As we mentioned in our previous blog entry, New Jersey is giving even further attention to its pay-to-play laws. Yesterday, to show the seriousness of his promises of reform, Governor Chris Christie issued an executive order that curbs political donations by labor unions and is intended to prevent pay-to-play politics from this donor group. Specifically, unions are now included in the group of donors who are barred from having state contracts worth more than $17,500 if they had donated more than $300 to a campaign for Governor or county political committee in the previous 18 months.
Democrats are voicing their opposition saying it is “over the top”, as an important portion of their base is made up of labor unions. They do not believe the order will stay in place, denouncing it as an unconstitutional violation of free speech. Governor Christie claims that this simply applies the same rules as other similar types of businesses must comply with such as law and engineering firms.