DARK MONEY

Represent NJ Chapter Meeting Oct. 19

Join us for our October Chapter Meeting.
Saturday, October 19 at 11 AM
Fahs Theater at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton 
50 Cherry Hill Rd., Princeton
 
Who/what is Wolf-PAC?  Mike Monetta, national director of our coalition partner, Wolf-PAC NJ,  will lead a Q&A via live stream.
We will also have an Update on the End Dark Money Bill and a discussion of our  Ranked Choice Voting Campaign.

Call for an End to Dark Money in NJ

The End Dark Money bill A1524 will be up for a vote MONDAY, MARCH 25 at 1 PM
COME to the NJ State House 125 W State St, Trenton, NJ 08608 to support A1524.  Let’s show our Legislators that we want transparency in our elections.

AND Speaker Coughlin ((732) 855-7441) must hear from the grassroots declaring our support for S-1500/A-1524 and calling for a vote on Monday, 3/25, in the full Assembly. Right now, opponents of this legislation are mounting an aggressive campaign to defeat the bills. Let’s stop them at the gate. TAKE ACTION . Of course, contact your Assembly Reps.  Find them here:  https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/members/legsearch.asp

Stop Dark Money in NJ Thursday Jan. 17

S 1500, the campaign finance reform that we have been supporting will come before the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on Thursday January 17 at 1 PM.   We thank all of you who have met with your legislators and/or have contacted them by phone or email.   We are now asking that you join us on Thursday, January 17 to let our lawmakers know that their Constituents demand that all political donors in NJ we made known to the public – Full Disclosure,

COME FILL THE ROOM WITH SUPPORT FOR NJ CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM BILL
S1500 End Dark Money in NJ
THURSDAY, JANUARY 17, 2019
****Senate Budget and Appropriations Meeting 1:00 PM
Committee Room 4, 1st Floor, State House Annex,

“DARK MONEY” Documentary Feb. 10

DARK MONEY, a PBS documentary and political thriller, uncovers the shocking and vital truth of how American elections are bought and sold.
Send us a message if you are planning to come. Seating is limited.

Sunday, February 10, 2019 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM (EST)
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton
Sophie Fahs Theater
50 Cherry Hill Road
Princeton, NJ 08540

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

NJ CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM BILLS

The Represent.Us Central NJ Chapter is advocating for  several campaign finance reform bills that have been introduced in the NJ Legislature’s current session.  They  are consistent with the goal for more transparency in our political system.  NJ residents can play a critical role in passing these bills into law by phoning their Legislators and urging them to Co-Sponsor these bills.  Below is a suggested script to use for the calls.   
Action: Call your NJ District Legislators to urge them to Co-Sponsor these  Campaign Finance Reform Bills  A1957, A2435, A1524, S720,  S1479, S1500 . These bills improve NJ’s campaign finance laws by requiring disclosure by independent groups, reforming the state’s and bolstering political parties. 
 
To find your legislators’ names and contact info go to:
Check below 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):
 
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 these campaign finance bills, A2435, A1957, 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 these campaign finance bills, S720, S1479, 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 calls went by replying to this email, indicating which District you are in and how your legislators responded to your call.
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, see below.  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  A2435

Sponsored by:  Assemblyman  DANIEL R. BENSON  District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

 This bill makes various changes to the “The New Jersey Campaign Contributions and Expenditures Reporting Act” concerning campaign contribution limits, expenditures, and reporting requirements, and modifies the current law regulating the awarding of public contracts to business entities that make campaign contributions, commonly referred to as the “pay to play” law.  The bill also requires the creation and maintenance of a searchable unified database, available to the public on the Internet, of all public contracts awarded by government entities in this State.   http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2018/Bills/A2500/2435_I1.HTM

