March 25, 2013 •
NJ ELEC Does Not Invalidate Limits on Contributions for Independent Expenditures
On March 21, 2013, the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) issued an advisory opinion deciding it does not have the jurisdiction to declare contribution limits unenforceable or unconstitutional for political committees making only independent expenditures.
Advisory Opinion 01-2013 holds current state registration and reporting requirements and contribution limits apply to political committees making independent expenditures.
Fund for Jobs and Growth, a political organization not registered in the state and intending to make independent expenditures in the state’s 2013 elections, requested the opinion in order to determine whether it needed to register and report with the state and whether the state contributions limits for political committees applied to its fundraising activity. The organization was held to be a political committee requiring registration and reporting.
While holding state contribution limits apply, the opinion notes several other jurisdictions have held contribution limits applied to political committees making independent expenditures are unconstitutional. ELEC did not find “that the Third Circuit Court of Appeals has addressed these issues, nor has the United States Supreme Court issued a specific determination concerning the constitutionality of contribution limits for political committees making only independent expenditures.”
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