Political Exchange

//July 31, 2009

Political Exchange

//July 31, 2009

Agreeing that reform required to bust corruptionHow can we strengthen pay-to-play bans?


I’ve proposed legislation to strengthen pay-to-play bans by prohibiting county and municipal party committees from contributing to other county and municipal party committees, and to various other political and state party committees.

We have no limitations on the amount that a county party committee or municipal party committee can make to other committees, but the mix of money and politics must be tackled once and for all. It’s not only about ethical responsibility — it’s about fiscal responsibility. It’s about making our state more responsible and more affordable for hard-working New Jerseyans. If this were to become law, unprecedented transparency would come to all governments in New Jersey, and the old way of doing business would come to an end.

My bill would also increase the penalty when a person agrees with another to make a contribution with the intent that the recipient would then make a contribution to another. The penalty will be four times the amount of the contribution.

Linda R. Greenstein (D-Monroe)



After the arrest of 44 people accused of political corruption and money-laundering schemes, Acting U.S. Attorney Ralph Marra Jr. stated that “giant loopholes” remain in New Jersey’s campaign donation rules that help contribute to our state’s pervasive corruption problem. This is why I have sponsored, along with my colleagues Sen. Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Somerville) and Sen. Steve Oroho (R-Sparta), Senate Bill 287, which attacks the problem at its core.

This legislation would curb the contributions of wealthy individuals and continuing political committees by establishing overall contribution limits. This will seal off prime sources of special-interest money that will inevitably grow in influence as traditional pay-to-play contributions decline. Our bill also injects a measure of fairness into rules for funding the election of the governor. S-287 is just one of the many Senate Republican bills that we have been aggressively advocating for, and we stand ready to work with the governor to get these measures passed.

Thomas H. Kean Jr. (R-Westfield)