During the 2005 gubernatorial campaign, a complaint was filed against Republican Douglas Forrester alleging that his ownership of an insurance company that did business in New Jersey meant that he could not contribute to political campaigns, including his own. At the time, Forrester was self-funding his campaign against Democrat Jon Corzine.
Former Green Party U.S. Senate candidate Bruce Afran filed a complaint against Forrester with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission. Forrester asked the state Department of Banking and Insurance to investigate and provide him with a ruling. The probe quickly became a hot Democratic issue at a time when polls showed the race to be relatively competitive.
Forrester argued that there was no legal violation, saying that the company, Heartland Fidelity Insurance Co., was based in Washington, D.C. and subject to regulators there. He said he was following the letter of the law. Democrats took a broader approach, and Corzine said Forrester's actions were "inconsistent with the spirit of the law."
After a few weeks, DOBI issued the ruling Forrester sought, but a lawyer for the Corzine campaign pushed Attorney General Peter Harvey's office to investigate.