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Today, New Direction NJ, a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization, released a list of its donors and in the process setting a standard for transparency to which other similarly-situated advocacy organizations should now be held. The disclosure includes all donors that have given to the organization since its inception, along with the aggregate donation each entity has contributed to date, information which goes far beyond any legal standard for disclosure for 501(c)(4) entities.
The full New Direction NJ donor list and donation totals are below.
“New Direction NJ is dedicated to a simple, yet powerful, idea: to build a stronger and fairer economy for every New Jersey family,” said New Direction NJ spokesman Philip Swibinski. “In doing so, we have successfully reached millions of New Jerseyans with powerful messaging about the changes we must make to build an economy that works for the middle class, not the special interests and those already at the very top.
“We are clear-eyed to the fact that disclosing our donors will expose our organization to attacks from entrenched Trenton special interests,” Swibinski added. “But we have concluded that setting a high standard for transparency is far more important to the broader fight for New Jersey’s future. All similarly-situated organizations should disclose their donors, and we will work to hold these organizations accountable to the public if they do not live up to this standard.”
New Direction NJ’s decision to voluntarily disclose its donors comes at a time when a new state law mandating heightened transparency on advocacy organizations is facing legal challenges on constitutional grounds. If the law is upheld by the courts, 501(c)(4) organizations will be required to disclose donations in excess of $10,000 received on or after October 15, 2019. By disclosing its donors from its inception, far in advance of the new law’s deadline, and below the new law’s $10,000 threshold, New Direction NJ is is thereby exceeding the level of transparency outlined in the bill, which may not even apply to the organization depending on the court’s ruling.
“New Direction NJ has played a valuable role in presenting a progressive vision to people throughout our state and showing a better way forward for New Jersey. We will continue to work closely with this organization others that share our members’ values to advocate for policies that benefit our members and all middle-class workers,” said NJEA President Marie Blistan.
“CWA has supported a progressive vision for thirty years that includes economic fairness for workers, a fair tax policy, health care and retirement security for all, responsible gun safety, and good and honest government. We have long supported organizations that share our progressive agenda. We are proud to support Governor Murphy’s vision and New Direction NJ and we look forward to supporting it in the future,” said CWA State Director Hetty Rosenstein.New Direction NJ Donors September 2019