Promoting Ethics And Transparency In Government

For decades, Trenton politicians have played the insider game for themselves, putting special interests before the best interests of the people of New Jersey. As governor, Kim Guadagno will not only conduct a full-scale audit of state government operations to eliminate waste and boost efficiency, she will also push for strict ethics reforms that will transform the way Trenton works and ensure government is accountable to the people. 

Ethics:

  1. Close “Friend Loophole” For Gifts
    When people enter public service, it should be to make their community a better place, not to acquire elaborate gifts from those who seek to influence policy. Despite having some of the toughest pay-to-play laws in the country, New Jersey has a massive loophole which allows some elected officials to accept gifts of unlimited value if they claim the gift is from a “friend.” As governor, Kim will close this loophole by imposing stricter disclosure rules and limits.
     
  2. Ban Officials From Seeking Two Offices Or Holding Two Public Jobs At Once
    Phil Murphy’s running mate Sheila Oliver is running for lieutenant governor while simultaneously running for State Assembly. Yet, she is only allowed to hold one state office at a time. This is unfair to voters who don’t really know who they’re voting for. As governor, Kim Guadagno will seek to end this practice by only allowing candidates to appear on the same ballot once. She will also look to prevent officials from holding two or more public jobs at once.
     
  3. Adopt State House Lobbying Ban
    Kim believes that working in state government shouldn’t be used as by people to enrich their lives in the future by peddling their influence for financial or personal gain. In order to keep that from happening, Kim will enact a five-year lobbying ban for administration officials to ensure they do not try to use their public position to cash in for a lucrative contract lobbying job immediately after leaving the her administration. She will also ban contract lobbyists from serving on statutory boards and commissions.

Transparency:

  1. Require Cabinet Officials To Give Out Cell Phone Numbers
    As lieutenant governor, Kim has given out her cell phone number to everyday residents so they could contact her directly with issues involving state government. Kim believes that in order to fix inefficiencies in Trenton, officials need to be responsive to the needs and requests of real people. As governor, she will require all cabinet officials and agency chiefs who serve in her administration to make their cellphone numbers accessible to the public.
     
  2. Strengthen Reporting Requirements And Disclosures
    A NJ Spotlight report found that “ELEC personal disclosure forms require almost no detailed financial data,” leaving New Jerseyans in the dark about the finances of their elected officials. As governor, Kim will push to strengthen income reporting requirements for elected officials and candidates for state office.
     
  3. Require State Candidates To Release Tax Returns
    As lieutenant governor, Kim Guadagno posted her tax returns publicly each year. However, Phil Murphy has refused to make his publicly available. By refusing to make his tax returns public, the people of New Jersey and members of the press are blocked from learning more about his overseas investments, possible use of tax havens and shell companies, as well as other potential conflicts. As governor, Kim Guadagno will support a law to require all state candidates and officeholders in the executive and legislative branches to release their tax returns annually. 

Accountability:

  1. Support An Independently Elected Attorney General
    Kim Guadagno believes that government should be responsible to the people it serves. That’s why she supports creating an independently-elected attorney general in New Jersey to be a watchdog over the governor and the legislature. This will ensure the state’s top law enforcement agency in the state is accountable only to the people of New Jersey to root out potential corruption and abuse. 
     
  2. Institute ‘No Budget, No Paycheck’ Policy
    In the real world, if New Jerseyans don’t do their jobs, they don’t get paid. Yet in Trenton, the politicians continue to collect paychecks even if they don’t pass a responsible budget and shut down the government. Worse, they often feel no repercussions or political pressure to do their jobs at all because of heavily gerrymandered districts. Kim Guadagno believes legislators and cabinet officials – including the governor – shouldn’t be paid if they don’t do their jobs to pass a responsible budget plan that keeps the government open. She will also advocate for legislative pay to be tied to the state’s credit rating; if the credit rating is downgraded, legislators should be forced to take a cut in pay.
     
  3. Ensure ELEC Has Resources To Enforce Election Laws
    For years, New Jersey’s Election Law Enforcement Committee was rendered useless because of political fights and partisan games in Trenton. As governor, Kim will ensure ELEC is staffed and funded to be able to enforce New Jersey’s tough election laws.

  4. Take The Politics Out Of Transportation Funding
    In New Jersey, it is no secret that it costs too much and takes too long to build roads and other infrastructure projects. Instead of fixing the problems, political insiders decided to put political appointees in charge of making decisions regarding New Jersey’s transportation structure. Kim will demand better and work to bring efficiency and common sense to road construction. This includes auditing the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF), eliminating political appointees appointed bureaucrats and ensuring infrastructure projects are funded based upon need, congestion and economic impact.

  5. Push For Term Limits
    Kim Guadagno only entered public office in 2005 by running for a nonpartisan office to make a difference in her local community. Yet many politicians seek to turn public service into a career, and they are protected from competitive races by the party bosses and heavily gerrymandered districts rigged to favor the party in power. As governor, Kim Guadagno will push for term limits to ensure that the people of New Jersey are given the best possible representation in Trenton.