Who Is Getting the NJEA Money?

The Sunlight Policy Center of New Jersey released a report “naming names and providing the state with a first-of-its-kind Who’s Who of the organizations that make up the NJEA’s vast and interconnected network of political allies.” This is exactly the type of investigative journalism that our fourth estate should be providing us for all the taxpayer subsidies they wheedle from those they are supposed to report on.

Excerpts below:

Non-profits do not have to disclose their donors and provide tax-exemptions for their  donations. They are not permitted to engage in political action on behalf of a candidate or party. But they can and do support political action in other ways by providing research, litigation, parent and community organizing, and by joining coalitions that address issues of concern they share with the public sector unions and their allies. (page 7)

These 527 and 501(c)(4) organizations are called “Super” political action committees (PACs) because they can spend unlimited amounts in support of a candidate – so long as they are independent expenditures (IE), which cannot be coordinated with the candidate’s campaign. “Dark money” groups are registered under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. They can spend unlimited amounts in IEs (subject to certain qualifications) and are not required to disclose their donors, hence the phrase “dark money.” Groups organized under Section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code do have to disclose their donors, but oftentimes this is delayed until the various government agencies release their reports. (page 9)

During the 2013 gubernatorial election between Governor Chris Christie and State Senator Barbara Buono, One New Jersey ran TV ads attacking Christie. All told, One New Jersey spent $2.8 million, which was “dark money” because One New Jerseyrefused to disclose its donors. Through the end of the election, voters never knew the source of One New Jersey’s funding. Perhaps it is no surprise, but SPCNJ can now report that it was the NJEA that funded the entire One New Jersey effort, secretly donating $2.95 million. In addition to both being dark money groups funded by the NJEA, there is another significant overlap between NDNJ and One New Jersey: the two political operatives who ran One New Jersey, Steve DiMicco and Brad Lawrence, are the same two political operatives who run NDNJ. (page 10)

  • NJEA Donations to 501(c)(4) and 527 Super PACs 2009-2016 (page 12):
    Garden State Forward $24,235,500
    General Majority PAC $9,170,000
    New Direction New Jersey $4,500,000
    One New Jersey $2,950,000
    New Jersey Workers’ Voices $500,000
    Progressive Values Committee $325,000
    Our Community Votes $50,000
    Emerge New Jersey $43,300
    TOTAL $27,278,800
  • NJEA Donations to 501(c)(3) Non-profits 2009-2016 (page 33):
    Education Law Center $3,202,000
    The Latino Institute $1,140,000
    NJ Policy Perspective $510,000
    Statewide Education Organizing Committee $105,000
    NJ Black Issues Convention $83,000
    New Jersey State Chapter NAACP $76,000
    Statewide Parents Advocacy Network $23,500
    Save Our Schools $5,000
    TOTAL $5,039,500
  • NJEA Donations to Alliances 2009-2016 (page 57):
    New Jersey Working Families Alliance $845,600
    Working Families United for New Jersey $295,000
    New Jersey Work Environment Council $156,000
    Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey $10,000
    TOTAL $1,256,600

47 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by NJ2AZ on January 6, 2020 at 12:11 pm

    i still recall my short-lived experience as a teacher in NJ. I could pay ~$1000/yr in union dues, or i could decline and still pay $950. this was in 2006

    Reply

    • Hmmm. If you were going to be on “easy street” and we’re a “moocher” and had all the pension and bennies that went with it—-why did you move? Love? Wife from AZ? She a teacher too right? Just curious. Certainly not judging.

      Reply

      • Posted by NJ2AZ on January 6, 2020 at 2:44 pm

        i had no business being a teacher. Not to say it wasn’t my fault, but i was younger (24) so i didn’t know better and i was very heavily recruited by a person i knew because of my STEM background. It was basically “You have an engineering degree, we’ll make you a math teacher right away and worry about polishing you later”. Basically my attitude was “I have no idea, but if this works out i’ll never work summers again”.

        looking back, the honors/ap classes i taught went along fine (anyone could ‘teach’ those kids), but i had one class of remedial math students and i knew i was failing them so i extricated myself from the situation. in fairness to myself i doubt even the best teacher would be able to make a difference for more than a handful of the kids in that room, but that wasn’t something i could live with.

        Reply

        • Posted by NJ2AZ on January 6, 2020 at 2:45 pm

          the same year they recruited another guy (an older fellow) who also had a math background but no teaching experience. From what i heard it did not work out very well with him either, though i do think he finished the year. I gave up going into the winter recess :p

          Reply

          • It’s not for everyone. Despite what some folks think. Same with my line of work. Or any line of work, for that matter.

