The so-called Big Six fundraising committees raised less than $1 million during the first three months of 2019, the smallest haul in at least a decade for a state election year.
Quarterly reports filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) show that the two major state parties and four legislative leadership committees raised a relatively paltry $981,798 during the first quarter.
Jeff Brindle, ELEC’s executive director, said while it still is early in the year, the latest quarterly totals are another warning sign for the state’s political parties.
All told, the Democrats have raised $531,970 for the first quarter of the year: New Jersey Democratic State Committee ($244,466), Senate Democratic Majority ($56,404), and Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee ($231,100). Meanwhile, the Republicans have pulled in $449,828: New Jersey Republican State Committee ($213,905), Senate Republican Majority ($112,250), and Assembly Republican Victory ($123,673).
ELEC, according to Brindle, has suggested reforms “to raise general contribution limits for party and candidate committees, and easing tight pay-to-play contribution restrictions from parties, imposing them instead on political action committees.
“Parties are an essential part of our political system. Steps need to be taken to prevent them from being rendered irrelevant by the growing clout of independent spenders,” Brindle said. “S-1500/A-1524 is a step toward aligning disclosure requirements of independent groups with those of parties and candidates.”