Appendix 5 – Conclusions and recommendations on New Jersey’s “clean election” experiment

May 27, 2008   •  By IFS staff
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The Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) released today a supplement to a report on New Jersey’s "clean elections" pilot project issued in March by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC).

ELEC was statutorily barred from making any recommendations on the future of taxpayer-financed political campaigns in their report titled the 2007 Fair and Clean Elections Report. The report also did not directly compare the program’s goals with results.

CCP’s newly released report supplements the 2007 Fair and Clean Elections Report by providing the comparisons and conclusions not included in the original report.

In the policy briefing, CCP compares the stated policy goals of the pilot program with the actual outcomes and draws on the experiences of Arizona and Maine, two states that served as the model for New Jersey’s program, to offer a fact-based analysis of the impact of taxpayer-financed political campaigns in the Garden State.

CCP’s report finds that New Jersey’s "clean elections" experiment came up short on nearly every measurable outcome. The pilot project failed to: "level the playing field"  by making elections more competitive; improve public opinion; reduce campaign spending; increase voter turnout; end negative campaigning; or prevent out-of-state money from influencing New Jersey elections.

"A complete review of New Jersey’s experiment with taxpayer-financed political campaigns finds that it failed to live up to its promises," said Sean Parnell, president of the Center for Competitive Politics.  "Unfortunately for New Jersey taxpayers, they got stuck footing the bill for these broken promises."

The full report titled "Appendix 5" is available by clicking HERE.

IFS staff

IFS staff