New Jersey

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Chris Christie wants to sell our elections to the highest bidder

Last week, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said there should be no limits on what individuals can donate to candidates for office--something that would hand our elections wholly over to a elite set of wealthy donors. 

Public Campaign Action Fund's David Donnelly responded to Christie with an oped in New Jersey's Star-Ledger on Friday:

Can't Run Without Clean Elections

In 2007 in New Jersey, Clean Elections candidates won all nine seats in the state's pilot Clean Elections project. With the news that the New Jersey system may be on hold for the next election in 2009, one possible candidate says that may just keep him from running.

 

Fund It

The Asbury Park Press issues a stern warning to New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine and the state legislature to restore funding for the state's Clean Elections pilot program and expand eligibility to include primary races, where newcomers have the best chance to mount competitive bids.

New Jersey Polling

Voters in New Jersey's three Clean Elections districts felt campaigns this year focused more on the issues, but the state has a long way to go to repair public trust in elected officials according to this new poll that takes the temperatures of New Jersey voters following the recent round of in-state elections.

Some key findings:

 

Clean Elections Candidates Win in New Jersey

Many Clean Elections candidates in New Jersey have a reason to celebrate today after yesterday's elections. In the three districts where candidates were eligible to participate in the state's Clean Elections pilot program, all of the winning candidates ran using the system.

Corruption Arrests in New Jersey

Eleven New Jersey officials were arrested today in connection with a sprawling bribery investigation of roofing and insurance contracts. Several councilmen, mayors, Assemblymembers, and school board members are implicated in the the investigation.

Here, courtesy of NJ.com is a list of those officials charged with accepting bribes in exchange for exerting influence over public contracts, and how much each is alleged to have received:

National Momentum, State Success

Tom Hester at Newsday notes that New Jersey's efforts to fight political corruption are starting to bear fruit with this year's successful Clean Elections pilot program. He places New Jersey's advances in the context of broader national momentum behind public financing by mentioning North Carolina's recent expansion of its public financing system to include some Council of State races, and Alaska's efforts behind a ballot initiative.

Positive New Jersey Coverage

The Trenton Times has provided ample coverage of New Jersey's Clean Elections pilot project this year, and contributes another editorial in support of the project and its potential expansion today.

Good Coverage in New Jersey

New Jersey's well into the second cycle of its Clean Elections pilot project in three legislative districts and the local newspapers are doing a good job about covering the qualifying process for candidates, and getting the word out about the Clean Elections programs.

 

New Jersey Candidates Go Clean

Cool article from New Jersey on the candidates participating in this year's three-district Clean Elections pilot program, who are learning the ins and outs of running the Clean Elections way. Though the article quips they're "being forced to run real door-to-door, grass-roots campaigns" it sounds like most are enjoying the challenge.