Nobody really wanted Steve Lonegan out of the Republican gubernatorial primary, so speculation that the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission will leave Lonegan alone makes Democrats, some Republicans, and Charles Stile happy. That's one reason it's good that New Jersey is not the sort of place where campaign finance regulators were influenced by political agendas,
Democrats surely like having Lonegan challenging the GOP front runner, former U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie. Backers of Governor Jon Corzine seem to think it helps them if Lonegan pushes Christie to the right in a primary, and that a primary delays Christie's focus on the general election until June.
Christie supporters seem to have divergent views on the politics of pushing Lonegan out of the race. Some say that Christie, who has not won an election since 1994 and has lost his last two Republican primaries, will benefit from a competitive race for the nomination. They also say that pushing Lonegan out without the chance to compete might make it more difficult for Christie to win the votes of Lonegan supporters in the general election. But others believe Christie would be better served by clearing the field (which assumes none of the other five GOP candidates will qualify for matching funds) and getting an early start to the general election against Corzine.
ELEC, the state agency charged with enforcing complete transparency in political campaigns, won't say if Lonegan was the reason for their special, closed-door, meeting today – although it seems reasonably clear that's why the mostly aged Commissioners traveled to Trenton today.