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Former NJ Legislator Schluter, Known for His Unwavering Ethics, Dies at 90

In a political career extending from 1968 to 2002, William E. Schluter cinched tight the laws governing campaign contributions and lobbying

William E. Schluter
Credit: Courtesy Rutgers University
Former state legislator William E. Schluter

William E. Schluter, the former Republican state legislator who made political ethics a hallmark of his career in a state not necessarily known for those principles, died yesterday at the age of 90.

His beliefs were on full display in his 2017 book, “Soft Corruption,” which focused an unwavering light on the unsavory practice of legal influence peddling in the Garden State.

A New York native, he grew up in Lawrence Township and settled in Pennington, with a stint in between at Princeton University. He served in the state Legislature off and on from 1968 to 2002, including as a state Senator from 1991 to 2002. He ran unsuccessfully as an independent for governor in 2001.

Schluter was best known for his advocacy and sponsorship of laws and regulations to tighten the rules on campaign contributions and lobbying. He wrote much of the state's current campaign finance disclosure and lobbyist registration laws.

In the words of U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (NJ-7), “Bill Schluter epitomized public service in New Jersey. A person of impeccable integrity, he significantly raised the ethical standards of our State Legislature.”

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