Inside Ocean County Government

Election 2017, Lakewood, Ocean County, Toms River

Gilmore Defends Rabbi’s Political Robocall

TOMS RIVER – Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore, appearing in his capacity of chairman of the county election board, pushed back against a critic of Lakewood’s Rabbi Yisroel Schenkolewski’s political advocacy on behalf of the Lakewood Vaad at a recent meeting of the Ocean County Board of Elections.

Gilmore quickly answered in defense of Rabbi Schenkolewski at a public meeting of the board of elections when a reporter questioned whether the robo-call political message sent out using the voice of the rabbi, an appointed member of the Ocean County Board of Elections, which oversees the administration of elections in each one of the county’s 33 municipalities.

“It is a political system, you do not lose your First Amendment rights because you are a member of the election board,” Gilmore said.

“There’s no right, there’s no wrong,” the county election board and Republican Party chairman said. “As long as we do it outside of the purview of our duties from the election board it is absolutely proper and legal.”

Gilmore, who has been under investigation by the FBI and IRS for his unpaid taxes and will likely face a full criminal prosecution within a year, then offered a hypothetical scenario, where he said that it he appeared in a robocall and said it was in his capacity as the chairman of the board of elections, it would be unethical, but if he did the same thing personally, there was nothing wrong with him engaging in partisan political activity despite being an appointed member of the board of elections.

OCP Poll:

Was it proper for Rabbi Schenkolewski to appear in a partisan political robocall despite being a board of elections commissioner?

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