New Jersey Bill Takes on "Stealth PACs"

June 30, 2010

Expanded public disclosure is the goal of A-2595: this bill would require "issue advocacy organizations" to disclose contribution and expenditure information and to include disclaimers on public communications comparable to the current obligations of political committees. The bill aims to reach "stealth PACs" which seek to influence the outcome of elections but do not fit within the definition of political committee.  Specifically, an issue advocacy organization would be a not-for-profit organization organized under Internal Revenue Code sections 527 (political organization), 501(c)(3) (charitable organization) or 501(c)(4) (civic league or social welfare organization) "that engages in influencing or attempting to influence the outcome of any election . . . to any State or local elective public office, or the passage or defeat of any public question, or in providing political information on any candidate or public question." Much like the federal legislative response to the Citizens United holding, which has now been passed by the House, A-2595 seeks to ensure that the financing and source of any expenditures designed to influence elections should not evade public scrutiny.

Tags: New JerseyFederal