We now have direct proof: anti-parent-group New Jersey Public Education Coalition (NJPEC) is a NJEA front, and its founder, mendacious Michael “Hundreds of Millions” Gottesman is a proven liar. Too bad for the voters who won’t have this information before they vote for their school boards tomorrow.
Sunlight has long had to rely on circumstantial evidence to build the case that NJPEC and its funder, dark-money Super PAC Education Truth Project (ETP), were NJEA/NEA fronts. We now have direct proof that they are: below is a screenshot of the NJEA’s Super PAC, Garden State Forward’s recent Form 72/24-HR filing with ELEC:
That’s a direct contribution from Garden State Forward to Education Truth Project. NJPEC’s website , at the bottom it says: “Paid for by Education Truth Project.” ETP has also paid for press releases and email blasts by NJPEC. If ETP is funded by the NJEA, then so is NJPEC. As we suspected, they are both NJEA fronts.
This leads to several conclusions:
- Sunlight challenged press characterizations of the culture wars as between “advocates for greater parental control” and “advocates for public education.” We maintained that it was between groups who wanted more parental control over schools and the NJEA status quo that wanted to maintain NJEA control over schools. We were right.
- As Sunlight speculated, because the NJEA wanted disguise its role in local school district culture wars, it used fronts to fight parent groups like New Jersey Project and Moms for Liberty at the school district level. It is now beyond dispute that the NJEA money is behind the opposition to parent groups in local school board races.
- Although press accounts have taken NJPEC’s word that it is a “knowledge organization” created to “inform voters looking for reliable information,” funded solely by Gottesman, a GoFundMe campaign and a non-attributed “in-kind” donation, we now know that was all a smokescreen intended to mislead the public. It is funded with NJEA money. We know that ETP told ELEC it planned to spend $200,000 in 2023. So how much funding have the NJEA and ETP actually provided to NJPEC?
- NJPEC founder mendacious Michael “Hundreds of Millions” Gottesman is a proven liar. He has portrayed to the public and press that NJPEC is an independent, grassroots coalition of concerned citizens, parents and teachers. It is not. It is a NJEA front. He directly claimed on NJEdReport that neither NJPEC nor ETP were funded by the NJEA. That was a lie. Henceforth, Gottesman’s credibility should be permanently undermined by his proven, habitual mendacity.
With Election Day tomorrow, it’s too late to expose NJPEC, and therefore all the 532 candidates it is promoting, as connected to the NJEA. Too bad for the voters who won’t have this valuable information before they vote for their school boards.
But the NJ political press should start asking tough questions about NJEA funding of groups like ETP and NJPEC. No longer should they take mendacious Michael “Hundred of Millions” Gottesman at his word. Will some intrepid reporter dig into this network of NJEA anti-parent front groups?