LILLEY: NJEA Leadership Funds Gov. Murphy’s Presidential Ambitions with New Jersey Teachers’ Highest-in-the-Nation Dues

The New Jersey Globe reported that the pro-Murphy, dark money Super PAC “Stronger Fairer Forward,” which is run by Murphy’s wife, contributed “more than $300,000” to various Democratic campaigns across the nation in this fall’s elections.  Recall that Stronger Fairer Forward received $750,000 from the NJEA’s Super PAC, which means that a good deal – if not all – of Murphy’s largesse was paid for by New Jersey teachers’ highest-in-the-nation dues.  Too bad if a teacher is a Republican or pro-life or doesn’t want to spend money on politics, NJEA leadership has simply appropriated her hard-earned dues to fund Murphy’s political ambitions.

The recipients included:

  • the Democratic Association of Secretaries of State;
  • Rep. Tom Malinowski (D);
  • Rep. Andy Kim (D);
  • Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D);
  • Rep. Mike Sherrill (D);
  • Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D – Michigan);
  • Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D – New Mexico);
  • Democratic gubernatorial candidates in Florida and Nevada;
  • Democratic candidates for Secretary of State in Georgia, Nevada and Colorado.
  • Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee;
  • Democratic state party organizations in Arizona, Florida, Michigan and New Hampshire; and
  • pro-choice/abortion groups Protect Kentucky Access and Reproductive Freedom for All.

All Democratic candidates, organizations or issues.  That’s pretty much pushing all the right buttons in many of the key states … for someone who is hoping to be the Democratic presidential nominee in the near future.  As the Globe concluded: “These early investments could boost Murphy’s standing if he decides to seek the Democratic nomination for president in 2024.”

As previously reported, Stronger Fairer Forward received $750,000 from the NJEA’s Super PAC , Garden State Forward.  Garden State Forward is funded by regular teachers’ dues, which are the highest in the nation by far.  NJEA leadership has simply appropriated the money and spent it how it deems fit.  Teachers have little choice or say in the matter.  Too bad if a teacher is a Republican, or pro-life, or doesn’t want to spend a portion of her hard-earned salary on politics.  NJEA leadership has made the decision for her.

This is all back-scratching politics-as-usual for Murphy and the NJEA.  It happened in New Jersey and now it is happening on a national stage.  But, once again, it is a raw deal for teachers.

Michael Lilley, Sunlight Policy Center

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