NJ Citizens' Clean Elections Commission Report Released

The New Jersey Citizens'Clean Elections Commission has released its latest report offering specific proposals on how to move toward "clean elections" in NJ. If the issue of reforming state political campaigns interests you, please join PCDO's Government Ethics Committee. Its next meeting is May 16. As might be expected, there is considerable resistance to implementing the recommendations of the Citizens' Clean Elections Commission by the NJ political establishment. Please contact Assemblyman Reed Gusciora and Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, Sen. Shirley Turner, and Gov. Corzine to ask them to support the NJ Citizens' Clean Elections Commission. Highlights of the report included:
  • expanding the number of legislative districts participating in a public financing pilot program to six (from two in 2005) for the 2007 election
  • lower the the amount and number of contributions required to qualify for public financing to 800 donations of $10 and expanding the program to the primary and lengthening the qualifying period to Jan. 1 to Aug. 31
  • provide the same amount of public funds in all districts, rather than have different calculations for each district. Each candidate would get $100,000 for the general election and $60,000 for the primary -- plus up to $250,000 more if running against a nonparticipating candidate, provided certain criteria are met
  • equal funding for independent or third-party candidates
  • The New Jersey Fair and Clean Elections (FACE) Pilot Project had its maiden voyage in 2005 races for the Assembly in district 13 (parts of Middlesex and Monmouth counties) and district 6 (parts of Camden county).
  • Public campaign funding targets the system of big money special-interest campaign funding and enables qualified candidates to run for state office who wouldn't have access to wealthy individual and corporate donors. Clean Elections also encourages increased participation in the political process by both candidates and voters. The FACE pilot limits campaign funding, works to reduce and equalize candidate funding and bans special-interest contributions to participating candidates.

Related Links:

Editorial from The Times 5/10/06 

CourierPostOnline

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