N.J. governor hopeful slaps rival with election law complaint
TRENTON -- A Democratic gubernatorial hopeful alleges the party's early frontrunner has run afoul of New Jersey's election laws and is asking a panel that enforces the rules to weigh in.
Jim Johnson, former U.S. Department of Treasury official under then-President Bill Clinton and federal prosecutor, wants the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission to investigate Phil Murphy, a former ambassador under then-President Barack Obama and Goldman Sachs executive.
Johnson claims two groups Murphy was involved with -- New Start New Jersey and New Way for New Jersey -- prior to launching his statewide bid amounted to exploratory committees and that Murphy's eventual gubernatorial campaign benefited from those groups when they raised about $5 million in contributions, according to the complaint.
He also alleges Murphy avoided disclosing some contributors and expenditures and that he skirted the close scrutiny that comes with declaring a gubernatorial run so early.