Here’s why we enthusiastically endorse Matthew Filosa for LD30 Assembly:
The “County Line” in primary election ballots: Being placed in a preferential ballot position unfairly benefits some candidates and disadvantages others. Recognizing the outsize influence of the “county line” primary election ballots on the outcomes of elections, and the considerable voter confusion that they cause, I will support changing the NJ primary ballot to an “Office Bloc” design as is used in every other state and in some counties in NJ (see http://ggcnj.org/resolution for more information).
Comment: Primary elections unfairly give the “preferred” candidate an advantage. Those who are outsiders or do not fall in consensus with the county committee and party chairs are shut out of the democratic process essentially.
Ballot Order: Following best practices in 16 states, I will support implementing a rotational ballot order system that ensures to the greatest extent possible that all candidates running for the same office receive the first and subsequent ballot positions in an equal number of election districts and no candidate is advantaged over other candidates on the basis of their ballot placement (see http://ggcnj.org/resolution for more details).
Comment: Ballot order implementation will allow candidates to have equal footing on the ballots. Ballot design cannot have any negative impacts on how a candidate is elected over another.
Voter access: I support adopting parts of H.R.1 in New Jersey in order to increase voter participation, ensure access to the ballot box, and strengthen elections, including specifically same day registration, early voting and a paper trail for machine voting that enables verification.
Comment: H.R.1 is by far the most important piece of legislation that seeks to expand voter access since the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In New Jersey and across America, we have to making voting easier for people. We need to target practices that undermine people’s ability to vote. When more people are voting, we have more accurate representation and a healthier democracy.
Ethics reform: I support ethics reforms that would require broader disclosure of financial information and the release of income taxes by candidates for county-level and state-level public office, as a means of transparency.
Comment: Candidates should have to release their income taxes so the public can have better transparency in seeing where their money interests and contributions are going.
Campaign funding: I support the public funding of campaigns for all state-level elected offices (i.e., the state legislature and gubernatorial elections).
Comment: Running for office cannot be an interest only for the wealthy and well connected. Publicly financed elections allow for people of all incomes to easily get involved and with that bring in a stronger pool of candidates. Taking money out of politics is paramount because often elections are won by the highest bidders and those backed by the biggest war chests.
Redistricting: I support placing a nonpartisan commission in charge of the legislative redistricting process.
Comment: Political Parties cannot have any role in controlling the redistricting process. In New Jersey, gerrymandering is quite problematic and it allows parties to pick their constituents rather than actually work to appeal to voters.
Public Advocate: I support passing legislation to reinstate the statewide Office of the Public Advocate that was eliminated in 2010.
Comment: Government in New Jersey needs to be held accountable by the people and having an office holder who can directly represent the people on their behalf.
Posting of bills: I support requiring bills to be posted a minimum of 72hrs prior to voting in the legislature, to allow legislators to read bills thoroughly and obtain feedback from the public.
Comment: Legislatures should be given time to read the details of every bill they have to vote on rather than rushing through these bills to the floor. Also, the public should be able see the contents and address any concerns to their representatives.
Legislative meetings: I support making all committee meetings accessible to the public for attendance and testimony by online means (e.g., via zoom) and streaming of voting sessions even after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, to increase availability and transparency of government.
Comment: Yes, the public deserves to know what is going on in the Legislature since the laws being passed have a direct effect on their lives.
Full time legislature: I support making the state legislature full-time and prohibiting the simultaneous holding of other paid positions, so as to eliminate conflicts of interest and sources of influence and pressure on state legislators.
Comment: The Legislature is best to remain a part time job. Lawmakers were not intended to become career politicians, they should have other careers as well and work for a living like every other person has to do. We must work to eliminate conflicts of interest and that can be done in other ways such as creating stronger ethics laws, and taking money out of politics. Also, legislatures should be banned from holding other elected or appointed (non-military) office simultaneously. This would include elected municipal/county office, party chairmanships, or appointments in the justice system (i.e. prosecutors).
More information about Matthew Filosa:
Date of Birth: 4/3/2000
Current Occupation: Student
Education: Political Science student at Monmouth University with a minor in Homeland Security
Public/party service: I am an Eagle Scout who is committed to the principles of leadership and passionate about public service and doing good for the community. Also, I am a member of the Monmouth University Debate team and had the privilege to coach debate to elementary school students. I had the honor to be appointed to the Howell Township Farmers Advisory Committee and continue to serve in that capacity.
My start in politics was when I worked for Congressman Chris Smith’s (NJ-04) reelection campaign in 2016 and 2018. Then, eventually I switched to become a Democrat. Since then, I have been involved in helping out with the Democratic Club in Howell, NJ.