The Latest Democrat Political Scandal In New Jersey
Thomas’ speech created an uproar, with students, faculty and parents describing the speech as confrontational, unprofessional and disrespectful. The Secretary of State lambasted one student for his lack of knowledge of black history and insinuated the school’s students were racist.
This incident focused attention on New Jersey’s Secretary of State position and prompted Roberto to ask, “Do we really need a Secretary of State?” and “Perhaps this would be a good time to reduce the NJ state workforce by one?”
Well, now it seems the Republicans have two reasons to ask Regena Thomas to resign as Secretary of State – she’s incompetent and she may have been involved with John Kerry (D-Ma) in violating federal election laws.
First as to the value of a State Department and the lack of demonstrated competency by the Secretary of State, Regena Thomas. You may want to take a look at the "essential services" New Jersey’s State Department provides for a mere $1.2 billion. If it all went away tomorrow, you’d never miss them.
Thomas earns $137,000 per year as Secretary of State. Her qualifications for the position? She has been a get out the vote, grass roots organizer for the Democratic Party. Working in campaigns ranging from “the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson’s during his historic bids for the presidency in 1984 and 1988” through to, you got it, Jon Corzine for Senate in 2000.
Thomas, appointed to her Cabinet post by then-Gov. James E. McGreevey in 2002 after helping turn out voters for his 2001 election win, said she plans on leaving state government at the end of her current term to devote herself to ministry.
From the Assembly Hearing Concerning Competency and Elimination of State Department
Assemblyman Joseph R. Malone III, R-Burlington asked Thomas why the department, which is slated to receive $1.2 billion in state funding in the next budget, mostly to pay grants to things such as colleges and universities, shouldn't be eliminated. Malone questioned the need for grants supporting a study of weaving Guatemalan rugs or Cambodian dance in a year of budget cuts. [Ed: Never mind lean years, how about ever?]Now to Secretary of State Thomas’ testimony at the hearing that may have uncovered potential violations of federal law:
At issue for several lawmakers on the Assembly Budget Committee is an overdue $2 million study and a state audit pointing out lax oversight for some of the department's grant programs.
Assemblyman Kevin J. O'Toole, R-Essex, said a study on how much state business goes to minority contractors should have been finished a year ago.
Thomas said the report was delayed by an incompetent consultant hired by the administration of then-Gov. Christie Whitman and complications accessing records. she said the report only got fully under way in late fall and is just months late. She could not say when the full study will be complete. [Ed: Whitman? Gee, we thought it was McGreevey that resigned last November]
Thomas said her department has hired a full-time manager to oversee grants after an independent audit found "an overall need to improve monitoring" of awarding grants and how the money is used.
Thomas said her department has saved the state $70 million by changing the way it keeps records and charging for document requests and that arts grants drive economic growth, citing New Brunswick in particular.
New Jersey's Republican Party on Thursday called for Secretary of State Regena Thomas to resign, claiming she violated federal law by working on U.S. Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign without pay in exchange for a federal job if he won the election.
On Tuesday, she told an Assembly budget panel that she took a 20-day unpaid leave of absence from her $137,000 state job in October to work for Kerry. Thomas said she worked at no charge, using money from a pension plan to pay her expenses, because she had a job commitment from Kerry, a position she did not specify.
Party Chairman Tom Wilson and Republican gubernatorial candidate Bret Schundler have separately asked U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie to investigate the potential violations of election laws.
Under federal law, it is illegal to offer money or anything of value, such as a service, in order to secure an appointment to a government job. It is also illegal to directly or indirectly promise a position as an enticement or reward for political activity in connection with an election.