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Hearing for NJ A1524, “Disclosure & Transparency” Bill
December 6, 2018
Reforming New Jersey’s Campaign Finance Laws: Assembly Bill A1524 (co-sponsors: Assemblymen Zwicker, Benson, and Kean) / Senate Bill S1500 (co-sponsors: Senators Singleton and Greenstein)
NJ’s “Disclosure & Transparency” Bill (A1524) will have a hearing before the Assembly’s State and Local Government Committee in Trenton on December 6, 2018. This is the next step before a vote by the full Assembly. Come out to fill the hearing room to show your support for this legislation. Check here for the hearing time and location (TBD, subject to change).
Additional information on the bill, provided by Represent.Us:
In New Jersey, “independent expenditure groups” have become a dominant force in post-Citizens United elections, both at the state level and increasingly at the local level of politics.
Between 2005 and 2017, independent group expenditures on legislative and gubernatorial elections increased by 11,550%. In 2005, these committees spent $411,224. By 2017, they spent $47.5 Million — or 25% of the total expenditures that year.
The current situation
- In 2017 election, political party fundraising committees spent $13.3 Million.
- That year, independent expenditure groups spent $47.5 Million.
- “Dark money” groups indirectly support candidates and influence voters with marketing campaigns – all done in secret without any reporting requirements in New Jersey.
- IRS no longer requires “dark money” [527, 501(c)4] nonprofits to report their donors.
- Passing New Jersey reforms now is even more important, since shady groups no longer have to share their donors’ names with the federal government: Click for “Time to Act” LTE
What would A-1524/S-1500 achieve?
- Expose “dark money” swamping NJ politics by so-called “independent-expenditure groups” — Super PACs and non-profit political advocacy organizations (527, 501(c)4 organizations).
- Strengthen publicly accountable political parties, to counter these independent expenditure groups, by increasing contribution limits and intra-party transfers.
- Create a single, uniform state law for all contractors doing business in NJ (“pay-to-play”), closing local loopholes that allow “dark money” to sneak in.
- A-1524/S-1500 strengthen NJ’s “election watchdog” – the state Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC).
- Require “48 hour” notification of independent expenditures and electioneering communications. ELEC commands a robust website and database: (https://www.elec.state.nj.us).
- “Disclosure & transparency” enable voters to know which individuals and organizations are funding contributions and issue ads: Informed citizens!