          • And you have to admit….the NJEA has down well by their members over the last 30/40 years. As has the PBA. Much better than our cohorts in most other states. However, it does take a lot of $$ to live in NJ….still I think you average cop has a significantly better standard of living in NJ then they do in MS or LA when compared to the general population of working folks. Again, most of your STEM teachers aren’t setting shop up in those types of areas.

          • Posted by aka chicken little on January 7, 2020 at 9:10 am

            Sorry Constable, but down the road a piece you may just find that that big bag of money turned out to be more or less a big bag of bills of goods. I think we are maxed out on NYC serving as a financial center and all good things flow to NYC. In a more rational future if there is one and double this projection if there isn’t…lets just say that we are ridiculously oversupplied with financial products. The boys at Goldman Sachs won’t be able to flim flam the country (and the world) forever.

            And pharma. We are nearing the end of creating very high dollar therapies and sending the bill to government or insurance companies. If you have been following John’s posts, you must see that that racket has to if not stop be drastically reduced.

            You’re making five times what a new hire is making. That should give you a clue that something is wrong. Dollars to donuts that the new hire isn’t hollering about how good he has it. Probably still living in Mom and Dad’s basement.

      • Posted by Tough Love on January 6, 2020 at 7:12 pm

        El gaupo,

        With respect to HOW MUCH they unjustly take from Taxpayers, primarily in the form of grossly excessive pensions & benefits …………..

        Teachers are mini-MOOCHERS

        Police are SUPER MOOCHERS

        Reply

      • Posted by NJ2AZ on January 7, 2020 at 12:23 am

        any issues i might have with PW compensation i don’t blame the PWs for. Like you’ve said, i’m not going to get on any individuals case for doing whatever they can (legally) to maximize their earnings.

        whatever gripes i might have, i blame the clown politicians. Government at all levels has managed to spare people from its true financial burden through bonding and creative accounting.

        if i were in charge, there’d be a constitutional amendment that any government entity can only bond out for infrastructure.

        Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on January 7, 2020 at 12:57 pm

        Quoting Mr. Love

        “From YOUR crazy Sate of California ………….

        https://californiaglobe.com/section-2/public-employee-strike-looms-in-santa-clara-county/

        Does that read like CA’s Unions are playing “defense” ………. or that they’re simply a bunch of greedy self-serving MOOCHERS”
        ———————-
        Answer…

        Yes.

        Unless (and even IF) you are personally involved in the negotiations and history, from the outside looking in, the unions may be made to look greedy. I don’t follow the situation in Santa Clara County, but I have gone as much as three years with no COLA, then an —attempt— to catch up.

        In the headlines, sometimes this appears as a TWELVE PERCENT INCREASE!!! (spread over the next three years, after two or more years of no increases.)

        Governments of all sizes are rarely flush with money, and there are always constituents lined up with hat in hand (and lobbyists, and contributions). That’s what unions are for.

        In spite of Mr. Loves claim that public salaries are not determined by market forces, if you don’t pay them enough, they will leave. They do it all the time.

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on January 7, 2020 at 5:44 pm

          Quoting ……………

          “but I have gone as much as three years with no COLA, ”

          Am I supposed to feel sorry for you given that virtually ALL of the lucky few in the Private Sector who get DB pensions (as opposed to 401K DC Plans) NEVER get ANY COLAs ?

          The MOOCHER/Entitlement mentality is infused into the being of Public Sector Workers/Retirees.

          Reply

          • Lol. Try working in my town and see who is entitled.
            In fact, listen to the griping when the SS cola is lower than our beloved “seniors” think it should be.

          • Posted by Tough Love on January 7, 2020 at 9:21 pm

            Do you mean the COLA on SS ………. capped at around $30K vs Public Sector pensions now (for Police) often over $100K.

            I know you’re drooling for COLA reinstatement, but bet you’d NOT be satisfied if it ONLY applied to your pension UP TO the SS maximum for the age* at which you retire and begin collecting your pension.

            ———–

            * yeah, I know that SS doesn’t allow retirement below age 62 vs your anticipated retirement in your early 50s, but if it did, the SS max would likely be about $15K annually.

        • Posted by Anonymous on January 7, 2020 at 8:39 pm

          Not talking about pension COLAs. Some people seem to believe that all public workers get automatic annual CPI increases in wages while working. It doesn’t happen.

          Even before collective bargaining, our employee association would “meet and confer” with the state, conduct salary surveys, and lobby for wages and working conditions.

          ” Organizations of Government employees have a logical place in Government affairs.

