Independent Funders Spending Big But Not So Much In NJ

With the possibility that Republicans might take over the U.S. Senate and with both parties trying to strengthen their margin in the House, money is flying around the country at electronic speeds and in quantities not seen before. The Huffington Post reports, “Super PACs are set to be a massive force in the 2014 midterms.” You can add to that monies expended by the national Democratic and Republican congressional and senatorial committees and other sources. However, the independent funders’ big money is not used to support every candidate.

In New Jersey where there are few competitive races, only Democrat Aimee Belgard (CD 3) has been a beneficiary so far. Two independent groups using their own funds have spent over $700,000 since August 1, 2014, in their ads and other media to oppose her challenger Republican Tom MacArthur. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, headed by Rep. Steve Israel, has spent the largest amount, and the House Majority PAC (headed by Alixandria Lapp who used to work for the DCCC) also spent funds to to oppose MacArthur.

Belgard’s campaign committee has directly received $827,000 through June 30 of which $341,000 was in committee contributions that includes $10,000 from EMILY’s List. MacArthur has not had independent funders spending on his behalf, but he loaned $3 million to his own campaign.  

It’s big money and lots more independent funds will be spent before the elections are over. However much more might not be spent on NJ elections unless specific races draw closer. Even Cory Booker who last year drew a lot money from independent funders is not doing so this year, but he had $3.5 million cash on hand as of June 30, 2014 and is expected to win.  

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