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Posted: April 15th, 2014 | Author: admin | Filed under: Chris Christie | Tags: Campaign Finance, Campaign finance laws, Chris Christie, Christie Town Hall | Comments Off on Chris Christie calls for unlimited campaign donations with 48-hour reporting period
Anna Little’s congressional campaign account is overdrawn $11,321.08, according to the FEC Form 3 Record of Receipts and Disbursements, that her campaign submitted to the Federal Election Commission yesterday.
$22,188.28 seems to have disappeared overnight, between May 16 and May 17, from Little’s meager coffers. In the pre-primary report of activity for the April 1 through May 16 period, “Friends of Anna Little” had $13,806.95 cash on hand on May 16. The next day, her campaign’s beginning balance was negative $8,381, according to the report submitted yesterday.
Monmouth County GOP Chairman John Bennett, Middlesex County GOP Chairman Sam Thomspon and the Bayshore Tea Party Group need to step in and right the Little campaign before it does damage to the rest of the party. Thompson thought his judgment was better than that of the Monmouth GOP screening committee when he awarded his county’s party line to Little when her home county leaders thought better. Bennett, while not yet chairman, supported Little in the primary against Ernesto Cullari. Bennett and Thompson headlined a fundraiser for Little.
When MMM questioned Thompson about Little’s FEC reports in May he said, “I have a hard enough time keeping my own campaign reports straight.” That flippant attitude is no longer acceptable.
Bennett relied on Little’s support to win the chairmanship by three votes. Little has been taking credit for Bennett’s victory at her weekly campaign meetings at the Keyport IHOP.
The Bayshore Tea Party Group’s leadership, despite having well earned reservations about Little, chose to support her over Cullari as an act of defiance towards the Monmouth GOP.
Thompson, Bennett and BTPG gave us this mess. They need to clean it up. Fast.
Posted: July 17th, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2012 Congressional Races, Anna Little | Tags: Anna Little, Bayshore Tea Party Group, Campaign Contributions, Campaign finance laws, Ernesto Cullari, FEC, Federal Election Commission, John Bennett, missing money, overdraft, overdrawn, Sam Thompson | 17 Comments »
Over the holiday weekend Politickernj and The Star Ledger caught up with the good work that MMM contributor Harold Kane did last September in shedding light on political spending in Middlesex County.
Like Kane, Politikernj and The Star Ledger framed their articles as if the PACs set up to funnel campaign donations from engineers, lawyers and their firms to political campaigns were doing something scandalous. Each of the articles acknowledges that the contributions are legal, yet they say that the donors “skirt” or “cloud” the law or that the contributors are “buying” the candidates that ultimately benefit from the contributions.
The real scandal is that campaign finance laws at every level of government, federal, state, county and local, that are ostensibly designed to eliminate the influence of money in our political system and to increase transparency actually have the opposite effect, by design.
Money is like air and water. Set up a structure to restrict it and money, like air and water, will find a crack in the structure to get to where it wants to go. With enough pressure the structure breaks. Fix or reform the structure and the cycle repeats itself.
Our campaign finance laws decrease transparency in the process. Kane and the reporters from Politickernj and The Star Ledger spent many unproductive hours combing through ELEC reports of campaigns and PACS to connect the dots. Not many people have the time or resources to make that effort. Kane, Politickernj and The Star Ledger reporters did us all a service by connecting those dots. It is appropriate for the public to know who is financing the campaigns of their candidates for public office.
Restricting the amount of money that a person or entity can contribute to a campaign is inappropriate. Such restrictions are impediments to free speech and push otherwise well meaning people out of the political process or into breaking ill conceived and complex laws. Such restrictions don’t and won’t keep “bad money” out of the process.
The only way to increase transparency in the process is to require immediate disclosure of campaign contributions. Removing the limits that candidates and campaigns can accept would reduce the utility of PAC, Super PACs, etc.
Creating a simple system of full disclosure would increase participation in the political process. It would increase competition among government contractors and professionals. It would make the entire process more democratic, which is probably why we won’t see such a simple system anytime soon, if ever.
Posted: April 9th, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Campaign Contributions | Tags: Campaign finance laws, Harold Kane, Harold V. Kane, Middlesex County, PACS, Pay-to-play, Politickernj, Super PACs, The Star Ledger | 3 Comments »