New Campaign Finance Laws Proposed
By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. April 22, 2013
Democrats in the New Jersey Senate plan to introduce legislation later this week to require all political candidates and advocacy groups to disclose who’s giving them money.
Senator Linda Greenstein is one of the primary sponsors of the bill that would change the current law, which allows candidates to conceal donor contributions of $300 or less.
The bill also would require issue advocacy groups to report their contributions and expenditures to the Election Law Enforcement Commission.
“They can know that people are not getting money in exchange for favors. They can understand the actions of a legislator and then look and see where the money is coming from. I think it will make sure that everybody is very careful about what they do.”
Some types of advocacy groups can spend unlimited amounts of money on elections.
Greenstein says making their funding and spending transparent will reduce the chances of people doing nefarious things.
Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg is hoping the legislation is enacted.
In the meantime, she plans to voluntarily disclose all the contributors to her re-election campaign.
“I’m kind of proud of how many 25 and 50 dollar donations I have. I think it’s an indication that grassroots people rather than the so-called special interests are becoming involved in somebody¹s campaign. I think it’s a badge of honor.”
Weinberg says allowing the public to know who’s giving candidates their campaign funds will help keep politicians honest.