N.J. Senate bill aims for transparency on all campaign donations

    Democrats in the New Jersey Senate plan to introduce legislation requiring all political candidates and advocacy groups to disclose who’s giving them money.

     

    Sen. Linda Greenstein’s bill would change the current law, which allows candidates to conceal donor contributions of $300 or less.

    The bill also would require issue advocacy groups to report their contributions and expenditures to the Election Law Enforcement Commission.

    “They can know that people are not getting money in exchange for favors,” said Greenstein, D-Middlesex. “They can understand the actions of a legislator and then look and see where the money is coming from. I think it will make sure that everybody is very careful about what they do.”

    Some types of advocacy groups can spend unlimited amounts of money on elections.

    Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, who hopes the legislation will pass, intends to voluntarily disclose all the contributors to her re-election campaign.

    “I’m kind of proud of how many $25 and $50 donations I have. I think it¹s an indication that grassroots people rather than the so-called special interests are becoming involved in somebody¹s campaign,” said Weinberg, D-Bergen. “I think it’s a badge of honor.”

    Weinberg says allowing the public to know who’s giving candidates their campaign funds will help keep politicians honest.

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