As we head into the end of the year, now would seem to be a good time for reviews of 2020, and the NJEA Political Action Committee (PAC) has provided a helpful reminder of how Governor Murphy pretty much gave the NJEA everything it wanted in 2020. In announcing its early endorsement of Murphy’s re-election, NJEA PAC cited Murphy’s “strong record on the issues that matter the most to NJEA members …” Among them:
- Chapter 78 relief, which reduced healthcare premium costs for members.
- Protecting education support personnel (ESP) who jobs were at risk from school closings.
- Working with the NJEA to improve health and safety conditions and to hold schools accountable when they fall short.
- Due process rights for ESPs.
- Subcontracting protections for ESPs.
- Three of the largest consecutive pension payments in NJ history.
- Maintenance of state eduction aid levels aid despite COVID-related budgetary shortfalls.
- Appointing NJ educators to serve as commissioner of education.
- Sunlight would add Murphy’s raising income and corporate taxes, long-sought by the NJEA.
- In addition, NJEA President Marie Blistan noted that the NJEA wanted Murphy to cancel statewide standardized tests in the spring and he dutifully complied.
And the NJEA gave Murphy plenty in return in this quid pro quo arrangement. Recall that the NJEA was “all-in” for Murphy’s 2017 election. Blistan characterized the NJEA’s 2020 successes as “a tribute to the work that NJEA did to get a governor elected who respects public education and school employees.” She might have also mentioned the millions of dollars the NJEA has spent on dark money Super PAC New Direction New Jersey, which has run multiple TV ad campaigns supporting Murphy.
NJEA Secretary-Treasurer Steve Beatty summed up the NJEA’s view of Murphy: “There is no governor in the nation who has worked as closely and collaboratively with public employee unions as Gov. Murphy.” Just so.
Which was reciprocated by Murphy to the NJEA Delegate Assembly: “I commit to remain your partner every step of the way.”
That’s the way it works in NJ’s special-interest-dominated political system. Powerful, deep-pocketed special interests like the NJEA work to get their preferred politicians elected, and those politicians take care of the special interests. No wonder the NJEA has already endorsed Murphy’s re-election.
To top it all off, NJ taxpayers are funding this rigged system.