State Senator Bob Singer’s latest bill that he argues will “grow New Jersey’s biotechnology industry” and create jobs was recently passed and signed into law by Governor Chris Christie. But according to campaign finance disclosure reports, Senator Singer has received thousands of dollars from biotechnology companies and PACs that lobby on behalf of the same corporations set to reap the rewards of an increased New Jersey biotech presence.
Singer’s bill, SJR-57 calls for the state to convene the “New Jersey Biotechnology Taskforce” that will serve the purpose of creating a report to be sent to both the legislature and governor that will outline action that can be taken to grow the state’s biotechnology industry.
“Biotechnology companies provide us with thousands of well-paying positions that can help us keep our brightest and most-skilled workers in the state,” Senator Singer of New Jersey’s 30th legislative district said in a statement. “They also serve as valuable and steady drivers of economic development. This measure will help us understand what the industry needs and what we can do to help it grow.”
Sounds all well and good, right?
While Senator Singer touted jobs that will supposedly be created by the growth of this industry, the senator did not mention in his press release that his campaign has received thousands of dollars worth of contributions from the same biotechnology companies and Super PACs that will be the primary beneficiaries of such growth.
Singer has received biotech money during his current and previous state senate reelection campaigns, according to our review of campaign finance disclosure statements his campaign filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC).
The biotechnology companies listed in the below graphic also funneled their contributions through the “New Jobs PAC,” rather than donate to Singer’s campaigns directly.
Under the Singer bill signed by Governor Christie, 9 members will be appointed to the taskforce as follows:
- Two members appointed by the Senate President who shall be members of the Senate;
- One member appointed by the Minority Leader of the Senate who shall be a member of the Senate;
- Two members appointed by the Speaker of the General Assembly who shall be members of the General Assembly;
- One member appointed by the Minority Leader of the General Assembly who shall be a member of the General Assembly;
- The Chief Executive Officer of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, who shall serve ex officio; and
- Two public members, appointed by the Governor, from among a list of nominees provided by BioNJ, Inc.
Here are just a few examples of biotech money that made it to Singer. Some of it came from PACs, some came from special interest groups and pharmaceutical companies with biotechnology interests. Singer also received money from usual sources, like Ocean County professionals including Massimo Yezzi, the Ocean County GOP Chairman’s PAC and others.
Singer’s latest bill makes it disturbingly easy to connect the dots between who’s paying for campaigns and who’s benefiting from legislation. (Hint: they’re both the same.)
See his full ELEC report his 2017 campaign below.