TRENTON – Senator Loretta Weinberg, whose 37th Legislative District participated in the Clean Elections process, today called the program “a tremendous success” that was especially delightful for what it eliminated – the drudgery of the campaign fundraiser.
“The business community was happy not to have to attend any fundraisers and I was just as happy not to have to run one,” said Senator Weinberg, D-Bergen.
Still, Senator Weinberg said the Clean Elections process could do with a lot less paperwork.
Because she and her Assembly running mates, Gordon M. Johnson and Valerie Vainieri Huttle, faced opponents who did not qualify for the program, Senator Weinberg said she and her colleagues tried to keep expenditures to a minimum.
“We’ll probably be returning money to the State,” Senator Weinberg said, adding that they still were in the process of completing all the required paperwork.
One area of improvement which Senator Weinberg said she would endorse is removing the limit of 800 on the number of allowable $10 contributions.
“Once we hit the eight-hundred limit, we had to return all the other 10-dollar contributions,” Senator Weinberg said. “It was kind of embarrassing to have to tell people, ‘Sorry, we couldn’t keep your ten bucks.’”
If the goal of the program is to help remove the influence in campaigns of “big money” contributors through multiple, small donations, cutting off the $10 contributions didn’t seem necessary, Senator Weinberg said.
“What’s the difference?” she said.