NJ PR firms claim contribution rule isn't a hindrance

Trenton, NJ: New Jersey PR agencies are saying they will be unaffected by an executive order signed by New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey (D) forbidding companies that contribute to a gubernatorial candidate from holding state contracts.

Trenton, NJ: New Jersey PR agencies are saying they will be unaffected by an executive order signed by New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey (D) forbidding companies that contribute to a gubernatorial candidate from holding state contracts.

Fewer than 10 PR firms currently hold contracts with New Jersey, according to state records. Of those, just MWW Group - the only national firm with headquarters in the state - said it had made political contributions at the gubernatorial level.

That firm's reaction to the order, signed September 22, was simple and immediate - it will stop making such donations.

"We're not going to do it anymore," said Bob Sommer, MWW EVP .

Sommer went on to applaud the move as a way to remove suspicion from the contracting process. "The fact is, the only consideration that can ever come into play is the quality of the pitch," he said. "And as the dominant firm in New Jersey, we are going to benefit from that fact."

Other firms with state contracts - including The Rhoads Maguire Group and Winning Strategies - said the order did not apply to them as they had never made political contributions at that level.

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