TRENTON – The so-called “Big Six” fundraising committees reported the weakest combined campaign finance activity in at least eight years, a sign that independent spending by special interest groups may be taking a toll on traditional fundraising committees, according to an analysis by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC).
“It may be no coincidence that in the year after special interest groups spent a record $41 million independently of parties and candidates, traditional fundraising committees are struggling,” said Jeff Brindle, ELEC’s Executive Director.
Reports filed by the two state parties and four legislative leadership committees revealed a combined reserve of just $800,994. At this point last year, the cash-on-hand for both parties totaled $3.2 million – nearly four times as much. Even compared to 2012, which was an off-election year, the total is low.
The following ELEC table representing Jan. 1 through June 30th of this year, shows the big six committees, the money they raised, spent, cash on hand, followed by their net worth.
New Jersey Republican State Committee
Senate Republican Majority
Assembly Republican Victory
New Jersey Democratic State Committee
Senate Democratic Majority
Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee
Sizing up the numbers, Brindle once again called on the Legislature to enact pending legislation that would require independent groups to follow the same disclosure rules as parties and candidates, simplify the state’s pay-to-play restrictions on contractors while allowing them to contribute slightly more, and apply inflation adjustments to contribution limits that apply to other donors.
“ELEC has endorsed these changes on a bipartisan basis. They may help restore some balance to the political fundraising situation in New Jersey,” said Brindle.