NJ Spotlight ran a piece today which had in its title “NJ Activists Take on Dark Money ….” Lead among these activists was New Jersey Working Families, which has formed a coalition called “Take Back NJ” to fight against “soft corruption” in New Jersey politics. The group will introduce legislation to “break the grip of party machines” and “curb corporate money in politics.”
But New Jersey has no bigger political machine than the NJEA. The NJEA is by far the biggest spender in state politics and by far the most powerful special interest. And of course the NJEA has generously funded Working Families with almost $1 million in grants, including $100,000 from dark money group New Direction New Jersey (which itself is funded by at least $4.5 million from the NJEA). Apparently, dark money is OK for Working Families and the NJEA but not for anyone else.
What Working Families is really doing is trying to eliminate the NJEA’s competition in state politics. If party machines and corporate money are reduced or eliminated, then that will leave the NJEA in an even more dominant position. If Working Families really cared about the integrity of New Jersey’s political process, it would seek to curb the NJEA’s political activities and spending as well.
Once again, despite the lofty rhetoric, Working Families leaves the clear impression that it is just a front for the NJEA.
Read the NJ Spotlight piece here.