The “Big Six” political fundraising machines in New Jersey have seen donations, adjusted for inflation, drop by more than half since 1999, the last time the state Assembly was at the top of the November ballot. In 2015, the six major entities (the Republican and Democratic state committees, as well as each party’s fundraising operations for the state Senate and Assembly) raised $3.9 million versus $8.1 million in 1999, adjusted for inflation. In real dollars, $5.7 million was raised in 1999.
Republicans have outraised — but not outspent — Democrats this year. The GOP has raised $2 million and spent $1.76 million, while Democrats have raised $1.85 million and spent $1.8 million.
Jeff Brindle, executive director of the state Election Law Enforcement Commission points to the adoption of tight contribution limits on state contractors, as well as the rise of independent groups and political action committees since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Citizen’s United.
“These numbers show that the decline in Big-Six fundraising this year is due to more than just the fact that only one house is up for grabs in this year’s election,” said Brindle, in a statement.