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NJ anti-Christie activists pressured to reveal donors
By David Godow
One New Jersey, a left-leaning issue advocacy group opposed to Republican Governor Chris Christie's policies, has come under increasing pressure from its own erstwhile allies, Democratic state legislators, to reveal where its money comes from. State Sens. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) and Linda Greenstein (D-Middlesex), have called for One New Jersey to disclose information about its donors in the interest of ethics and the public interest. According to Weinberg, "it's important that they not try to circumvent campaign finance laws and that they say where their funding comes from so we know a little bit about the group."
The group has repeatedly refused calls to open its books on the grounds that it is not legally required to do so; One New Jersey is a 501(c)4 advocacy organization which, unlike charitable or educational non-profits, is not required to officially disclose its donors. However, similar organizations on the other side of the ideological fence, like the pro-Christie group Reform Jersey Now, have voluntarily revealed its funding sources.
This puts Democrats, who have repeatedly condemned other another conservative advocacy group, the Center for a Better New Jersey, for a lack of transparency. The criticism of liberal One New Jersey by Weinberg and other Democrats could thus free liberal senators from the appearance of hypocrisy. According to Senator Greenstein, "We've been demanding this of all the different Republican groups... We can't be any different here."
One New Jersey, meanwhile, has tried to shift the focus back towards its non-disclosing Republican counterparts, arguing "disclosure only works when everybody discloses."