It’s an odd juxtaposition of roles. But it just goes to show that politics does make strange bedfellows. Democratic candidate for governor Barbara Buono Thursday pointed her finger at her Republican opponent, Gov. Chris Christie, saying he needs to demand that Democrat Joe DiVincenzo, the Essex County Executive, own up to campaign spending violations and release all records related to his 2010 campaign expenditures.
DiVincenzo was named in a 13-point complaint by the state Election Law Enforcement Commission for not disclosing $71,840 in campaign contribution and illegally spending at least $16,548 of campaign money on personal expenditures. The complaint alleges DiVincenzo used campaign funds for trips to Puerto Rico, the purchase of a tuxedo, and a gym membership.
DiVincenzo is actively supporting Christie in his campaign for re-election, just last week calling him “my partner.” Christie returned the compliment, saying DiVincenzo was a leader “that never rests.” Buono on the other hand has been publicly warring with the powerful Democrat as she tries to reach around the Democratic party bosses for public support.
DiVincenzo has been accused of campaign spending violations before. In 2012, the Star Ledger reported the DiVincenzo racked up more than $250,000 on his personal credit cards, paid them through his campaign finance account, and never submitted expense reports. DiVincenzo is also famous for receiving both retirement payments and a full $150,000-plus salary for his single job as Essex County Executive.