An Assembly candidate in a clearly uphill race has made an interesting proposal on campaign finance reform: don’t allow incumbents to accumulate war chests by carrying over unused campaign funds, and limit fundraising to the year before Election Day.
Barry Funt, a Republican running against incumbents John McKeon (D-West Orange) and Mila Jasey (D-South Orange) in District 27, says that “continuous fundraising creates an unfair advantage and restricts regular citizens from challenging incumbents.” Funt wants candidates to return excess campaign funds to donors and donate the money to charity.
According to Funt, Assembly incumbents began the cycle with $3 million cash on hand, and added another $8 million during the primary. Challengers, he says, have raised just $350,000 combined. “Much of that money came from PACs, unions, and special interest groups whose political activity poses a serious conflict of interest,” he said.
“This kind of disparity deals a crippling blow to competition and leaves regular citizens out of the process,” Funt said. “We need to change this broken system if we are ever going to fix our broken government.”