 
ASSEMBLY   A1957

Sponsored by:  Assemblyman  JON M. BRAMNICK  District 21 (Morris, Somerset  and Union ), Assemblyman  ANTHONY M. BUCCO District 25 (Morris and Somerset), Assemblywoman  HOLLY T. SCHEPISI District 39 (Bergen and Passaic)

This bill will increase certain campaign contribution limits, institute new reporting requirements on certain groups, and modify the current law regulating the awarding of public contracts to business entities that make campaign contributions, referred to commonly as the “pay to play” law.  http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2018/Bills/A2000/1957_I1.HTM

ASSEMBLY  A1524

Sponsored by:  Assemblyman  ANDREW ZWICKER District 16 (Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset) and Assemblyman  DANIEL R. BENSON District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)           Co-Sponsored by:  Assemblyman S.Kean

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

SENATE S720

Sponsored by:  Senator  LINDA R. GREENSTEIN  District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex) and  Senator  NILSA CRUZ-PEREZ  District 5 (Camden and Gloucester)

This bill modifies the current law regulating the awarding of public contracts to business entities that make campaign contributions, commonly referred to as the “pay to play” law.  The bill also requires the creation and maintenance of a searchable unified database, available to the public on the Internet, of all public contracts awarded by government entities in this State.  http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2018/Bills/S1000/720_I1.HTM

SENATE S1479

Sponsored by:  Senator  TROY SINGLETON  District 7 (Burlington)

 

A business entity seeking to enter into or holding a public contract would be barred from making a contribution to a political committee, or continuing political committee, in addition to candidate committees and legislative leadership committees.  http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2018/Bills/S1500/1479_I1.HTM
 

SENATE   S1500 

Sponsored by:  Senator  TROY SINGLETON  District 7 (Burlington)

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.Us Central NJ Chapter Celebrates Representation Day at Communiversity April 30

LOCAL ANTICORRUPTION GROUP DISTRIBUTES INFORMATION AT COMMUNIVERSITY

Princeton, NJ – At Communiversity, members of Represent.Us Central New Jersey will distribute information about the corrupting effect of special interest groups and secret “dark” money on our politics and elections. Citizens will be urged to call their NJ Legislators to support three campaign finance reform bills to fight the problem.

“We need everyone to tell our elected officials and candidates for Governor, it’s time to act!” said David Goodman, Represent.Us Central New Jersey Chapter Leader. “We have a plan to drain the swamp by passing anti-corruption laws that stop political bribery, end secret money and fix our broken elections. The New Jersey legislature can take steps toward this goal by passing three campaign finance reform bills, A-3902, A-3903, and A-3639.

Represent.Us Central NJ is the local chapter of Represent.Us, the nation’s largest grassroots anti-corruption campaign. Represent.Us members are taking action this weekend in cities from Baltimore, MD to Fort Worth, TX to demand stronger anti-corruption laws.

“We’re at a tipping point in this country. Americans from the left, right and center are starting to fight back against our corrupt political system, and win.” Said Josh Silver, Represent.Us Executive Director. “Represent.Us’ plan to drain the swamp begins with the American people taking a stand against a broken, corrupt political system and fighting for a government that represents the people, not special interests and lobbyists.”

A full list of events around the country is available on the Represent.Us website, at http://volunteer.represent.us/representationday2017. Contact press@represent.us for the national press office.

Represent Central New Jersey Chapter Committment

 
1. We will provide reliable information. In the words of NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen, “For a free press as a check of power this is the darkest time in American history since World War I, when there was massive censorship and suppression of dissent (http://pressthink.org).” The explosion of fake news promotes propaganda and sows doubt where citizens need to act wisely in their own best interest. This affects us all, across the political spectrum from left to right. We are not a news organization and our focus is mainly state and local, but we will provide reliable, unbiased links to investigative reports, like Jane Mayer; non-profit organizations, like ProPublica (https://www.propublica.org); and other pro-liberty groups, like Take Back Our Republic (http://takeback.org), on the threats of dark money and unrestrained special interests to our democracy.
 
