Democrats Qualify For 'Clean Election' Funds — Friday, October 5, 2007

By Joseph Ax

The three Republican candidates for Senate and Assembly in the 37th District failed to qualify for the "Clean Elections" project, missing out on $50,000 or more in public financing.

Meanwhile, the Democratic candidates gathered enough $10 contributions to earn the maximum $100,000 in public money, Sen. Loretta Weinberg, D-Teaneck, said Thursday.

Her GOP opponent, Bergenfield resident Clara Nibot, said she had received $10 contributions from 292 donors in the district, short of the minimum 400 needed to qualify for the financing. Assembly candidates Wojciech Siemaszkiewicz of Bergenfield and Frank Cifarelli of Hackensack also did not qualify.

Thanks to more than 800 donations, Weinberg and her running mates from Englewood, Assembly members Valerie Huttle and Gordon Johnson, will have the "Clean Election Candidate" slogan under their names on the November ballot.

They are required to use only the public financing to fund their campaigns; the Republicans must raise their own money but are free to do so in traditional ways.

The campaign reform project, undergoing a test run in the 37th and two other districts this fall, is supposed to rid races of special-interest money.

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