Newberry Says No To Disclosure Of Campaign Money
GOP incumbent says publishing donors after the fact would be a betrayal
GOP Township Committee incumbent George Newberry on Friday said he would not make his campaign donor list publicly available.
The announcement follows just hours after Democrat challengers for two, three-year Township Committee seats published their campaign donor list.
Democrats Charles McFadden and Tom Ehrlich published the names of everyone who donated money on their campaign website around noon Friday.
The move followed a Wall Patch analysis of local campaign finances that found that the source of the vast majority of money pumped into the race for committee seats was invisible to the public. The story was published Thursday.
Newberry in a telephone interview said that while he was proud of his donor list, many may have given to his campaign knowing their identity would remain secret. Publishing those names would be a betrayal of an unspoken agreement.
"I don’t believe when someone did something legally and in confidence that I should be able to turn around and then publish those names,'' Newberry said. "I think that would be a betrayal.''
State election law mandates that candidates for office list the name, address and amount given to their campaigns by individuals who donate $300 or more. That requirement is waived for individuals who give less than $300. Those donors are anonymous.
A Wall Patch analysis of the campaign finances of the four candidates vying seats on the Wall Township Committee showed that only 44 percent of the Democrats' money was open for public scrutiny, according to state records.
For the Republicans, which also includes the campaign of Mayor Ann Marie Conte, that percentage was far less.
Conte did not respond to a request for comment by late Friday.