The Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) just issued a report on special interest group spending for the Christie/Buono contest and the heavyweight is NJEA. Here’s ELEC Director Jeff Brindle in a press statement:
Among the special interest groups spending independently this year, a Super PAC operated by the New Jersey Education Association has emerged as the leading independent spender in this year’s elections, spending an estimated $11.9 million so far on gubernatorial and legislative elections. Super PACs are not subject to contribution limits under recent federal court cases that permit unlimited independent spending.
NJEA, which also has spent more than $1.4 million through its regular political action committee that is subject to regular state contribution limits, has never before spent more than $2.3 million on an election, according to ELEC research.
Brindle added, “It’s a whole new world in New Jersey politics.”
Today’s NJ Spotlight has a great overview, noting that Garden State Forward, NJEA’s PAC, “make[s] up a third of all spending by the special interest groups in the state this year, and alone almost beats the previous record total of all groups of almost $15 million in 2009.”
With the latest campaign finance reports in, the teachers union has now topped $13 million in spending on the state elections next Tuesday, easily beating all other special-interest spending and almost matching Gov. Chris Christie’s campaign itself, according to the state Election Law Enforcement Commission.