The state Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) shows the New Jersey Republican State Committee outraised the New Jersey Democratic State Committee, $1,692,379 to $377,254, from Jan. 1 to June 30 of 2011, and kept alive a trend of Republican Party money muscle flexing under the leadership of Gov. Chris Christie.
Democrats barely outperformed Republican fundraising totals in head to heads of the four other major committees, according to ELEC, as overall reports, including candidates' indivudal submissions, show Democrats relying less on the party and more on their own contacts to outdistance the GOP on home turf battlefronts.
From Jan. 1 to June 30, the Senate Democratic Majority raised $454,239 compared to the Senate Republican Majority's $394,844; while over the same course of time the Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee raised $434,583 to the Assembly Republican Victory Committee's $331,168.
Taking their big three committees, Republicans so far this year raised $2,418,391, doubling the $1,266,076 total raised during the same time by the Democrats.
As they head toward November general legislative elections, Democrats, moreover, lag behind Christie-led Republicans with cash on hand, as the GOP records $2,370,159 in the collective coffers of its big three, compared to $959,319 by the Democrats' big three.
Big Six Republicans had an especially good second fundraising quarter, hauling in $1,336,803 from April 1 to June 30, compared to the $609,425 the Democrats raised and reported for the same time period.
ELEC broke down the numbers this morning, noting the disparity between what the parties raised the last time both legislative houses endured an election year.
Republicans this fundraising quarter are outperforming the GOP of 2007 by a 45% margin, raising $412,098 in the comparable three month stretch of time.
The Democrats are down 81%, having raised $3,185,007 in the second quarter of 2007.
"It should be noted," according to ELEC's assessment of the numbers, "that separate reports recently filed by individual candidates show that Democrats still enjoy a two-to-one advantage among those candidates."
Democrats reported $9.5 million in reserves, compared to the Republicans' $4.2 million.
ELEC Executive Director Jeff Brindle noted the overall fall-off in fundraising totals for Democrats.
"One is the recession," he said, "which has forced some contributors to go out-of-business and caused others to reduce the size of their checks.
"While Republicans are doing better now compared to four years ago, combined fundraising is down," Brindle added. "That may be explained by the fact that state contractors now face tight contribution limits under pay-to-play laws. Many contractors have simply stopped making contributions to all state elections, and that has made fundraising harder for both parties."
Brindle also noted the absence from the fundraising terrain of multimillionaire and former Gov. Jon Corzine, previously a major contributor to Democrats, who has "scaled back his activity."
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"Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, a Hudson County Democrat, is balking. He claimed Tuesday that members of his caucus are divided over the measure and that his house is in no real rush – besides, even if enacted this year, the reforms would not take effect until 2017, he said. And with the growing belief that Christie could skip town to run for president, some Democrats are not eager to give him another talking point for his résumé. Christie’s plans to stump for Republican candidates in New Hampshire later Thursday only fuel that suspicion." - columnist Charles Stile- The Bergen Record
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