Sunlight Policy Center Releases 2021 Election Spending Analysis
New Jersey Teachers Might Not Know This, So Feel Free to Share During Parent-Teacher Conferences
FACT – Leading up to and during the 2021 elections the NJEA Spent $167 for EACH AND EVERY TEACHER to Support Murphy and Democrats
While most political insiders in New Jersey immediately began pontificating on the “winners” and “losers” of November’s elections, the Sunlight Policy Center of New Jersey followed the money.
As a nonpartisan think tank, we have no political skin in the game. We care only about the indisputable facts – and like Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) Executive Director Jeff Brindle, we are deeply concerned about the growing influence of Super PACs on New Jersey’s elections.
As Brindle recently told NJ Spotlight News – SUPER PAC SPENDING IN THE GENERAL ELECTION WAS THE HIGHEST IN STATE HISTORY AND 69% HIGHER THAN THE PREVIOUS HIGH.
So, with special interests now soaring in New Jersey like never before – Sunlight believes the bigger, more critical longer-term question of the 2021 election is…
Who is spending all of this political money and who is receiving it?
In the 43 days since the November 2nd election – we have been digging to find the answers…looking at ELEC data on the spending by independent expenditure groups in the 2021 gubernatorial and legislative general elections. Here is what we found:
- The New Jersey Education Association’s Super PAC, Garden State Forward, is the dominant political spending force in the state – by far – spending $9,106,588 in this year’s general election. By itself, Garden State Forward spent twice as much as the two top Republican Super PACs combined. They spent over 44% of all pro-Democrat independent spending and over 46% of the pro-Murphy independent spending. For Democrats reading this, that is a lot of influence – and whether you like it or not, your bread is buttered by the NJEA.
- Now, get this, despite claiming that the NJEA supports candidates “on both sides of the aisle,” Sunlight found that 100% of Garden State Forward’s 2021 general election spending supported ONLY Democrats. We are a nonpartisan institution and do not get involved in campaigns or endorse candidates. However, we could not help but think….
When did ALL New Jersey Public School Teachers become Democrats?
And if we were paying the highest in the dues in the nation, and happened to be nonpolitical, a Republican, or an Independent, would we be happy to find this out?
- If you combine the over $9 million spent in the general election and add in the NJEA’s independent spending in support of Murphy’s re-election and of other Democrats in 2021, that equates to a combined total of over $20 million – ALL extracted from teachers’ regular dues. This means the NEJA spent $167 for EACH and EVERY teacher in New Jersey to help Democrats, including those teachers who did not vote for Murphy or a Democratic legislative candidate.
- And to add to our report from last month, the big winner of the 2021 campaign was … BRENDAN GILL, Democrat insider, former Murphy campaign manager, and Essex County commissioner. All told, Gill brought in $872,821 from NJEA-funded, pro-Murphy Super PACs. A very cozy – and lucrative – arrangement between the NJEA, Murphy, and Gill. ALL funded by New Jersey teachers’ regular dues.