Complimentary Words

Expressions of praise for the representation Senator Schluter has provided his constituents and the State of New Jersey

“Kudos on a masterful tome ‘Soft Corruption’, which should be required reading for every New Jersey legislator, every candidate for public office and every appointed official at both the state and local levels. The book brought back many memories, many good, but also some that were sadly bad, during my 29 years in the State House.

Your chapter ‘Agenda for Reform’ is spot on, enlightening and encouraging, would that the movers and shakers in Trenton will have the sense and motivation to act positively on your recommendations.”

Gerald Silliphant, retired Legislative and Budget Finance Officer for the State New Jersey, November 4, 2017



“Thank you both so much for working together to create such an important, timely and compelling program. Bill, I hope that your book helps to strengthen the foundation of our citizen activists to help the electorate to be better informed. The feedback that we received about the program was overwhelmingly positive. Thank you for coming to Princeton Public Library.”

Kim Dorman, Community Engagement Coordinator, Princeton Public Library, June 20, 2017



“I wanted you to know that I have been pleased to hear from people that they found the Soft Corruption program at the Princeton Public Library very interesting — and inspiring (to be good). Thank you for making it possible and so successful.”

Ingrid Reed, Policy Analyst- Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University, June 19, 2017



“I can’t thank you enough for this wonderful book that you sent me. I read it twice and I think that you are giving out some pearls of wisdom here for local officials, in fact anybody who is involved in government in general would find this very helpful.

The guidance that you give is, like I say, something that you can only get from years of experience and your efforts in government have really come through here. You should be very proud of what you have done, and I agree wholeheartedly with the editorial that Irwin Stoolmacher did for the Trenton Times.

This is something that should be shared by everyone involved in government at all levels. Thank you very much.”

Bill Dressel, Jr., New Jersey State League of Municipalities, June 12, 2017



“Today, Nov. 17, the New Jersey League of Municipalities will present its seventh annual Distinguished Public Service Award to three individuals who have ‘valiantly served the public in their own unique way.’ One of the recipients is Pennington Borough’s own-former state Sen. William “Bill” Schluter. … Thanks Bill Schluter, for your exceptional service: …. For your nearly 48 years of dedication to public service and for all you have done for your town, your legislative district and your state, we salute you, Bill Schluter! You truly deserve the award and recognition you are receiving today.”

Editor Ruth Luse, Hopewell Valley News, November 17, 2011



“Did you see the ’60 Minutes’ report last night on Congressmen doing ‘insider trading’ with non-public information given to Congress? Such behavior is a national disgrace. It makes me extra proud to know someone like you who dedicated his career to open and honest government.”

Fred Herrmann, retired Executive Director of the Election Law Enforcement Commissions (ELEC) note to Schluter, November 14, 2011



“Mr. Reform: Bill Schluter…considered a Boy Scout by the old guard in the Legislature, worked hard to clean up state politics long before it was fashionable. Now he’s been elected chairman of the Clean Elections Commission…”

The Star Ledger, March 6, 2005



“Ethics a hot Jersey issue? Who’d have ever thunk it? Many years ago…Bill Schluter found these reform battles all but alone…With all the righteous zeal they can muster, Republican lawmakers ought now to take up on an old idea of Schluter’s for a constitutional amendment allowing the people, themselves, to collect petition signatures and place ethics reform measures of their own choosing on the ballot for a public vote. And with all the righteous zeal they can muster, Democratic lawmakers ought to try to wrest the idea away from Republicans and take credit for enacting it themselves. Let the tussle proceed!”

The Trentonian Editorial, March 4, 2005



“Quite frankly, I don’t know what Warren County would have done without you! Your dedication in helping the residents of Warren County is legendary…”

Hope Mayor McDonough, July 19, 2004 letter



“Property-tax-reform route has been mapped: Gov. McGreevey, if he’s serious about property-tax reform, and if he’s serious about a constitutional convention to make it happen, should give Bill Schluter a call. … Schluter is one of the organizers of the New Jersey Coalition for the Public Good, a property-tax reform advocacy group… why waste time reinventing the wheel? … As we said, give Bill Schluter a call. It’s worth the dime.”

