What’s going on in South Jersey?

There is an interesting website concerning Cumberland County Freeholder Director Louis Magazzu. It is called Magazzu Watch. It seems they have uncovered a scandal involving political money laundering.

Lou Magazzu was running for office in the National Association of Counties (NACo) which is a trade organization for counties, for lack of a better description. The organization is a non-profit advocate for county government.

Apparently Lou was allegedly soliciting contributions from businesses that did business in his county, or in Norcross’s Camden County and Sweeney’s Gloucester County. he also took a loan from the Cumberland County Democratic Organization, of which he is also the chair. there are questions as to whether he had committee approval, or even wrote and signed the check himself.

Lou lost his bid for NACo. In fact, in a rare move, two states objected to his initial nomination. This was a near $80,000 campaign for Magazzu.

Questions arose early on about who was paying for Lou’s many trips campaigning for this job. Questions also arose about who was payng for the other Freeholders and guests that he brought with him on his trips. lou told the press that his “PAC was paying for everything”.

When this mysterious PAC was investigated, it turned out that Magazzu lied. He didn’t have a PAC. In fact, it turned out to be nothing more than a personal bank account, a secret slush fund.

MagazzuWatch, the Republican Party, and a splinter group of Democrats that had formerly served under Lou called the Independent Leaders applied pressure until Lou released the financial information on his secret NACo slush fund.

Magazzu finally released his financials, and we now discover that Steve Sweeney (district 3) contributed $6,000 and Jon Corzine contributed $5,000. the strange thing about Corzine’s contribution to this secret slush fund was that he gave the money almost a full month AFTER Magazzu had lost his bid for NACo.

In addition, there are numerous contributions from architects and engineers that have done business with the county. This raises many questions. Was this slush fund a method to allow companies to contribute to Lou, Freeholder Director and skirt Pay-to-Play laws? Was this a method for Jon Corzine to contribute secretly to the Cumberland County Democratic Party without having to declare the money with ELEC?

This is a can of worms, and I am sure that this is not the last we will be hearing about it.

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4 Responses to “What’s going on in South Jersey?”

  1. Slush fund? Since when do slush funds send reports of their accounts to the state Election Law Enforcement Commission as did the Democratic Party in its contribution to Louis Magazzu. And how is this a scandal if the commission says details of the loan never needed to be reported, anyway. the commission wants no part of this as a guess that AG’s office also will find no wrongdoing.

    What Louis Magazzu and others do with their money is their own business. No taxpayers money was used in Mr. Magazzu’s NACo bid, which was shot down by heavily Republican states, one being Texas.

    But, in the recent past, Mr. Magazzu’s membership in NACo led the organization to award Cumberland County a pilot program, one of only six in the nation, that saved the county’s residents more than $400,000 in prescription drug costs.

    So, a summery:

    1-The state’s Election Law Enforcement Commission says it will take no action against Mr. Magazzu because they don’t see anything that is their business to deal with.

    2-Without asking the commission whether mr. Magazzu’s actions broke any state laws or ethnic codes, Cumberland County GOP chairman Bob Greco wrote the state AG asking the AG to investigate what he calls “NACogate.” No reply on whether the Ag willl even look into the matter and the Election law Commission’s decision to not look into it. But Mr. Greco and his minions have Mr. Magazzu charged, convicted and sentenced.

    3-Mr Magazzu’s NACo membership benefited Cumberland County citzens to the tune of $400,000 plus in pilot program that will continue to save county citizzens money.

    4-Jon Corzine gave money to Mr. Magazzu after the fact to help this good work continue.

    5-Benefitting the public by dong things like making drug costs lower for constituents is the job of a public servant. Louis Magazzu and Jon Corzine used their own money to achieve this goal, making them especially good public servants.

    6-Mr. Greco and company should look for good lawyers for defaming Mr. Magazzu and others.

  2. Miles, why don’t you tell BOTH sides of the story. Also please tell our readers that you are on Magazzu’s payroll! Truth in reporting, please!

    Tell the readers the truth about the prescription program, and the legal troubles of the company overseeing it, selling private information of customers, and other illegalities.

    Tell the truth about the almost $million dollars in jobs that Lou gave to those lawyers that supported him in his personal slush fund that he was not going to reveal.

    Tell the truth about the failure to report the money as either contributions to the PAC that Lou lied about, or as gifts, as required under law.

  3. Miles,
    I was at the NACo convention. Lou did NOTHING to bring a prescription drug program to Cumberland county. NACo offers it as a benefit to every county in every state in the United States. So much for Lou’s political acumen. You need to get your facts straight. The fact is, Lou was soundly defeated in his NACo bid, and didn’t even make the first ballot. And he spent $80,000 of other people’s money to go down in flames.

  4. biggassbass Says:

    Yup, Lou plays dirty politics. and our local paper the daily journal fawns over him. He needs to go and soon before, we are taken over by Boss Norcross. By the way I am Democrat and I know other Dems who want honest leadership.

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