JERSEY CITY - Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy vetoed today a measure passed by the City Council last month that would have set new restrictions on city contractors who make donations to candidates for the New Jersey State Senate, Assembly, and various political committees.
The measure was passed on Dec. 19 by a vote of 5 to 4 by the City Council majority, which is controlled by Ward E Councilman Steven Fulop and his allies. At this same meeting the council tabled an ordinance introduced by the Healy administration that would have placed new restrictions on businesses that have no-bid city contracts. Under the Healy ordinance, these contractors would have been barred from also making donations to candidates for the Jersey City Board of Education.
Healy and Fulop are the top contenders in the upcoming Jersey City race for mayor, which will take place in May. In recent months the two candidates have introduced dueling pay to play measures before the City Council in response to complaints from the public about questionable donations made to Board of Education candidates who later awarded contracts to these donors.
"The legislation the City Council sent to Mayor Healy would have put an end to the insidious practice of pay to play that this administration has engaged in for years to raise money for their negative campaigns," Fulop said in response to Healy's veto.
Fulop, who lead the initial push for Jersey City's first pay to play prohibition several years ago, sponsored the latest version to strengthen the law by banning contributions to Jersey City political action committees.
"It's now plainly obvious that Mayor Healy is a hypocrite who only wanted to support a weak pay-to-play law that would have done nothing to curb the flow of tainted cash into his campaign coffers," Fulop added. "We called his bluff on his election-year grandstanding. He just folded today by vetoing our stronger pay-to-play legislation." -- E. Assata Wright