Thursday, February 25, 2010

GOP's John Sette takes a pass on Krickus

Earlier today, I had the following blog exchange with Morris County Republican Committee Chairman John Sette:
Nice to see you join this discussion. While we have your attention can you please address this question about John Krickus, one of your candidates for Freeholder this year?

Will one of his campaign practices include requiring a Washington Township employee to provide him with a list of vendors with whom the township spent $10K or more so he can send each a letter on township letterhead asking for a donation to your campaign? This is what the current township administrator and a former GOP township committeeman says he did when he was Mayor of Washington Township. Did you approve of this John? If you don’t, why should the voters of Morris County trust John Krickus? Especially with pay-to-play being such a big issue nowadays.

Mr. Sette provided the following response:

Kevin, I just got home….Let me address your concerns: First John Krickus is not “MY CANDIDATE” We have an open primary where anyone can run ..unlike the Democratic Party which has a “Party Line”. The Morris County Republican Committee does not pay for or endorse candidates in our Open Primary. Therefore any money that the candidates raise is for their use…Not the County Organization. As to getting a list of the vendors: I would assume that he put in an OPRA request. This is information that any citizen can request. Again, MCRC has no power to tell any candidate how to raise money for his or her own use. The Democratic Chairman has the ability to throw a candidate off the County Line if he or she does something wrong. I do not have that power.
Here is my response back to Mr. Sette, as he seems to have avoided the key points of my question:
While I appreciate your attempt to respond, your answer seems to have avoided the most important part of my question. Unless you think it is OK for a sitting Mayor to direct a municipal employee to provide him a list of vendors with whom a township spends $10K or more so one can send them a letter on township letterhead asking for a campaign donation? Do you not see anything ethically wrong with this John? And by the way, based on what I have been told, John Krickus did not do this via an OPRA request.
Also, I realize Krickus is not your candidate, but he is a Morris County Republican, is he not?

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