Network of Allies - Sunlight Policy Center

Network of Allies

In politics, money is power.  The NJEA has used its automatic taxpayer funding to far outspend the competition and gain enormous and unmatched influence over New Jersey’s political system.  An important and largely unknown element of the NJEA’s political dominance is its use of an extensive network of allies and affiliates to project its political influence – often without any open indication of the ties between them.  Using its hundreds of millions of tax dollars, the NJEA directly and indirectly funds a vast array of organizations that cover the full spectrum of political and social causes.  These groups provide legal, policy, and community- and social-activist channels to promote the NJEA’s political agenda.  They often form coalitions or act collectively to further the NJEA’s political agenda while giving it the appearance of a broader base of public support.  The use of such proxies helps the NJEA obscure its political dominance and yet maintain that dominance.

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Research Report

A Spider Web of Political Power and Influence: How a Vast Network of Allies Helps the NJEA Dominate New Jersey Politics

In total, from 2009 to 2016, the NJEA alone has spent over $33 million on the wide variety of non-profits and political action groups mentioned in this report, and in many cases is a major source of funding for these groups.  When added to the funding provided by its fellow public sector unions, this massive amount of money is the animating force behind an unrivaled network of progressive and public sector union-backed organizations that reaches every corner of the state.   

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It sure looks like the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) is funding another dark money Super PAC, this time aimed squarely at parents running for their local school boards this fall.

So, parents, beware!  The NJEA is coming after you with TV ads, opposition research, union-friendly candidates trained and supported by the NJEA, and now with piles of dark money.

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