The lack of state elections in 2020 may have contributed to the slump in 2020 political contributions by public contractors, according to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission; that, along with the COVID-19-related restrictions, which led many fundraising events to be canceled. As of April 5 preliminary information, the commission reports that public contractors registered their lowest contribution total ($7.8 million) to political entities in New Jersey since 2006.
Let’s shed no tears for the politicos. Jeff Brindle, ELEC’s executive director, said “contributions from these donors are likely to bounce back,” given that elections will be held this year for the governor’s seat and both legislative houses and the likelihood that an easing of the coronavirus threat will allow more fundraising events to be held this year than last.
Once more, engineering firms dominated the top 10 list of contractors making political contributions, accounting for seven firms on the list; two others in the top 10 are law firms while the other is an insurance agency. The top 10 contributed $2.2 million in total.
ELEC reminds us that, with some exceptions, most firms with state contracts above $17,500 are barred from contributing more than $300 to gubernatorial candidates, other candidates, state political parties, legislative leadership committees, county political parties and municipal political party committees. If firms exceed this limit, they must seek refunds of excess contributions within a certain time or relinquish their contracts for four years.
Top 10 2020 contributors:
- Remington & Vernick Engineers: $432,700
- CME Associates: $388,450
- T&M Associates: $336,650
- Richard A. Alaimo Business Entities: $316,500
- French and Parrello Associates PA: $155,925
- Pennoni Associates Inc: $147,850
- Rainnone Coughlin Minchello LLC: $141,700
- Business and Government Insurance Agency Inc: $116,950
- Neglia Engineering Associates: $104,075
- Archer & Greiner P.C.: $102,700