Group with ties to Norcross nearly tops the list of IE spending

TRENTON – A Democratic independent expenditure group known to be aided by South Jersey power broker George Norcross III nearly topped the list of special interest spending in the recent statewide election, according to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.

Fund for Jobs, Growth and Security, a Washington D.C.-based super PAC, spent more than $8 million in legislative races during the recent primary and general elections, according to ELEC’s most recent report. It trails the state’s largest spender, the New Jersey Education Association’s Garden State Forward, which spent nearly $14 million in the gubernatorial and legislative races.

Norcross is known organizer of Fund for Jobs, Growth and Security.

The group put $8 million into legislative campaigns and another approximately $700,000 behind supporting the ballot initiative to raise the state’s minimum wage, according to the report.

The group funneled $6.2 million into battleground districts. It didn’t invest in the gubernatorial race.

The group spent $1,841,076 in LD 38; $1,782,776 in LD 1; $920,729 in LD 16; $822,377 in LD 2; $520,459 in LD 14; $171,742 in LD 3; and $151,546 in LD 7, according to the ELEC report.

The next top three IE top spenders in the recent election – Committee for Our Children’s Future, $7.8 million; One New Jersey, $2.8 million; and Republican Governors Association, $1.7 million – invested only in the gubernatorial primary election.

ELEC tallied independent expenditure spending in the 2013 state elections at an unprecedented $41 million.

“While final numbers won’t be available until January, special interest groups spent nearly $41 million independent of parties and candidates on state campaigns,’’ said Jeff Brindle, ELEC’s Executive Director. “As a result, total spending on this year’s state elections reached a record $124 million.’’

The legislative races received the lion’s share, with outside independent groups contributing $61,838,275 compared to $26,057,077 in 2009, according to ELEC. Independent groups spent  $21,368,164 on the gubernatorial election compared to $56,099,909 in 2009.

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"Since the print publication of this list, Christie, in his capacity as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, helped decisively turn the midterm elections in the Republicans' favor, which makes him a bit more influential than we initially gave him credit for, post-Bridgegate. So when your state governments do absolutely nothing for you for the next four years, be sure to thank him!"
—GQ