In a follow-up letter to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC), Senator Vince Polistina called for a full investigation into the dark money organizations that attempted to make a mockery of New Jersey’s election laws.
“During the last election, there were numerous reports about the efforts of some to recruit shadow candidates and establish various Super PACs to support these shadow candidates in South Jersey. Many of these activities were being conducted in a manner to hide the money responsible for running television ads and sending mailers in several districts,” said Polistina (R-2). “Perhaps the most egregious example is Jersey Freedom, a dark money organization that has a PO Box in Jamaica, New York, which sent mailers supporting third party candidates in various districts and also sent e-mails as early as September 7 targeting Congressman Van Drew. In fact, the third party candidate in District 2 ended his campaign because he was so distraught with Jersey Freedom’s efforts to mislead voters."
In the letter, which was addressed to the ELEC Chairman, Thomas H. Prol, Polistina called for an immediate investigation to determine if Jersey Freedom was created specifically to shield contributions and expenditures made in order to interfere with a free and fair election in Districts 2 and 4.
According to the information that has been made publicly available:
- Eric Peterson opened a PO Box on behalf of Jersey Freedom in Jamaica, New York in August 2023. There was no disclosure of the expenditure until November 27.
- The first mailer from Jersey Freedom arrived in mailboxes in District 2 around October 19 which means they were created and mailed around October 12.
- The public filings would have New Jerseyans believe that Creative Print Group in Baltimore, Maryland provided credit to Jersey Freedom on or around October 20 without Jersey Freedom having a single dollar in the bank. The Jersey Freedom filing from October 27 indicates that their Citibank account had a $0.00 balance.
"Does anyone believe that Creative Print Group would have extended credit in that fashion to someone who no one in New Jersey politics has ever heard of—and who had a bank account with no money in it?” asked Polistina. “The more you dig, the more you realize that none of this story makes any sense. To ensure that this type of election interference never happens again, I am calling on ELEC to conduct a complete and transparent investigation and prosecute any crimes that occurred. The people of New Jersey need to have the upmost confidence in their elections."