Home News Tribune Editorial, May 5, 2004



“Schluter laughs off suggestions that he is the martyred saint of reform, but says the real evil of New Jersey politics isn’t that it corrupts the moral people in it, but that it keeps most moral people on the sidelines.”

The Times of Trenton, October 20, 2003



The former Republican state senator from Flemington, often a thorn in the side of the political establishment, ran for governor in 2001 as an independent. Schluter, who teaches a Rutger’s course on reform politics, says an upstanding politician today must have a platform that emphasizes ethics. One of Schluter’s favorite quotes comes from the 18th century Irish philosopher Edmund Burke, who said, ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Courier News, August 21, 2003, same article also in the Times of Trenton on the same day.



“A Straight Shooter… If he wasn’t satisfied that a matter made good public policy he’d say so, often upsetting colleagues who would have preferred that he keep his mouth shut and go along to get along… We haven’t always agreed with Mr. Schluter. But we felt privileged to have his principled representation.”

Hunterdon County Democrat, editorial, January 17, 2002



“Memo to: Soon-to-be Governor James E McGreevey; Bill Schluter’s campaign platform is now in the public domain. I suggest you steal it. Schluter’s platform is a valuable item. …And it is a sure-fire way to go down in history as a great governor. The upside potential for such a theft is enormous… At the end of the 2001 election campaign, just about every newspaper in New Jersey praised Schluter’s positions on state issues and treated him with respect, something that neither you nor Bret Schundler were able to get much of…”

The Times of Trenton, January 12, 2002



“NJ’s loss– Bill Schluter’s district may have left him, but he never abandoned his constituents… Schluter…governed with dignity, with passion for his ideas and compassion for his constituents…Godspeed to one of New Jersey’s true advocates for the taxpayer. Schluter’s ideas for open, honest government will only accrue in value- just as he did, over a long, distinguished career.”

The Express Times Editorial, January 9, 2002



List of “Departing Legislators: Sen. William Schluter, … sponsor of bill creating the state Election Law Enforcement Commission and longtime champion of tough laws on campaign finance and government ethics.”

The Star Ledger, January 8, 2002



“Schluter’s successor, Assemblyman Leonard Lance, said the veteran legislator taught him more than professors he studied with at Vanderbilt and Princeton universities. Lance… dubbed Schluter the ‘moral compass of the Legislature.’

The Express Times, January 6, 2002



“With redistricting, Hopewell Valley is now part of the 15th Legislative District… above all, we say thanks to Mr. Schluter… thanks Bill Schluter., for your dedication to public service and for all you have done for your town and your state. We appreciate it and we know most of those in Hopewell Valley and District 23 who know you as well. We wish you the best in your future endeavors. We are sure whatever you do you will do it well.”

Hopewell Valley News Editorial, January 3, 2002



“Statewide, Sen. William Schluter got 23,640 votes for governor last Tuesday. Not bad, all things considered.

“We have no doubt that the senator’s numbers would have been strikingly higher if he could have raised enough campaign money to qualify for matching state funding and a place in the televised gubernatorial debates. If he had been able to get his message out, his candor, his lack of pretense, his well-reasoned ideas for dealing with the state’s most pressing problems and his comprehensive knowledge of government and the issues surely would have caused a lot of voters to see him as a refreshing alternative to James McGreevey and Bret Schundler.”
“Some considered his campaign quixotic; a better description, we think, would be courageous and commendable.”

The Times of Trenton, Sunday, November 11, 2001



“The Trentonian’s picks: Bill Schluter, independent, for governor. He’s a rare phenomenon: A veteran lawmaker and a straight arrow. For decades he’s fought the good fight for honesty in government- often standing alone. A vote for him will send the message you’ve had it with the business-as-usual shenanigans the two parties take turns inflicting on the public.”

