READ THE FIRST REPORT FROM THE SUNLIGHT POLICY CENTER OF NEW JERSEY: “NJEA: NEW JERSEY’S POLITICAL MACHINE”
Who is funding New Direction New Jersey, the dark money group supporting Governor Murphy’s agenda?
No surprise: it’s New Jersey’s most powerful special interest, the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA). This $2.5 million in surreptitious spending is just one example of how the NJEA obscures its political activities from the public and even its own members. There are many others.
In the first report issued by the Sunlight Policy Center of New Jersey (SPCNJ), entitled, “NJEA: New Jersey’s Political Machine,” the facts show that the modern NJEA is a taxpayer-funded political machine, working for its own interests and perpetuating our state’s dysfunctional status quo…. yet the public is largely unaware of these facts, until now!
The purpose of the Sunlight Policy Center of New Jersey (SPCNJ) is to shine a light on the facts and help New Jersey citizens understand where we are and how we got here. Only then can we find solutions to put New Jersey back on the path to future prosperity.
Through an exhaustive review of NJEA’s own documents, the SPCNJ’s report proves
from top to bottom, the NJEA is largely a political organization. At the top, the NJEA Executive Office is now run by political operators. Almost all of the headquarters staff are engaged in some form of political activity. Similarly, the NJEA has also adopted a new operating model and, looking at the facts, the focus is no longer servicing its members but on political organizing.
As noted in the report, vast amounts of resources have been dedicated to organizing and mobilizing a statewide army of foot soldiers who lobby legislators, attend political rallies and help run NJEA-endorsed candidates’ election campaigns. Much of this political activity is shielded from the public and even from its members. Personnel with non-political titles have political roles; seemingly non-political activities are at root political; and millions of dollars are spent on political action that are neither clearly labeled as such nor transparently accounted for.
Do teachers know that their $928 in annual dues are covertly funding a shadowy political group? Or that their dues are making the NJEA’s top political pro, the executive director, a multimillionaire? Do taxpayers know that their property taxes are funding a special interest political machine to be used for its interests and not theirs?
It’s time these facts came to light.