The Piscataway Township Democratic Committee is currently in the process of amending its bylaws to add “all elected officials of the state, county, municipal offices resident in Piscataway Township” as members of the committee (See above, handwritten notes received from Ted Light, Piscataway Democratic Committee chair). Not only does this run counter to the direction of the party nationally, it also runs afoul of the controlling statute (NJ 19:5-2) which states clearly and plainly:
The members of the municipal committees of political parties shall consist of the elected members of the county committee resident in the respective municipalities. (Emphasis added)
So, what does this mean if Piscataway’s Democratic Committee does this? It means adding 11 people to the 78 positions defined on the Democratic county committee, for 11 elected Democrats who just happen to live in Piscataway, and may represent more than just Piscataway – in the case of county-wide or legislative office holders – and may have different constituencies, different interests. The effect is to superimpose on the 78 Piscataway county committee positions 11 new positions – for 1 mayor, 7 council members, a state senator, a sheriff, and one freeholder – giving them votes on a county party committee whose positions (2 per voting precinct, 39 precincts) and responsibilities are already defined by law. It would have the impact of diluting the votes of duly elected committee members. And it appears to violate the law, which is very specific about what the county committee is. Is this really what the Piscataway Dems want to do? Is this really what the Middlesex Democrats would accept?
In order for the amendment to be ratified and accepted it must be read and approved at three committee meetings. Despite there being no reason given for the amendment, it has been approved by the committee at the March and April meetings by votes of 32-1 and 34-1 respectively. I cast the only “nay” vote in both votes.
As a duly elected member of the Middlesex County Democratic Committee from Piscataway I find it extremely troubling the leadership of the committee would take such action which appears to be in direct violation of state law and I am committed to preventing this amendment from becoming part of the by-laws of the committee.
Middlesex County Democratic Committeeman (Piscataway, Ward 1 District 5)
Piscataway Progressive Democratic Organization