The Trentonian, November 6, 2001



“In his 19-year career in Trenton, Mr. Schluter has been a beacon of integrity in a capital often befogged by special interests and politics as usual… Over the years, Mr. Schluter has time and again championed the best interests of the residents of New Jersey. While other politicians paid lip service to campaign finance reform, he has fought for years to reduce the influence of big-money donors in Trenton. While other politicians wanted to eviscerate the State Commission of Investigation, New Jersey’s best watchdog, Mr. Schluter sought to strengthen it…Mr. Schluter has been most useful to New Jersey as the conscience of the Legislature, and he deserves the gratitude of all New Jerseyans”

The Record Editorial, November 2, 2001



Schluter should not be ignored

“On Sunday, this page endorsed Jim McGreevey for governor, ignoring a third candidate in the race. Bill Schluter has no chance of being elected, but his candidacy should not expire without mention. His campaign has lacked profile but not substance.

“Schluter, a longtime Republican state senator, is also among a handful of politicians serious about campaign-finance reform. Called the conscience of the Legislature, he has consistently questioned his colleagues about the influence of big money on the political process.

“Schluter, who is running as an independent, will not run the state. But the next governor would do well to …at the very least, take a moment to ponder the truths of which Schluter is not afraid to speak.”

The Home News & Tribune, Wednesday, October 31, 2001



“Schluter’s candidacy should not pass without recognition. He said he ran to assure that his two favorite issues…property tax reform and campaign finance reform…had a prominent place on the campaign agenda. Schluter also brings to the race more thoughtful positions than Schundler and some of the policy details that McGreevey has often failed to deliver.”

Courier News, Monday, October 29, 2001



Taking on the two parties

“Sen. William Schluter has years of legislative service and a long record of support for good government measures, including reforming campaign finance and reducing our ruinously expensive reliance on property taxes. …Both major parties are threatened by him because he wants to force them to address problems they would rather ignore.” The state owes him a debt of gratitude not just for his long service in the legislature but for the energy he has devoted during his campaign to good causes.

The Star Ledger, Monday, October 29, 2001



“State Sen. William Schluter of Pennington is a Republican running as an independent. Independence has been the story of his political life… He’s beholden to no political bosses, no special-interest groups, no ideological movements. He’s Jesse Ventura without the attitude…and with a ready-made knowledge of how government works.

“Of all the candidates, only Bill Schluter is campaigning as if he understands how heavy a burden the state’s reliance on the property tax to fund government imposes on individuals, businesses, cities, suburbs and public schools and how it frustrates attempts to achieve smart growth and curb sprawl. Only Sen. Schluter is saying that the state needs more than politically palatable palliatives like NJ Saver and homestead rebates and assessment freezes for senior citizens. Only he is making the point, which history confirms, that the lawmakers at the State house are incapable of taking the bold political steps necessary to fix the tax system. Only he proposes a plausible alternative: a tax-reform convention of elected delegates from all over the state that would draft a unified package of statutes and constitutional amendments that the public then would vote up or down.

“A vote for Bill Schluter would be a vote for the best candidate. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t affect the outcome of the race.” (That paper endorsed McGreevery.)
The Times of Trenton, Sunday, October 28, 2001

“Schluter has the bold ideas in this campaign: His proposals to deal with sprawl, using transferable development rights, would add a valuable tool to growing townships seeking to control growth and preserve what’s left of the rural landscape.”

The Express Times, Sunday, October 28, 2001



“Schluter’s loss is ours too: … An old-fashioned stickler for ethics, he is all but shut out from the major source of campaign money- lobbyists…”

John McLaughlin column, The Star-Ledger, September 9, 2001



“Schluter is good for the race: Here’s hoping the Election Law Enforcement Commission finds some way to grant gubernatorial hopeful Bill Schluter his wish for public campaign financing and a spot in two televised debates. Schluter would be a welcome addition to the dialogue if for no other reason than he is the only candidate brave enough to talk of abandoning the property tax as a means of funding schools. As Ross Perot was to George Bush and Bill Clinton, Schluter could be to Jim McGreevey and Bret Schundler. New Jerseyans need to hear about viable alternatives to funding education, and they won’t get such talk from the mainstream candidates.”

