$63 million

March 24, 2014 | Number of The Day
Special interest group spending on NJ elections since 1977

Independent special interest groups, many of which operate with little or no public disclosure, have spent an estimated $63 million on gubernatorial and legislative elections in New Jersey since 1977, according to a new report by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC).

“In federal, state, and even local races, independent spending has emerged as a dominant force in political campaigns,’’ said Joseph Donohue, Deputy Executive Director and the study’s author. “It’s a new ballgame, both nationally and in New Jersey.”

More than $55 million — 87 percent — has been spent just in the past five years, according to “White Paper No. 24 — Independents’ Day — Seeking Disclosure in a New Era of Unlimited Special Interest Spending.

The report also indicates that the 2013 gubernatorial and legislative elections attracted a record $39 million in so-called outside spending — campaign funds spent independently of parties or candidates by groups or individuals with special interest agendas.