TRENTON, N.J. — Democrat Andy Kim (D, NJ-03) is having a rougher start to spring than winter-wearing New Jerseyans grappling with snow storm damage and power outages.
On Friday, New Jersey Republican State Committee (NJGOP) Chairman and Florio Perrucci Steinhardt & Cappelli attorney Doug Steinhardt corresponded with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) requesting a formal investigation into “questionable campaign activity” perpetrated by a “radical political organization.”
A copy of the letter can be viewed here.
A group apparently inspired by a national organization that’s at the center of the so-called Leftist “resistance” against President Donald Trump.
“The people of New Jersey and the 3rd Congressional district count on our state and federal regulatory agencies to protect the integrity of the democratic process,” said Steinhardt in a statement released to the media. “Indivisible NJ 3rd District is very clearly operating outside of established, legal boundaries, in order to deprive NJ voters of transparency and accountability and, in the process, illegally influence NJ elections. Indivisible NJ 3rd District seems to be deliberately avoiding bright-line laws established to let voters know who is trying to influence their candidates and elections, and with this complaint we are formally requesting that ELEC take steps to ensure that this group play by the same rules by which everyone else is required to play.”
The South Jersey-based Indivisible NJ-03 Facebook group, cited by the NJGOP, claims it is “dedicated to resisting the Trump agenda, using the framework written in the Indivisible Guide: A Practice Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda, for those living in New Jersey’s Third Congressional District.” NJ-03 is presently represented by U.S. Rep. Tom MacArthur (R, NJ-03) who has collaborated with the Trump Administration on issues ranging from federal tax reform to attempts to replace Obamacare.
Whether the NJ-03 group is formally affiliated with the national group, or other local Indivisible groups, is unclear. Two of the three administrators of the official Indivisible Facebook group for Indivisible NJ-03 (linked on the national group’s page) are also members of the page cited by the NJGOP’s letter.
The ambiguity surrounding the “Indivisible NJ 3rd District” and its activities demands inquiry according to New Jersey Republicans.
The NJGOP’s grievance references 29 specific examples of alleged attempts by “Indivisible NJ 3rd District” to intervene in the New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional district without registering with ELEC or providing regulated disclosures.
Among the 29 cited examples is allegedly assisting the Kim campaign’s fundraising efforts.
“If Andy Kim has any respect for the law and voters of the 3rd Congressional district, he’ll join me in my complaint or, at the very least, denounce his association with Indivisible NJ 3rd District until the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission concludes its investigation,” Steinhard continued.
Congressman MacArthur’s seat isn’t “safe” but is nevertheless considered “likely” Republican at this stage of the Election 2018 cycle by the Cook Political Report.