The Interest Is Only A "Special Interest" When It Is Not Our Interest
In a frightening display, politickernj.com reports that New Jersey Senate Democrats plan to attempt to regulate certain 501c4 organizations that disagree with their political views, compelling not only the disclosure of contributors, but also applying pay-to-play rules to them.
Setting aside issues of federal preemption for the moment, Senate Democrat spokesperson Derek Roseman actually said that the proposed legislation would "clearly define the groups that were exempted" by "delineat[ing] between legitimate groups with a legitimate policy orientation and shadow organizations that are merely acting as a front for a political party." Further, Assemblyman and State Democratic Party Chairman John Wisniewski (D-Sayreville) said the application of such restrictions "would likely be based on the length of time the group had been in existence."
Does this mean that recently formed politically active 501c4's, such as Garden State Equality, which held events at which former Governor Corzine appeared at as an honored guest while advocating its agenda, and vice-versa, should be subject to such restrictions being sought to be imposed against Reform New Jersey Now by this legislation? Who decides?
While on the subject, why is the Legislature still avoiding real pay-to-play reform, such as that long-proposed by Assemblywoman Amy Handlin, which would entirely ban both corporate and union contributions in New Jersey? In throwing out the restrictions imposed on labor unions under Governor Christie's Executive Order No. 7, the Appellate Division held that while the Executive Branch could not do so unilaterally, the Legislature could act to apply pay-to-play restrictions to labor organizations that hold the largest no-bid public contracts in the State of New Jersey.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
More on 501(c) (4)'s
Brain Nelson has some great thoughts on the issue that has the Neptune Newsies, the NJEA and Trenton Democrats in a huff at his New Jersey Election and Campaign Finance Law Blog :