STOP NEW JERSEY GERRYMANDERING BILLS

On December 17th, our NJ Legislators will be 
attempting to fast track  Gerrymandering proposals (SCR152/ACR205) that would allow Gerrymandering of our Legislative Districts and suppress the voices and votes of NJ residents.  These bills would codify the gerrymandering of our 40 legislative districts into our Constitution and pre-determine election outcomes for decades to come. This is NOT how we achieve Fair Districting maps and fair voter representation.  Urge your legislators to vote “no” on SCR43/152 & ACR60/205.

Public hearings for the Senate and Assembly versions of these bills have been scheduled for Thursday, December 13th at 11am: https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/Default.asp. They are doing 2 hearings simultaneously.  There will be a press event at 9:30am on 12/13 in front of the State House Annex, followed by hallway lobbying and splitting up groups to rotate through the public hearings. 
Join us on Thursday December 13!
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A1524 Dec. 6 Hearing Cancelled

Unfortunately A1524 was pulled from the Dec. 6 agenda of the State and Local Government Committee.  As yet we do not have an explanation for this move.  In the meanwhile, continue urging your Legislators to support the bill

RepresentUs Central NJ at Raritan Riverfest Sunday Oct. 14 1- 5 pm

Come and volunteer at our table and urge attendees to contact their NJ Legislators to support Campaign Finance Reform Bills S1500 and A1524

Raritan Borough Riverfest and Duck Races

Sunday, October14

1:00 -5:00, Canal Street Riverfront Park

Citizens Can Help Reform NJ’s Campaign Finance Laws

 

It’s time, New Jerseyans!  Call your Legislators now and tell them to support these bills.  Find Contact Information and a Phone Script by scrolling down.

Assembly Bill A1524 (co-sponsors: Andrew Zwicker and Daniel Benson)

Identical Senate Bill S1500 (Troy Singleton and Linda R. Greenstein)

A1524 and S1500 will “End Secret Money” – a pillar of the American Anti-Corruption Act

(https://represent.us/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/AACA_1Pager2-1.pdf)

How does that happen?

Exposes “dark money” swamping NJ politics by so-called independent-expenditure groupsSuper PACs and non-profit political advocacy organizations (527, 501(c)4 organizations).

Strengthens public-accountability of political parties to counter these independent expenditure groups.

Creates one state law for contractors doing business in NJ (“pay-to-play”), closes local loopholes that allows “dark money” to sneak in.

What’s currently going on?

In 2017 election, political party fundraising committees spent $13.3 Million.

BUT, independent expenditure groups spent $45.4 Million.

“Dark money” groups indirectly support candidates and influence voters with marketing campaigns – all done in secret.

Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision said, “Political money is free speech,” but it DID NOT say names of donors could not be disclosed and revealed (transparency).

What’s the enforcement?

A-1524 strengthens NJ’s “election watchdog” – the state Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC).

Requires “48 hour” notification of independent expenditures and electioneering communications.

Disclosure & transparency” enable voters to know which individuals and organizations are funding contributions and issue ads: Informed citizens!

Background Information

Information on A-1524 and related bills can be found at: http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/18/04/10/curbing-the-influence-of-special-interest-groups-on-nj-elections/

Action: Call your NJ District Legislators to urge them to Co-Sponsor these Campaign Finance Reform Bills A1524, S1500 . These bills improve NJ’s campaign finance laws by requiring disclosure by independent groups, reforming the state’s pay-to-play laws and bolstering political parties.

To find your legislators’ names and contact info go to:

http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/districts/municipalities.asp#W

Check to see if your Legislators are already sponsoring any of these bills. If so, please thank them and urge them to bring in more of their colleagues as Co-Sponsors.

Script (feel free to use your own words and if you have a personal story related to this issue, please add it):

A little bit of a heads up – don’t be surprised if the person who answers the phone is not aware of the bills. We heard about that response from some of our callers. They do have a lot to keep track of and these bills may not be on their radar yet. If that’s the case, tell them to check them out and emphasize their importance.

We’ll keep you informed as we move forward.

For Your Assembly Representative:

Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from [CITY, ZIP].

I‘m calling to urge Assemblyman/Assemblywoman___________ to Co-Sponsor campaign finance bill A1524 and to ask the Speaker to bring these bills to the floor for a vote. We need to bring more transparency and accountability to our election process. Improving our campaign finance laws through the passage of these bills is a first step and needs to be done now.

​AND

For Your Senator:

Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from [CITY, ZIP].

I’m calling to urge Senator___________ to Co-Sponsor campaign finance bill S1500 and to ask the Senate President to bring these bills to the floor for a vote. We need to bring more transparency and accountability to our election process. Improving our campaign finance laws through the passage of these bills is a first step and needs to be done now.

