Politico’s Matt Friedman reported in his New Jersey Playbook that NJEA-funded Super PAC New Direction New Jersey(NDNJ) has spent nearly $13.2 million over the past three years to boost Gov. Murphy. Friedman points out that the $13.2 million is almost as much as the $15.6 million the governor would be permitted to spend if he takes the state’s matching funds. NDNJ’s $13.2 million also exceeds the $12.2 million of spending by ALL of the gubernatorial candidates spent in this year’s primaries. Clearly, NDNJ is playing a very significant role in Murphy’s re-election efforts.
What Friedman does not mention – and this is a recurring blindspot for NJ’s press corps – is that NDNJ is almost entirely funded by the NJEA. Friedman should know better because he reported on Sunlight’s revelation that the NJEA was the main funder of NDNJ, and yet somehow he deems this as unworthy of mention now.
But it is worthy of mention and is an extremely important fact for NJ citizens to know. As Sunlight recently reported, NDNJ’s most recent disclosure showed that the NJEA has pumped in a total of $10.5 million into NDNJ, or 80% of its funding. Over the most recent year, the NJEA provided 92% of NDNJ funding. The case can be made that NDNJ is now a NJEA political action subsidiary.
Recall that Gov. Murphy has raised funds for NDNJ and has appeared in NDNJ TV ads pushing the NJEA’s and his shared agenda (such as the millionaire’s tax). In this way, Murphy can be seen as a spokesman for the NJEA. This is a clear conflict of interest that NJ citizens should be aware of but which the NJ press chooses to ignore. Why?
Murphy’s role with NDNJ also highlights the back-scratching relationship between Murphy and the NJEA. The NJEA was “all-in” for Murphy’s 2017 election and has since dropped $10.5 million into NDNJ for his re-election. In return, Murphy has just delivered “arguably the most pro-public eduction state budget in history,” according the NJEA Secretary-Treasurer Steve Beatty.
So Murphy and his NJEA pals are taking care of each other, but what about NJ citizens who pay the exorbitant taxes that fund all of this back-scratching?
NJ under Gov. Murphy: government by and for the special interests.