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Gov. Phil Murphy. Photo by Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe.

Murphy conditionally vetoes dark money bill

Governor seeks to expand disclosure requirements

By David Wildstein, May 13 2019 12:27 pm

Governor Phil Murphy has  conditionally vetoed legislation requiring certain dark money groups disclosure their donors and has recommended additional measures he says will make it stronger.

The bill would have required  501(c)4 groups like the ones tied to supporters of Murphy and to George Norcross to require independent expenditure groups disclose the identities of those contributing more than $10,000 and to expenditures worth more than $3,000.  Those disclosure requirements apply to groups attempting to influence the outcome of an election or public question, as well as those supporting or opposing a given piece of legislation.”

The bill, which had the support of the State Election Law Enforcement Commission, also raises the contribution limits to candidates and political parties.

“Strengthening disclosure requirements will help bring greater transparency to the work of government and enhance public trust in the political process,” Murphy said.  “Sadly, S1500, as currently written, falls short of that goal. The bill contains egregious loopholes that fail to create reasonable and consistent disclosure standards across the board. As a result, I am conditionally vetoing the legislation to make it stronger – eliminating loopholes, expanding the scope of the State’s pay-to-pay laws, tying certain provisions more closely to election activity, and subjecting the recipients of large-scale tax credits and other subsidies to ELEC disclosure requirements. I call on the Legislature to join me in strengthening these disclosure requirements and bring heightened transparency to the work of government.”

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