State Party Calls Out GOP Nominee’s Attempt to Circumvent ELEC Regulations to Improperly Fill Campaign Coffers

TRENTON, NJ — The New Jersey Democratic State Committee is filing an official, formal complaint with the Election Law Enforcement Commission against Republican gubernatorial nominee Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli for violating state campaign finance regulations that exist to safeguard New Jersey taxpayer funds that are part of the public matching funds program. The NJDSC discovered that the Ciattarelli campaign solicited contributions for the General Election in advance of Primary Election day despite clear directives from ELEC that such an action would be improper. Based on the evidence shared by the NJDSC, ELEC should withhold public matching funds from the Ciattarelli campaign until it fully investigates this complaint.

The complaint will be filed today and a copy of it is available here:

“Jack Ciattarelli has been caught red-handed improperly trying to raise money for his campaign in violation of laws that protect the taxpayer-funded gubernatorial matching funds program,” said NJDSC Executive Director Saily Avelenda. “The law could not be more clear that gubernatorial candidates cannot solicit funds for the General Election in advance of primary election day, and doing so violates ELEC’s rules for those seeking to be Governor. Apparently, Assemblyman Ciattarelli doesn’t think the rules apply to him.”

As outlined in the ELEC complaint, NJDSC has discovered that the Ciattarelli campaign advertised a fundraising event as early as May 27th — well before the June 8th primary election — that was to be held on June 23rd, weeks after the primary. The invitation solicited contributions of up to $2,500 via the WinRed digital fundraising platform and was publicly advertised via a Facebook post by the Bergen County Republican Organization. The production and distribution of the invitation and the apparent collection of funds through a fundraising platform that incurs expenses is a clear violation of ELEC’s ban on undertaking activities and incurring expenditures to solicit general election contributions prior to the primary election. The NJDSC has called on ELEC to stop transfer of any public matching funds to the Ciattarelli campaign while it reviews this violation.  

“If Jack Ciattarelli is willing to cheat New Jersey to finance his campaign, just like he’s willing to embrace Donald Trump and his lies about the 2020 election, voters should be deeply concerned about his judgment, his character, and his willingness to engage in improper and unethical behavior,” said Murphy for Governor Campaign Manager Mollie Binotto. “We applaud the state party for uncovering this violation of our campaign finance laws, and urge ELEC to swiftly investigate the matter and stop Jack Ciattarelli’s attempt to cheat in this election.”