Angry about the New Jobs Political Action Committee’s donations to Democratic legislators and leadership PACs, Assemblyman Michael Doherty returned the $2,000 contribution the group gave to his Assembly campaign last month.
“The New Jobs PAC is selling out it members. Never before has the New Jersey business community been under assault as it is today,” said Dohrety. “How is the New Jobs PAC representing its member businesses when it endorses and supports anti-business candidates?”
Doherty was particularly upset that the group gave donations to Democratic leadership PACs and prominent Democrats like Assembly Speaker Joe Roberts and Senate President Richard J. Codey, who may post state Sen. Stephen Sweeney’s paid family leave act – a bill Doherty thinks is particularly anti-business. The group gave equal donations to Senate Minority Leader Leonard Lance, Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce and the Republican leadership PACs.
Doherty said it made no sense for a pro-business PAC to donate to legislators who he felt had an anti-business record.
“I cannot comprehend why your allegedly pro-business PAC would ‘max out’ to Roberts and Codey leadership PACS,” wrote Doherty in a letter to the PAC accompanying his returned check. “…Let us hope your maximum contributions to the Majority Leadership PACs will results in this terrible bill not being posted, but I fully expect that won’t be the case.”
New Jobs Executive Director Arthur Maurice said that this was the first time a candidate that his group endorsed had ever returned a donation, and noted that he runs a bipartisan PAC with 40 trustees who have diverse interests.
“We contribute to those we endorse. That’s the process. So I think his complaint is that we’re endorsing folks that he doesn’t like,” said Maurice. “We’re a bi-partisan PAC. We can’t be extreme. Our trustees don’t have litmus tests.”
Nevertheless, Maurice said that he stood by his endorsement of Doherty for his pro-business record, even if he returned the contribution.
“We look at candidates as they are and what their voting records have been, and we have the entire body of their work,” said Maurice. “On this issue Mike’s definitely in a caucus of one.”