Home New Tribune Editorial, September 6, 2001



“GOP state senator joins governor’s race”… Flanked by Jesse Ventura’s campaign manager and buddies from his Bible study class, state Sen. Bill Schluter launched an independent bid for governor Thursday…

… ‘The cancer of campaign finance abuse has to stop in New Jersey,’ said the 73-year-old Republican from Pennington…
…Pennington resident Glenn Eshbach who has attended weekly Bible study classes with Schluter for the past 39 years, called Schluter ‘the only incorruptible man in Trenton. …..he is one fellow who can absolutely not be compromised…’ ”
The Record, May 18, 2001

“80 independent Anderson backs Schluter bid: … 1980 presidential candidate John Anderson….. said Schluter’s ‘knowledge of this state’s needs and his vision for the future will make him a great governor.’

The Star Ledger, August 8, 2001



Schluter runs for Governor in 2001- as an Independent
“Boat-rocker makes waves…Now enter state Sen. William Schluter, environmentalist, good-government guru, and perennial boat-rocker, who says he may run in the Republican primary, or possibly even as an independent… For years, Schluter has been the conscience of Trenton, fighting for the rights of the average citizen against big-money interests that dominate the legislative agenda too much of the time. At this point, Mr. Schluter says he has only formed an exploratory committee… …Mr. Schluter has made a career of bucking Trenton’s political establishment. Why stop now?”

The Record Editorial, March 9, 2001



“Bill Schluter is now in his fifth decade in New Jersey politics; he’s transformed from a boy wonder of Mercer County politics to a sort-of curmudgeon watchdog… Schluter’s district is reliably Republican; …His problem is not a general election, but the Republican Primary. He is probably a little too far to the center or left for Warren and Hunterdon counties but he’s a tough old pol with a reputation for integrity.”

The Prall Report (internet) regarding State Senate campaigns, January 9, 2001



“State Senator Bill Schluter was relentlessly pursuing campaign finance reform before anyone heard of John McCain. Now he is enlisting others in his quest through a new organization, Citizens for the Public Good.”

Eagleton Institute’s Ingrid Reed in Home News Tribune commentary “A dozen people worth supporting in 2001.” January 7, 2001



“Re-elected 1997 despite opposition from Republican leadership; primary election challenge provoked partly by failure to support Whitman Administration pension bond program. Independent thinker willing to confront difficult issues, highly respected by colleagues for unquestioned ethics, often departs from Republican leadership positions. Sponsor of pending proposal to convene constitutional convention to address property tax reform, also seeking stronger campaign finance legislation, abolition of legislative leadership political fundraising committees. Author of major laws dealing with financial disclosure, ethics, and campaign finance reform, sponsor of new measures to strengthen ethics, conflict-of-interest, lobbying regulation laws..”

New Jersey Directory ( the insider guide to New Jersey leaders) regarding Schluter, 2001



“In New Jersey we have an opportunity to gain control of the election process by total, vehement support of the proposed Schluter-Adler amendment to the State constitution. It would give the people the right to initiate state-wide referendums controlling election finance. This brilliant proposal is the most important piece of legislation to come before the Legislature in more than 50 years. Any legislator who does not support this amendment should be opposed for re-election by every voter, regardless of the candidate’s position on any other issue.”

John Kolesar, Op-Ed, The Times of Trenton, December 18, 2000 (Note: John Kolesar is a former editor of The Times of Trenton.)



“Thank you for your continuing help with the Route 31 problem. I am certain that the discussions with DOT and the Turnpike Authority will be expedited largely because of your involvement and good advice. East Amwell is very fortunate to have you represent us in these discussions.”

East Amwell Township Mayor Hamilton (Democrat) letter. August 26, 1998



“Sen. William Schluter… he is the conscience of the State Senate. He is the force of good.”

