Political Spending and Influence

In politics, money is power.  The NJEA automatically takes in over $120 million in property tax dollars and teachers dues every year.  According to the state’s elections watchdog, the NJEA is by far the leader in reported political spending, but due to reporting loopholes and clever disguise, what is reported is only a fraction of what the NJEA really spends.  The SPCNJ estimates that the modern NJEA – with its Executive Office dominated by political operatives – spends about $65 million a year on politics at the state and local level.  This makes the NJEA the dominant political force in the state – as it has been for decades.  Over the years, the NJEA’s unmatched political clout has allowed it to rig the political system for its benefit and fight attempts at reform, all to the detriment of New Jersey citizens.

Political Spending

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Research Reports

Before you go, Governor Murphy … There is Some Unfinished Business in the Garden State

It sure looks like New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy wants to run for president. Politico recently ran an article about Murphy’s national political ambitions, reporting that Murphy’s wife and a top political aide were launching two Super PACs, which are ideal vehicles for a national campaign because they can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money. Murphy did much the same thing in his gubernatorial campaigns, starting a non-profit called New Start New Jersey before his initial run in 2017 and then having his campaign manager run the Super PAC New Direction New Jersey to pave the way for his re-election in 2021.

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Follow The Money: What The NJEA Really Spends On Politics

According to New Jersey’s elections watchdog, the Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC), when it comes to political spending that is officially reported to ELEC, the NJEA is by far the dominant player at both the state and local levels. As will be shown later in this report, the NJEA’s reported political spending is dwarfed by the amount of its actual political spending, most of which is covert and unreported.

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Money Equals Power: How The NJEA Dominates New Jersey Politics

“The powerhouse” of New Jersey politics – that’s how the NJEA describes itself. And the facts back them up.

For more than 50 years, the NJEA has dominated New Jersey politics.

In fact, the modern era of New Jersey politics has been one continuous saga of the NJEA wielding extraordinary influence to serve its own interests. It has constructed a system that automatically and annually generates tens of millions of taxpayer dollars— presently $129 million—funneled directly into its coffers. It spends far more of these tax dollars on political action than is reported or generally known. The SPCNJ estimates that the NJEA spends about $65 million a year on political action at the state and local levels, which dwarfs all other political spenders.

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