The Sunlight Policy Center of New Jersey (SPCNJ) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research organization. SPCNJ does not endorse any candidate for office and does not coordinate with any campaign, including any in the Montclair mayoral race. SPCNJ’s research is based on facts that are sourced and disclosed.
SPCNJ’s main focus is New Jersey’s special-interest-dominated political system and the malign status quo created and supported by it. New Jersey’s largest teachers’ union, the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA), is by far the biggest political spender and most powerful special interest in the state, and therefore is a frequent subject of SPCNJ’s research. It is Sean Spiller’s position as Vice President of the NJEA that would create a clear conflict of interest for a Mayor Spiller, a conflict of interest that was determined to be real and disqualifying for Councilman Spiller by a New Jersey Superior Court.
The fact is that the NJEA trains and supports its own members to run for public office, and Spiller is most prominent of these. Each of these members presents a potential conflict of interest. SPCNJ believes that New Jersey citizens should be aware of and concerned about these actual as well as perceived conflicts of interest, especially for high-ranking chief executives like mayors. The NJEA has spoken publically about someday electing a member to the governor’s office. SPCNJ asks whether a Governor Spiller would be right for New Jersey.