Another non-profit/open records lawsuit

The New Jersey State League of Municipalities has been sued under New Jersey’s open records law by Fair Share Housing, a pro-affordable housing group. Fair Share wants access to the League’s records, because the League, a lobbying association, has been lobbying against legislation valued by Fair Share.

In the lobbying business in New Jersey, it’s not a level playing field, Fair Share notes. They have to raise private money from private donors to fund their grassroots lobbying efforts. Meanwhile, the powerful League is funded by taxpayer dollars to hire lobbyists. As the League boasts on its website, “Every bill pending before the Legislature which might affect localities is evaluated by the League’s 100-member Legislative Committee, and aggressively opposed or supported by the League’s lobbying team in concert with local officials around the state.”

Fair Share says that if the lobbyists are paid for with taxpayer dollars, then taxpayers have a right to see their records. The League says this is a frivolous lawsuit. A Superior Court judge seems to be treating it seriously, however.

See the Star-Ledger’s story.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s