Connections for NJ GOP gubernatorial candidate may jeopardize state campaign funding

    By: Monica Miller

    The Republican gubernatorial race is starting to pick up steam leading up to the June primary. However, WHYY’s Monica Miller says one candidate who worked for an anti-tax interest group may have hit a snag collecting matching funds for his war chest.

    By: Monica Miller

    The Republican gubernatorial race is starting to pick up steam leading up to the June primary. However, WHYY’s Monica Miller says one candidate who worked for an anti-tax interest group may have hit a snag collecting matching funds for his war chest.

    Script:
    Steve Lonegan has raised roughly $550,000 so far and has applied for public campaign matching funds. New Jersey’s Election Law Enforcement Commission Executive Director Fred Herrmann says he can’t comment on Lonegan’s situation. But they’re holding a closed door meeting Thursday to investigate a matter regarding the Gubernatorial race.

    Herrmann: “Any gubernatorial candidate who has participated in an issue advocacy organization can only receive public funds if he or she discloses its expeditures and contributions for the last four years.”

    Lonegan was the Director of the New Jersey chapter of Americans for Prosperity, an anti-tax lobbying group. The former Bogota mayor says it would be unconstitutional to deny him the matching funds and that the organization isn’t obligated to divulge information on their donors or finances.

    Lonegan: “I have zero ability to compel the organization to do such a thing and they have no obligation to do it by the way.”

    Lonegan faces three other candidates in the June 2 election. A spokeswoman for the Americans for Prosperity organization did not return a call for comment.

    Listen:
    Click on the play button below or right click on this link and choose “Save Link As” to download.

    [audio: reports20090305njcampaign.mp3]

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.