Saying that spending by independent groups supporting or opposing ballot questions in this year’s election is a “harbinger of things to come,” Jeff Brindle, executive director of the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, announced the amount was an all-time high — “by leaps and bounds.”
Brindle warned that without reforms that require registration and disclosure by independent groups, outside organizations will submerge next year’s gubernatorial and legislative elections in a “sea of dark money.”
The ballot initiative calling for new casinos outside of Atlantic City — which failed — garnered the most spending, about $24.6 million both pro and con. An additional $2.4 million was spent on the ballot question about the Transportation Trust Fund. And $884,460 was spent on local ballot initiatives around the state.