Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Bethlehem Magisterial Candidate Cruz Violates Campaign Finance Laws

Juan "Johnny" Cruz, a social services worker from South Bethlehem, is running for the district judge seat that vacated by Elizabeth Romig after thirty years on the bench. But his campaign finance report reveals he can't follow the law.

Pennsylvania campaign finance law is wide open. There's no limit on contributions, whether individual or from a political action committee. But one type of donation is strictly forbidden - those from corporations.

Johnny, however, raked in $200 from Allentown corporation NAM Investments, Inc. on March 20. I'm sure this violation is unintentional. But if Cruz can't follow the law, how can he be expected to uphold it?

Update: Rob Hopkins at Keystone Politics has called to say that he has known Cruz for many years and considers him a fine candidate. At Johnny's request, he reviewed the finance report filed last Friday. Hopkins agrees this corporate contribution is illegal, and Cruz will return it.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

John Cruz is a good man, I knew him 30 years ago, kind and respctful,a great person.......Vote him in....

Bernie O'Hare said...

Politico!

There are lots of great people who should never be judges. Vote in a dude as judge when he can't follow very simple campaign finance laws? You'll have to do better than that.

Anonymous said...

Campaign rules and regs are pretty difficult to deal with sometimes.
However, who are Cruz friends that don't even know the very basic number one rule of "no corporate checks" allowed to finance campaigns? His friends are as guilty as the candidate, in my opinion. I'm sure Mr. Cruz is a nice guy, but you know what they say about nice guys!

I know the Romig/Seyfried family 50+ years!
The entire family is, and always has been, kind, respectful and great community servants. Vote Romig-Passaro! www.kisslinger.com

Bernie O'Hare said...

Larry!

I spent a half-day yesterday in the voter registration office, looking over all of the campaign finance reports. I am disturbed by what I saw in the three magisterial districts up for grabs in NC. I'll have something about that tomorrow. Lawyers are trying to buy the distrtict judges. In Bethlehem, the district judge candidate being bought is Negrete.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
That is becuase Negrete is an attorney. Of course an attorney will help out other attorneys, especially when they need to practice in front of them.

I am sure most of the other contributions to the DJ candidates are landlords.

I agree with Larry. Romig-Passero is the best choice. Her family has a long history of service to Bethlehem and Northampton County and she is certified to be a DJ.

Anonymous said...

You have been very busy today, Bernie. I see you have Ross' panties all in a bunch at NOC.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'm a miserable bastard! But Ross will be fine. We both stopped wearing panties a long time ago. Ross no longer goes to the bathroom and I wear Depends.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see your comments on the NC magistrate race. I've already seen a few sleazy things happen from one particularly desperate candidate.

Anonymous said...

Not defending anyone, just want to toss out there, campaign finance laws require public disclosure of information. This is a valuable tool to help candidates get 'second options' from people who are not vested in them. It appears here, it worked. Kudos, and I'm sure things will be fixed with an amendment.

Now for people to generate an option about this event, I have questions. Was there a treasurer? Was this a committee? Was this a candidate with the help of an accountant? See what I'm asking? The paperwork required can be cumbersome, and challenging to non-accountants(or accountants not familiar with the laws).

Bernie O'Hare said...

Tom,

I hold judicial candidates, even mini-judicial candidates, to a higher standard. The job pays $74,566. For that, they can do it right.

Anonymous said...

Tom, what about candidates who send out anonymous mailers smearing his/her opponent? That recently happened in my district.

The mailing was done anonymously, so it won't show up on any campaign finance reports (probably paid for out of the candidate's own pocket). The voters have no way of knowing for sure which opponent sent it (although I am pretty sure I know who did it).

And this person thinks s/he would make a good magistrate. So much for integrity!

Bernie O'Hare said...

LVHousewife. Please give me the details of the smear campaign. You can note it here or email me at BOHare5948@aol.com.

LVDem said...

good catch Rob. Shame he didn't know this in the first place. That's embarassing.

Bernie O'Hare said...

LVDem,

It was caught? Not till after it was filed and yours truly complained about it. We call that an error in b-ball.

Anonymous said...

LehighValleyHousewife,

I wasn't defending anyone, just asking questions. As for any anonymous smear campaigns, I hope that voters are astute. Understanding that they have no credibility, especially since they seem to be intentionally working outsides of the law.

Curious, Bernie if you get a copy, is it ok to post it on your blog? Sunshine kills germs. ;)

Bernie O'Hare said...

That is my intention.

LVDem said...

sorry Bernie... I meant to type your name in there too. You did the leg work, Rob followed up with the candidate. Gotta keep 'em honest.

Very silly error... whatever you want to call it. one way or another, the ball hit the ground.

Anonymous said...

Tom, unfortunately, I am not sure if the average voter checks his mailing to see if it's properly identified with the name of the organization who sent it. All they may remember is the negative message.

It's bad enough to get stuff like this from any candidate, but when you have a potential judge working on the outside of the law, it's downright disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Don't think it matters now. When I searched google for: northampton county Juan Cruz judge, I got that fake wfmz elections page last night. He lost already. :D

It late when I found the page, and I had to ask the Wifey, "were we suppose to vote today?" ;)