(TotalConservative.com) – Did a political power broker in New Jersey help split the Republican vote during the 2022 elections in order to help Democratic candidates in some of the closest state districts? That’s what some believe happened at the hands of a shadowy political group called Jersey Freedom.
The organization helped pay for ads to promote Republican candidates who were not actually actively campaigning, and who circulated petitions by a failed Republican candidate who is allegedly tied to Democrats in South Jersey allied with power broker George Norcross.
Ironically, what enabled the maneuver to be done in secret without revealing donor information until over three weeks after the Nov. 7, 2022, election was the Elections Transparency Act. The new campaign finance legislation overhauled previous finance rules in New Jersey and allowed double contributions as well as axing local and state pay-to-play ordinances. The act was adopted officially on February 23.
The amendment permitted outside groups to fund what are commonly called “phantom candidates” without revealing the identities of donors prior to Election Day. According to a lawsuit by Republicans against Jersey Freedom, “phantom candidates” are individuals put in the race for the sole purpose of siphoning off votes from “legitimate candidates.” Republicans managed to sue the organization before the 2022 election and the court froze the PAC’s spending. The judge who gave the order listened to oral arguments last week on December 11.
Joe Donohue, leader of an election watchdog group, claims the law did increase transparency in New Jersey elections in some ways, such as overturning a previous rule on “dark money” disclosures by narrowing the parameters for which groups must report campaign donations. The change made it mandatory for nonprofits to report their donations, and it lowered the threshold for political committees making smaller donations.
Norcross is one of the people under the most scrutiny related to these changes. He commands a large fortune and has been stacking the New Jersey legislature with his allies for years. Although he’s never held elected office himself, Norcross has a great deal of power and influence. His brother, Donald Norcross, is also a member of the House of Representatives.
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