In an editorial this morning, The Record has called for public financing in primary and general election campaigns:
"As of now, party bosses handpick the candidates. Campaigns are funded largely by special interests who expect something in return for their generosity, usually no-bid government contracts. If Clean Elections rules governed the legislative process, including primaries, New Jersey might function very differently. Campaigns would be more open, fair and equal. Races would be less of a charade and more of a contest. Pay-to-play would be heavily damaged, and the price of government contracts would probably go down. Good-government groups say that pay-to-play inflates property-tax bills, because contract costs are artificially high.”
“The next logical step, if the program is to be expanded statewide, is to include the primaries. Since so many legislative districts in New Jersey are considered "safe" for either Democrats or Republicans, the primaries are the only place to challenge the status quo. County bosses won't support an expansion that does include primaries… The not-ready-for-prime-time Legislature has to meet the challenge head on and level the playing field for all qualifying candidates. That means publicly fund primary and general election legislative races. Anything less is a waste of taxpayers' money."