed by Ewing Township.
“We really kind of needed this. Just take a look at what is happening across the entire country. People are becoming discouraged with what is happening around the country. We need open, transparent government,” South Brunswick Mayor Frank Gambatese said.
In his 18 years on the township council and 14 years as mayor, Gambatese said he does not recall any instances of corruption in town.
“We happen to be a very open town,” he said, noting that the council, planning board and zoning board meetings are televised; a public information officer keeps the media abreast; and the municipal clerk constantly complies with OPRA (Open Public Records Act) requests.
“I’m very pleased with my administration and how we see government. There is nothing we don’t open up to the people. We try to be very transparent,” he said.
Represent.Us chapters are forming all across the country in a nationally coordinated effort to end corruption at the local level. Gambatese said he hopes every state takes a similar stance as South Brunswick.
“The money has become the [motivation] for politicians these days. Until you take the money out of the power of voting, anti-corruption is just paramount,” Gambatese said. “We gotta get rid of corruption in local governments and right on up to the top, quite frankly.”
For more information, visit https://represent.us
Contact Jennifer Amato at firstname.lastname@example.org.