Just as Sunlight speculated in its report “Councilman Spiller, Mayor Spiller, Governor Spiller?,” NJEA Vice President and Montclair Mayor Sean Spiller appears to have his eyes on the governor’s office. The NJEA trained Spiller to run for office and declared its hope that one of its members becomes governor some day. That day may be coming in the near future.
Politico reports that Spiller is headlining a $1,000-per-person fundraiser for a new 501(c)(4) “Progress for Action,” with his brother on the board. A 501(c)(4) is known as “dark money” because it can spend money on politics without having to disclose its donors. Politico correctly compares Progress for Action to New Direction New Jersey, the Murphy-supporting dark money group that is predominantly funded by the NJEA. Is the NJEA funding Progress for Action? Will it?
As Politico reports: “There have been rumors that Sean Spiller has his eyes on a higher office than mayor of Montclair — perhaps a run for governor in 2025. To have a 501(c)(4) group run in part by his brother demonstrates that those rumors should be taken seriously … This is Spiller’s equivalent of New Direction New Jersey for Gov. Murphy. And Spiller did not exactly shut down that speculation when I asked him about it.”
This is bad news for NJ, as Spiller is the presumptive next President of the NJEA. The NJEA’s deep pockets full of taxpayer dollars and its unmatched political organizing power mean that an NJEA-supported Spiller could very well become governor. A Governor Spiller would represent an unprecedented conflict of interest for the state. NJ’s state government wouldn’t be just special-interest-dominated, it would actually be run by special interests.