THE POLL$ HAVE CLO$ED….
AND WE CAN NOW PROJECT THE REAL WINNER$ OF LAST WEEK’$ ELECTION….
Congratulation$ to Brendan Gill, Steve DiMicco and Brad Lawrence!
Election Day provided many surprises and while New Jersey’s political pundits are still trying to make sense of it, one result was as clear – at least $17.4 million in New Jersey’s teachers’ union dues went to several big pro-Murphy Super PACS and enriched some connected insiders.
As a result, while it is unclear if the investment was a wise one, THREE of Gov. Murphy’s pals are likely celebrating this election year: Brendan Gill, Steve DiMicco, and Brad Lawrence.
If they knew the facts, New Jersey’s teachers would surely be scratching their heads: why did millions in teacher’s salaries go to Murphy political advisors Gill, DeMicco and Lawrence?
Because Murphy’s former campaign manager Gill and Murphy’s television ad wizards DiMicco and Lawrence launched the Super PAC New Direction New Jersey to boost Murphy’s re-election. The NJEA was by far the biggest funder of New Direction, spending at least $10.5 million – all drawn from teachers’ salaries.
…BUT WAIT, THERE IS MORE…A lot more.
Messrs. Gill, DiMicco, and Lawrence appear to have used New Direction to funnel money to their own businesses, with nearly $5 million dollars going to DiMicco and Lawrence’s firm Message & Media. A good portion of this money likely went to ad buys, but it is reasonable to assume that DiMicco and Lawrence profited handsomely from the arrangement and they certainly controlled the purse strings.
New Direction also paid $547,000 to Gill’s firm BGill Group. In addition, two other NJEA-funded, pro-Murphy Super PACs made payments to Gill, with the Committee to Build the Economy and Our New Jersey providing a total of $206,000.
That is over $750,000 for Brendan Gill!
While this all appears perfectly legal, Sunlight believes it is important for teachers to know how their highest-in-the-nation dues are being spent. And for all New Jerseyans to know about the cozy – and remunerative – world of New Jersey special interest politics.
We urge you to reach Sunlight’s latest report. As always, every assertion is factual, researched and footnoted.