Please let us know how your call went by completing the form at this link:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScXHgXbsjVZcoig-Sfhrm7NEmLr2s6cyCCbYEZLGZmgx8ouqg/viewform

We are piloting this to see how well we can track the support for the bills.

Please forward this message to people in your action network. The more people our representatives hear from, the more likely they are to support these bills.

For more information about these bills, scroll down.

The links will send you to the complete bill language. We recommend scrolling to the last part of each bill and reading the “Statement” section for a detailed summary.

ASSEMBLY A1524

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman ANDREW ZWICKER

District 16 (Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset)

Assemblyman DANIEL R. BENSON

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman S.Kean

Referred to Assembly State and Local Government Committee:

Mazzeo, Vincent – Chair

Sumter, Shavonda E. – Vice-Chair

Carroll, Michael Patrick

McKnight, Angela V.

Peters, Ryan E.

Reynolds-Jackson, Verlina

The bill would require disclosure by any independent expenditure committee. http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2018/Bills/A2000/1524_I1.HTM

SENATE S1500

Sponsored by:

Senator TROY SINGLETON

District 7 (Burlington)

Senator LINDA R. GREENSTEIN

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

Referred to Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee:

Beach, James – Chair

Turner, Shirley K. – Vice-Chair

Brown, Chris A.

Cruz-Perez, Nilsa

Thompson, Samuel D.

The bill would require disclosure by any independent expenditure committee. It would require these committees to report contribution and expenditure information in excess of $300 to the Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC). http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2018/Bills/S1500/1500_I1.HTM

Represent Central NJ Blazes a Trail of Reform

https://bulletin.represent.us/represent-central-nj-blazes-a-trail-of-reform/

 

Local Leaders Pass 7th Anti-Corruption Resolution 

If you want to unrig our corrupt system, look no further than Central New Jersey for your inspiration. Represent.Us Leaders there have demonstrated the tangible steps it takes to make a real difference in our local communities, our state regulations, and eventually, our federal laws—proof positive of a true theory of grassroots change.

Represent.Us is proud to introduce two of the incredible local leaders responsible for blazing a trail to change politics as usual in their state—and tell you all about how they did it, to hopefully inspire others to join the movement. New Jersey is just one example of how real people can make real change in their local communities.

Meet Susan Colby and David Goodman

Susan and David work together as leaders of the Represent.Us Central NJ chapter in Princeton, New Jersey since 2013. In July 2014, their chapter succeeded in passing the first local resolution in support of the American Anti-Corruption Act. As a result of their efforts, a true grassroots movement was born. They worked with local residents, partners, and elected officials to speak up and make their voices heard. Represent.Us members and leaders continue to work collaboratively across the state, picking up steam towards statewide reform through the years.

As part of a member spotlight project to highlight our incredible grassroots volunteers across the country, David and Susan told us in their own words why they joined Represent.Us, and what motivates them to champion this anti-corruption work.

So What Does this Mean for New Jersey?

Susan, David and their fellow Represent Central NJ chapter members have been on a win streak. The passing of local resolutions have been blazing a trail through Mercer and Middlesex Counties, putting a dent corrupt campaign finance practices, and catching the attention of statewide elected officials with their bipartisan coalition and commitment to local policy reform by the people, and for the people. Just last week, the Hopewell NJ Township just voted on a local anti-corruption resolution brought forward by Represent Central New Jersey—their 7th local resolution to date.

Read the text of the resolutions directly here:
7/14/2014:Princeton, New Jersey-Represent.Us’ first ever resolution victory
2/11/2015: Ewing Township, New Jersey
4/12/2016: South Brunswick, New Jersey
6/21/2016: Lawrence Township, New Jersey
3/13/2017: Princeton, New Jersey*
7/10/2017: West Windsor, NJ
11/27/2017: Cranbury Township, NJ
6/11/2018: Hopewell, New Jersey

“This past Monday night, June 11th, was a big deal for us.  We had our 7th campaign victory since 2014. The Hopewell Township Committee approved our resolution by a unanimous vote, 4-0,” Local chapter leader David Goodman said. “We worked closely with elected officials over many weeks and the outcome was very positive.  There was debate and lively exchanges and good questions in the committee, showing that the principles of democracy and representative government ring true.”

The resolution aims to “pursue and enact legislation to control campaign financing, limit the influence of unregulated donors, promote transparency and fairness through the election process and ensure a government that is responsive to the needs of the people.”  Local correspondent Samantha Brandbergh reports that elected officials expressed their support for the resolution last month, with Blake noting the idea of transparency in government is “valuable to all of us.”

