October 4, 2007

By: Laurence D. Laufer

Perception Trumps Reality: 2006 Business Entity Annual Disclosure Statements To Become Public on October 10

In little less than a week, the 2006 Business Entity Annual Disclosure Statements filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) for calendar year 2006 will become public. The disclosures are expected to be available for public inspection on ELEC’s website (www.elec.state.nj.us) on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 at 10:00 am. Contribution recipients should previously have reported these contributions to ELEC, and that information is already available on the web. What’s new is that the Business Entity disclosure presumes and requires linkage between political contributions made by various persons and entities, and government contracts resulting in payments to the business entity. There may in fact be little real world relationship between the reported contributions and contracts. For example, a contribution made by the spouse of an officer the company hired in 2006 might well have no relationship to a 2001 government contract still generating payments to the company in 2006. No matter, the statute requires disclosure implying linkage. What coverage will these reports garner? Will they be scrutinized by competitors? Will a perception of “pay-to-play” be heightened – or diluted?

Tag: New Jersey