InsiderNJ columnist Jay Lassiter rightly calls out the influence of special interests on New Jersey politicians. He mentions New Direction New Jersey (NDNJ), the “dark money” group backing a millionaire’s tax. He also mentions Speaker Coughlin’s law firm, Assemblywoman Lampitt and others sponsoring legislation for special interests , and Senator Lagana’s ties to the insurance industry. All noteworthy and all subject to questions about conflicts of interest.
But why does Lassiter leave out the most powerful special interest of all? Nowhere in his piece does he even mention the NJEA, which is by far the biggest political spender and most powerful special interest in the state. How can he mention NDNJ without mentioning that the NJEA has funded it with at least $3.5 million? How can he talk about conflicts of interest without talking about Gov.Murphy appearing in ads funded by the NJEA pushing the NJEA’s agenda (the NJEA has long called for an expanded millionaire’s tax)?
Lassiter would benefit from reading SPCNJ’s “Money Equals Power: How the NJEA Dominates New Jersey Politics,” where the facts show that the NJEA has been the most powerful political force in the state for decades. There are a multitude of examples of its profound influence over New Jersey politicians – right up to the present day.
Why the blind spot, Mr. Lassiter?