The resolution also calls for copies of the document be forwarded to Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson-Coleman, State Senator Shirley Turner, and State Assembly Members Reed Gusciora and Verlina Reynolds-Jackson. Represent.Us chapter members are currently working across the aisle to reach the Governor’s office.

How to Make Change: A Local Path to Statewide Impact

This important advocacy happens at a time when action appears to be stirring in the Legislature. Local leaders are meeting with elected officials to discuss bills relating to campaign finance and other anti-corruption measures, blazing a trail for potential statewide legislation that seeks to work in a bipartisan way. The goal is to bring enough citizens and towns together to convince Members of the New Jersey Assembly and Senate to vote “yes” on bills that shed light on “dark money” and its corruption of politics and government—A1524 sponsored by Assemblymen ZwickerBenson, and Kean, and S1500 is sponsored by Senators Greenstein and Singleton. S1500 & A1524 are two identical bills in the Legislature that, among other pieces of reform, require disclosures by independent expenditure committees.

Learn more about the movement to change state laws, and the deep impact this can have on politics as usual to strengthen public accountability of both political parties. By working together across the state and in a bipartisan coalition, the Represent.Us members of New Jersey are blazing a path to statewide campaign finance reform.

Information on A-1524 and related bills.

It’s easy: You can do this process in your own town, city, or state!

Local, volunteer-led chapters are the heartbeat of our movement. From coast to coast, dedicated people like you are organizing across the country, working together to pass meaningful anti-corruption reforms.

If you want to take action, click on our resources tab on our website for a Step by Step to guide to volunteer, start a local chapter, or find resources on passing a local resolution where you live. Are you local to Central NJ? Sign up to join the Central New Jersey Chapter!

If you are anywhere else in the US, sign up to help protect your community from corruption and build power toward our national victory. Take a minute and let us know who you are and what matters to you.

Together, we can support local initiatives that fight corruption across the United States!

Hopewell Township Anti-Corruption Resolution Vote May 14

Polls show 80% of Republicans and 82% of Democrats “strongly agree”  that special interest money has too much influence on politics.
In Central New Jersey, six towns have chosen to act: Princeton, Ewing, Lawrence, South Brunswick, West Windsor, and Cranbury have passed Anti-Corruption Resolutions.   Local volunteers from Represent.Us, a grassroots organization, and town residents have called on their governments for reforms. The goal is to disclose who’s behind the lobbyists and so-called “independent committees” (Super-PACs and others) that are swamping New Jersey’s (and national) elections with secret “dark” money.

Hopewell residents, concerned about the corrupting influence of big money interests  have been working with Represent.Us Central NJ Chapter to pass an Anti-Corruption Resolution in Hopewell.  Mayor Kuchinski and the Township Committee have put the Anti-Corruption Resolution on the Agenda  for a vote at the May 14th meeting.  Passing this Resolution will add a seventh municipality in Central NJ sending a message to our state Legislators as well as to our Senators and Congressional Representatives that urges them to support state and federal legislation to Stop Political Bribery (that is now legalized), End Secret Money, and Fix our Broken Elections.  If you are a Hopewell resident, come and show your support and bring your neighbors.

Monday, May 14 at 7 PM
  • Municipal Auditorium                                                                                                                                               
    201 Washington Crossing-Pennington Road                                                                                      
    Titusville, NJ 08560

 

Representation Day at March for Science

  • Saturday, April 14  11 AM to 1 PM    

    Trenton War Memorial. (1 Memorial Dr., Trenton, NJ 08608)

Represent.Us Central NJ Chapter Information Table will help you learn and think about how Big Money in Politics/ Dark Money affects scientific research. (See excerpt below) You will also learn about the campaign finance reform bills in the NJ Legislature that will make campaign contributions more transparent and how you can help pass them.

Web of Power: Cambridge Analytica and the Climate Science Denial Network Lobbying for Brexit and Trump

By Mat Hope • Wednesday, March 21, 2018 – 07:14

From Cambridge Analytica to Trump, via the Mercers and a web of climate science denial

On the US side, Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah Mercer are the key links. The Mercers invested approximately $5 million in Cambridge Analytica.

The Mercers are also well known funders of climate science denial, and its current global posterboy Donald Trump.

The Mercer Family Foundation also spent at least $3,824,000 between 2003 and 2010 directly funding groups opposing climate change action. That money went to organisations including The Heartland Institute, Manhattan Institute, Media Research Center, and Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (OISM).

The Mercers are also linked to other major funders of climate science denial including the Koch brothers. In 2014, Robert Mercer made a $2.5 million contribution into the Koch’s Freedom Partners Action Fund.

The Koch’s have spent at least $100,343,292 on 84 groups denying climate change science between 1997 and 2011, according to Greenpeace — crucial years for international climate change talks.

https://www.desmogblog.com/global-warming-denier-database