Sherry Sylvester, political writer for The Trentonian, Warren Reporter, August 5, 1999



“…the ouster of state Sen. William Schluter, R-Hunterdon, as chairman of the joint legislative committee on ethics is no cause for celebration. If anyone in Trenton deserved the title of Mr. Integrity, it would be Schluter. He has long been a champion of clean government and a man who insisted that he and his colleagues be held to the highest ethical standards. That sadly is no way to win a popularity contest in Trenton. Lawmakers do not relish having their flaws put under a magnifying glass. Schluter’s independence no doubt cost him the chairmanship…”

Asbury Park Press, Editorial regarding removal of Sen. Schluter as Chair of the Ethics Committee, June 17, 1998.



“Schluter has crafted a reputation as one of the civic-minded do-gooders in the Senate. … Schluter…didn’t take a post-election trip to the sunny climes of Hawaii. He went on a three day, bone-chilling trip to Bulgaria in late January for a conference on government ethics.”

The Times of Trenton, February 9, 1998



“Although I’m a liberal democrat, and although I now live in Pennsylvania and can’t vote for you as I would do if I lived on this side of the river, I wanted to make the enclosed donation to your campaign. Although this is not a large contribution, it is, quite frankly, more than I usually donate directly to any candidate. But I did want to acknowledge my recognition of the outstanding manner in which you perform your senatorial duties. Your energy, integrity and candor are admired and appreciated. You are a ‘class act’ in the best sense of the term.”

Howard McGinn, President of the Warren County Bar Association, October 29, 1997 letter



“A 69 year-old Pennington resident, Schluter is seen as a classy independent who has battled his caucus before and will do it again.”

The Star Ledger story on pension bond issue by Ron Marsico and Cynthia Burton, April 27, 1997



Gordon Tannahill, a long-time Hunterdon Republican activist, stopped Bill Schluter on Main Street in Flemington in the spring of 1997, and stated the following: “Bill, I believe in term limits…except for you!”



“Schluter’s vision: … It is this realism and reasonableness that makes Schluter’s brand of Republicanism not only attractive but a necessary component of the important public policy debates taking place in the state capital. As the campaign season gets into gear, one hopes that other candidates for the legislative office have Schluter’s courage to come forward with their ‘alternatives’.”

Dr. David Rebovich, Rider College, The Trentonian, March 24, 1991



“Jersey’s Mr. Ethics perseveres: Schluter is the Keeper of the Ethics in New Jersey. It’s not a popular job. He’s the guy who keeps updating legislation annually that would make the process for raising election-campaign money more honest and the regulations overseeing the operations of lobbyists more ethical…just in case his colleagues need it some day.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 17, 1990



“Campaign finance law pioneer still working to close loopholes:
Schluter said the ethics measures which passed in the early 1970s put New Jersey in the forefront nationally. Since then, however, ‘loopholes have developed, and people got very resourceful. Now we lag nationally.’ The Assemblyman’s effort received support from New Jersey Common Cause, which has long lobbied for reforms. ‘We applaud his courage,’ said Maria Korchmar, assistant director for Common Cause.”

The Press of Atlantic City, June 18, 1989



“Bill Schluter authored a bill that met the requirements of even the most violent opponents of corruption. And then the battle commenced. Finally, last spring, Mr. Schluter won his disclosure fight. The bill is now law. This episode provides an abundance of insight into the determination and courage of Mr. Schluter, whom we endorse (for re-election to the Senate) without reservation. In our opinion and in the opinion of others, he is one of the finest legislators ever to serve this state.”

The Trentonian Editorial, October 27, 1973



Senator William Schluter’s colleagues in the Legislature may never forgive him, but he has done the people of New Jersey a great favor. By sheer persistence—and with the help of many allies inside and outside of the Legislature, including Mercer’s Assemblyman Karl Weidel – he has shoved the reluctant brontosaurus of the New Jersey Political Establishment up to a campaign-fund disclosure bill and made the beast swallow it.”

The Times of Trenton Editorial, April 17, 1973