Campaign Finance Reforms Stalled
By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. June 26, 2013
New Jersey lawmakers will be taking their summer break without acting on campaign finance reforms.
Measures to require political candidates to disclose all campaign contributions and expand disclosure rules to include spending on ads by independent groups have stalled in the legislature.
Heather Taylor with the Citizens Campaign says lawmakers may have decided not to advance those bills ahead of the November election.
“They’re going to want to try to raise as much money as possible. So with that as the backdrop it is much harder to mount a campaign for real reform. It’s going to come down to citizens speaking up and really taking a stand that they really want increased disclosure.”
Taylor expects the bankruptcy of the Birdsall engineering company after pay-to-play law violations will have a deterrent effect on other companies.
“It’s their business at risk. It’s not any elected officials. They don’t lose their office. They don’t have any penalties or fines. It’s really the onus is on business entities who want to get state government contracts or local contracts. So they’re going to make sure that they cross their t’s and dot their i’s.”
Taylor says the public deserves to know who’s funding political campaigns, and the group will continue its efforts to get reforms enacted.
“We are going to continue to mobilize on the ground. Citizens have already passed over 90 local pay-to-play laws and our momentum isn’t stopping. So while the legislature can sit on reform, the citizens will keep on moving it.”