Calls on Opponents to Commit to Progressive Values and Limit Spending to $15 Million in Primary

NEWARK, N.J. — Today, Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Jim Johnson called for a spending cap in the Democratic Primary for Governor. In asking his opponents to agree to voluntarily limit their campaign spending to $15 million in the primary, Johnson said that he and his fellow candidates should set an example for the rest of the country and take a concrete step to address the corrosive impact of money in politics. Johnson also penned a public letter to fellow candidate for New Jersey Governor, Phil Murphy, calling on him specifically to agree to the spending cap.

“It’s time we put people before the special interests and big money that is overrunning our political process,” said Johnson. “While no New Jersey Democratic gubernatorial candidate has ever spent more than $6.7 million on a primary campaign, we have a Democratic candidate this year who has already spent over $10 million - and we are 4 months from the Primary. $15 million dollars, which is more than double what any other Democrat has ever spent, should be more than enough to make a case to the voters of New Jersey. If Phil Murphy can’t agree to this cap, it seriously calls into question his commitment to campaign finance reform and progressive democratic values.”
“Both Democrats and Republicans are guilty of taking advantage of a campaign finance system that stacks the deck in favor of a few wealthy people,” continued Johnson. “I believe New Jersey voters are tired of bought-and-paid for politicians, and are more interested in a fair and Democratic process. It’s time we truly committed to putting the people’s interest ahead of the powerful insiders.”

During Johnson’s time as Chair of the Board at the Brennan Center for Justice, the center won critical victories for campaign finance reform and fought to get big money out of politics. Johnson has already shown his commitment to campaign reform by agreeing to participate in New Jersey’s public financing system, which limits his campaign spending to no more than $6.2 million in the primary. Johnson was the first candidate in the race for Governor to qualify for matching public funds. Roughly $11 million has been spent on the 2017 Democratic primary through the end of 2016, with only $67,090 of those dollars being spent by Johnson.

“By agreeing to participate in the public financing system, I have already agreed to a spending cap of $6.2 million for the primary,” said Johnson. "All I am asking is for Phil Murphy to agree to a cap that is nearly two and a half times more than that. As progressive Democrats, we need to prove to the people of New Jersey that we are willing to take principled stands on important issues like this. I hope all my opponents join me in this effort.”
The full text of the letter is as follows, or can be found here: