Obey and circumvent become synonymous, when it comes to pay-to-play

Hamilton Mayor John Bencivengo, also under fire for the recent use of township-owned property for a political fundraiser, made an interesting choice of words in describing tha matter when talking to Times of Trenton reporters for an article that came out in today’s paper regarding a pay-to-play controversy.

The comments came after a man, with a large stake in a company that recently received a Hamilton Township contract, and his wife contributed $300 a piece to the mayor’s political campaign.

The contributions were recorded as a single $600 donation, which is twice the limit on contributions made to township politicians from those holding township contracts.

But “the couple went out of their way to write two separate checks” in a specific effort to obey the pay- to-play rules, claimed Mayor Bencivengo, according to the Times.

Going out of their way to write separate checks could be construed as an effort to obey the rules. But it could also quite as easily be construed as someone going out of their way to circumvent the rules, in getting political donations to a Republican mayor, whose allies on Township Council then take a June 4 vote to award a $20,000-max contract to Remington, Vernick, and Arango Engineers.

Remington Vernick’s executive vice president, Richard Arango, happened to be the one who, along with his wife, made the twin $300 donations to the campaign of Mayor Bencivengo and “went out of their way” to obey the rules, according to the mayor.

And, so it goes…

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