One of the state’s leading business-affiliated political action committees said it has seen a surge in donations, and expects to spend a record total this year.
The committee, New Jersey Organization for a Better State — or NEW JOBS — is expecting to top the $270,000 it spent in 2009 by a large margin, according to David Brogan, the organization’s executive director.
“We are having a record-breaking year for fundraising, and we are getting involved in the competitive districts,” Brogan said.
NEW JOBS is affiliated with New Jersey Business & Industry Association members, but defines itself as a separate organization. Brogan is the first vice president of taxation and economic development for the NJBIA and volunteers with the PAC.
Brogan said the PAC, which focuses solely on legislative elections, supported candidates who promote business in general and “think about business full time.”
The PAC is concentrating its efforts on four of the most competitive races — the second, seventh, 14th and 38th districts.
In the second district, it endorsed Assemblyman Vincent J. Polistina (R-Northfield) for Senate, and Assemblyman John F. Amadeo (R-Northfield) and Republican candidate Christopher Brown for Assembly.
In the seventh, it endorsed state Sen. Diane Allen (R-Burlington) for re-election and Republican candidates Christopher Halgas and Jim Keenan for Assembly.
In the 14th, it endorsed Republican candidate Richard Kanka for Senate, and Assemblyman Daniel R. Benson (D-Hamilton Square) and Republican candidate Wayne Wittman for Assembly.
In the 38th, it endorsed the Republican slate: John Driscoll for Senate, and Fernando Alonso and Richard Goldberg for Assembly.
He noted that 20 of the 25 leading PACs in 2009 were affiliated with labor unions.
“I think this year businesses are waking up to the fact that businesses need to get involved,” Brogan said.