NJEA President/Montclair Mayor Sean Spiller looks like he’s serious about his post-NJEA political career and is happy to spend teachers’ highest-in-the-nation dues to get there. One of Sunlight’s readers sent us the flyer below, which announces an “evening in conversation” at the South Orange Performance Arts Center, hosted by Sean M. Spiller and paid-for by Protecting Our Democracy. Protecting Our Democracy is Spiller’s dark-money Super PAC, widely seen as a vehicle for his future political ambitions. The flyer appears to confirm all of this.
As Sunlight previously reported, the NJEA — of which Spiller is president — is the “founding donor” of Protecting Our Democracy, whose “multi-pronged campaign will include a substantial seven-figure omni-channel media buy” — that is, millions of dollars in support of Spiller’s personal political ambitions.
The NJEA’s vehicle for funding Protecting Our Democracy is almost certainly its Super PAC, Garden State Forward. Garden State Forward can spend unlimited amounts of money supporting Spiller with minimal regulatory constraints. Even more conveniently, NJEA leadership — including President Spiller — dictates where Garden State Forward money goes. As has been common with Spiller’s political career, his conflict of interest is blatant.
ALL of this — including the flyer and this event — is paid for by New Jersey teachers’ highest-in-the-nation dues, which fund Garden State Forward. We ask again: How is spending millions on Spiller’s personal political career in the best interests of New Jersey teachers? It’s not. No wonder Spiller has a grin on his face.