Tuesday, March 08, 2005

New Jersey Legislator Doesn't Get It

The Burlington County Times reports on a bill introduced by my Assemblyman, Herb Conaway (D-7th). Conaway wants to create a deputy to the county Superintendent of Elections.
The appointed Superintendent is a Republican. Conaway's bill would mandate that the Superintendent and deputy be from different parties. Details of the bill (as described on the Legislature's website):

A2310 Requires every second class county to establish office of deputy Superintendent of elections; authorizes county committees to select nominees for Superintendent in such counties; appropriates funds
Given that the county Board of Elections is already evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, I can't see how this ridiculous patronage job will accomplish anything useful. Conaway sees it differently (from the BCT article):
Conaway, however, defended his bill. He said it provides an extra level of confidence in the integrity of the election process, needed given the closeness of recent elections.
"I believe we need the office that runs elections to be politically balanced,'' he said. "There are legitimate reasons to be concerned about the legitimacy of the process.''
Dr. Conaway, if there are questions about the legitimacy of "the process," then there are questions about the legitimacy of the office which you hold. I suggest you step down and stop trying to waste our tax dollars by mandating duplicative positions that do nothing. The counties already have authority under the law to create the position of deputy to the Superintendent of Elections. The pertinent text of your bill, paragraph 2, clearly shows this existing authority.
2. Section 1 of P.L.1992, c.17 (C.19:32-26.1) is amended to read as follows:

1. The governing body of a county of the second class in which the office of superintendent of elections for the county has been established pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1947, c.167 (C.19:32-26) [may] shall establish[, by ordinance or resolution, as appropriate,] the office of deputy superintendent of elections.

If Burlington (or any other county) needs a deputy, the Freeholders are quite capable of making that determination. This bill is a waste of the Legislature's time and the taxpayer's money.