2. We will build on past successes and work with others to do more in the future. Our successes have happened by drawing local citizens and towns together to support anti-corruption resolutions. These send powerful messages to state and federal legislators representing New Jersey on the commitment of their constituents opposing corruption. The towns of Princeton, Ewing, South Brunswick, and Lawrence have shown the way. In 2017, we hope — and will work hard — to add more towns to this group. And, there’s more. We have embraced and will be advocating passage of a bipartisan New Jersey Assembly legislative package for campaign finance reform, summarized here: (http://observer.com/2016/06/bipartisan-move-to-simplify-pay-to-play-law-and-increase-disclosure-by-indie-groups).
 
Beginning in 2017, we will also work with other groups and legal centers on “fair districts” reform and against hyper-partisan gerrymandering, as we look to the 2020 census and redistricting. We will need volunteers to raise their voices and stand with us in these efforts.
 
3. We will continue to fight the effects of Money on politics but take none ourselves. Our commitment is to small donor-funded elections (primaries and general). This encourages the greatest number of citizens to participate in the political process. Running for office will always cost money, but Big Money distorts the process in favor of special interests — the oligarch and plutocrats — and against broad-based democratic government. All the work locally that Susan and I do is voluntary and at our own expense — and with help from others in our chapter and elsewhere. We neither seek nor receive financial support. Represent.Us, as a national organization, accepts donations to its main operating unit (501c4) and to its tax-deductible education fund (501c3). We, in turn, receive technical support from national but again no funding. Donating to national helps but is not required to join our chapter. As a grassroots group, the strength of our chapter (and the others across the country) is our volunteers.
 
4. We will listen. This is probably the most important thing we do — listening and responding to you. Listening for us is proactive, not passive hearing. It means acting on your requests whenever we can but also asking you to help, whenever you can, to recruit new volunteers. This is part of the American experiment, putting hope and optimism into action for a better future.

Support Represent.Us Ballot Initiative in South Dakota: Here’s How…

http://chicago.suntimes.com/opinion/editorial-states-have-power-to-curtail-dark-money-in-politic

This editorial describes the  effort in South Dakota to put a measure on the November ballot there that would require people and groups who throw big money into elections to put their names on their donations for all to see — no more secret or “dark” money as well as other campaign finance reforms including public financing of campaigns.

If South Dakota can succeed despite an enormously expensive campaign against the measure (including Koch Brothers money) by the very same people who should be pulled out of the shadows, we can move on to other states like New Jersey.

How You Can Help

Sign up and help South Dakota pass their Anti-corruption initiative:
We’re finally ready to start our on-call phone banking! The first on-call volunteer shift will be next Thursday, August 25th. Sign up now for your shift.
http://volunteer.represent.us/callshift

WHAT: Phone banking volunteer shift (more details below)

WHEN: Thursday, August 25th 6-8 pm ET

Sign up now to phone bank on Thursday, Aug 25th
http://volunteer.represent.us/callshift

At the start of the shift, you’ll be given a quick overview of how to use the dialer and will review the call script with our organizers. Once that’s done, you’ll be calling voters to inform them about Anti-Corruption initiatives in their area.

After you sign up for a phone-banking shift, you’ll receive an email with additional details about how to join the pre-call overview session and how to login to the dialer.

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP ANTI-CORRUPTION RESOLUTION PASSES

On the evening of June 21, 2016, Lawrenceville Town Council passed unanimously, an Anti-corruption Resolution,  “Supporting State and Federal Legislation that Provides Transparency in Political Donations and Limits the Influence of Money in Politics.”  Lawrence is the fourth municipality to do so in Central NJ. Big Thank Yous go to the LWV members, the members of the Presbyterian Church and, of course, the RepresentUs Central NJ members who attended the meeting (19) and to all those who contacted their Council members to urge them to pass the Resolution. Every action counts and takes us closer to our goal of Anti-corruption legislation at the state and federal levels.