Former Republican state lawmaker William E. Schluter, who died on Monday at the age of 90, stood out in New Jersey politics as a crusader for ethical conduct. As well as serving in both houses of the New Jersey Legislature, he authored pioneering laws regulating lobbying and campaign finance. He was chairman of the Citizens Clean Elections Commission and he also served on the State Ethics Commission.
In our 2017 Summer Reading series, we ran an excerpt from “Soft Corruption,” his book on the influence peddling that is standard operating procedure in the state.
In it, he describes the “soft corruption” that pervades the Garden State — the “unethical transgressions carried out in the quest for political power or personal benefit, achieving results that work against the public interest; and it’s all legal.” It’s worth re-reading the views of a man who relentlessly pursued a better form of politics for New Jersey.