Candidates have to disclose their major donors, and the way state Sen. Troy Singleton sees it, PACs and other independent expenditure committees should be required to do the same thing.
Singleton (D-Burlington) has been pushing a bill that would do just that for the past two-and-half years. “I think that people need to understand where the money is going, that folks are trying to influence public policy and the electoral process,” he said.
His legislation would set up a mechanism for reporting and registering independent expenditure committees through the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC). Thus far, though, it’s been an uphill climb.
But the stalled bill looks to have picked up a tailwind. Last month, a political action committee that supports Gov. Phil Murphy — New Direction New Jersey — reneged on a pledge to publicize its donors. Murphy called on them to make the names public, but, underscoring their independence, they said no.
Senate President Steve Sweeney criticized the lack of transparency, until it was pointed out that a super PAC linked to his ally George Norcross got a $55,000 donation from PSEG just months after Sweeney helped pass a $300 million nuclear subsidy bill that benefited the company.
Both sides now support Singleton’s so-called dark money bill.
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