If Ciattarelli can’t debate twice, he should return the millions in campaign welfare he accepted from the state

Jack Ciattarelli is running a political campaign funded by the taxpayers of New Jersey. Ciattarelli will eventually be given more than $4,000,000 in taxpayer funding under a program called the Gubernatorial Public Financing Program. That money is given to candidates who can raise over a certain amount of money from public donors. The state then awards the candidate twice the amount of money raised. Ciattarelli’s G-1 report filed on May 10th, he has raised $1.8 million in campaign funding, but now has $4.6 million in total funds thanks to you, the tax payer.

Funding under the GPFP doesn’t come without a price. In order to qualify for that money, Ciattarelli made a commitment to participate in two public debates. No matter how or when it happens, Ciattarelli owes the hard working taxpayers those two debates against his opponent Hirsh Singh.

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Last night, PBS canceled a virtual debate between Singh and Ciattarelli scheduled for Wednesday. Singh said it was because he did not want to submit to Phil Murphy style COVID-19 testing and proof of vaccination before the debate. Singh, a supporter of medical freedom has said that he opposes any public requirements that would prohibit non-vaccinated Americans from being able to participate in normal daily life in the post pandemic era.

This week, Governor Phil Murphy lifted the mask mandate in his state as per the new CDC guidelines.

Now, because PBS canceled the debate, Ciattarelli is on the hook to deliver a second debate for New Jersey. If he does not, he should be forced to give back the $4,000,000 in matching taxpayer funds of campaign welfare he was given by the State of New Jersey.

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In order to qualify for these funds, Ciattarelli must file for G-1A, Candidate Certification for Public Financing and Debate Participation.

According to NJ EELEC, Gubernatorial candidates participating in the public financing program are required to participate in two candidate debates for each election and must complete the Candidate Certification for Public Financing and Debate Participation.

Without that second debate, Ciattarelli cannot legally qualify for the matching funds he has already received.