New Jersey Now Says Yes to SuperPACs

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On July 17, 2013, the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (“ELEC”) announced that an agreement reached on July 11 between itself and Fund For Jobs, Growth & Security (“Fund”) was approved by the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. Under the agreement, the Fund was granted a permanent injunction that permits unrestricted fundraising by political committees that plan to make only independent expenditures.

The permanent injunction overturns an Advisory Opinion in which ELEC determined that the Fund had to abide by New Jersey campaign finance limits. The ELEC Advisory Opinion 01-2013 has now been withdrawn pursuant to the permanent injunction.   As a result, New Jersey’s treatment of SuperPACs now appears to follow the federal model – a complete reversal.

ELEC reiterates that political committees that intend to spend in excess of $2,400 on a New Jersey election, whose major purpose is for more than half of its funds to be spent in New Jersey, must register as a political committee with ELEC and comply with all relevant regulations and reporting requirements.

Finally, the permanent injunction instructs ELEC to “recommend to the Legislature that it amend N.J.S.A. 19:44A-11.5 to cure the infirmities in the statute raised by this litigation, so that the Commission may adopt regulations consistent herewith.” Stay tuned.

Genova Burns Giantomasi Webster served as co-counsel to Fund For Jobs, Growth & Security in this litigation.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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