          The desire of Government employees for fair and adequate pay, reasonable hours of work, safe and suitable working conditions, development of opportunities for advancement, facilities for fair and impartial consideration and review of grievances, and other objectives of a proper employee relations policy, is basically no different from that of employees in private industry. Organization on their part to present their views on such matters is both natural and logical, but meticulous attention should be paid to the special relationships and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the Government.”

          Franklin D Roosevelt, August 16, 1937

          Reply

  2. Posted by MJ on January 8, 2020 at 11:39 am

    Can someone please tell me what type of jobs in the private sector will disgruntled public workers be applying for? Someone above made the statement that if they are not paid enough they will leave………leave and go where? Where will they go for better pay, better health benefits, more paid sick time, guaranteed lifetime retirement, 32-35 hour work week, little if any concern of losing their jobs?

    Can someone let me know their thoughts on this because I’d like to pass it along to all of my friends in the public sector who complain incessantly about how over worked and under paid they are……

    Reply

    • MJ. Maybe you can start by asking all the college kids who chose not to major in education(by every metric the numbers are way down from a decade ago) what they are in fact majoring in?
      Lol. Yes I may get a pension (no SS either) but to be honeSt with you, I live in a middle to upper middle class suburb and don’t have problems Paying my bills. I also don’t over extend either. My whole block is FULL of private sector workers as well a 3 or 4 cops. About 35-40 homes in my development (1960s split levels). And move over a few towns to Alpine Saddle River etc. there are almost none if there are any public sector workers. 🤷‍♂️
      It’s a good to very good deal. No question. Not gonna make anyone rich by any metric. Please stop hating. Especially on law enforcement. It is beneath you my friend.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on January 8, 2020 at 8:49 pm

        In other words …….. you didn’t address MJ’s question (at all).

        Reply

        • Ok. Smart Ass…..ask AZ. He quit a teaching job in NJ. And yet seems to still be breathing.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on January 8, 2020 at 10:45 pm

            This was MJ’s question …………

            “Can someone please tell me what type of jobs in the private sector will disgruntled public workers be applying for? Someone above made the statement that if they are not paid enough they will leave………leave and go where? Where will they go for better pay, better health benefits, more paid sick time, guaranteed lifetime retirement, 32-35 hour work week, little if any concern of losing their jobs?”

            I still don’t see an answer……….. smarty pants
            —————————————

          • He (MJ) and you act as if NO ONE in the private sector bitches about their job, shitty or not as shitty as the case may be.
            I admit, I am at or near not only the top of the NJ public sector food chain, but also at or near the top of the country’s food chain. As Earth would say, it is all relative. God forbid a teacher (or cop) who makes half what I make bitch from time to time…oh wait, they are all at the chiropractor for acupuncture…I forgot.
            Everyone on here that is in the private sector is in fact bitching about how much I make….so it goes both ways. Some folks bitch if the mail comes a half hour late….likely the same folks that stop and grab the post woman’s ear while she is trying to deliver the mail. Lol.
            He is just venting. You’ve been on the receiving end of a few of his tirades FAR worse than his tirades against me. I don’t think he really likes you. Weird thing is…I kinda do like you. (On occasion) 😉 or maybe I feel sorry for you?😜
            I in fact, am pointing out the humans sometimes complain too much. The weather, taxes, prices at the grocery store, teachers and cops pensions, Democrats, their pizza being cold when delivered, traffic on the parkway, Trump, etc.

            By the way, he kinda came out of this Iran thing unscathed in the short term anyway. Astonishing. And great for the economy and his re-election chances.

          • AZ said it wasn’t for him. Was the compensation the reason why? 🤷‍♂️
            Let’s not act like college kids are knocking down the doors to become teachers anymore. They aren’t.
            BTW I never said that I was underpaid. What I said was that I deserve to be able to negotiate the terms of employment with my employer just as everyone else does. Land of the free includes your local police force. Which is probably better paid etc than the urban ones that you love to point out when one screwes up. Like that’s gonna make me say “oh gee, one of the thousands of us fucked up, let me give back my pension”

          • Posted by Tough Love on January 8, 2020 at 11:21 pm

            Quoting El gaupo ………..

            “Everyone on here that is in the private sector is in fact bitching about how much I make”

            Only because there is ZERO JUSTIFICATION for taxpayers having to fund your ludicrously excessive compensation.
            ————————-

            And you STILL didn’t answered MJ’s question ……….. “where” could they get a job with anywhere near equal wages and their super-rich benefits, pension, and job security? Certainly NOT in the Private Sector.

          • Posted by Anonymous on January 8, 2020 at 11:46 pm

            There is an easy answer. In California we have the website TransparentCalifornia.com. It is held up as the epitome of greed and excess in public pay and benefits.

            “Don’t believe public workers are overpaid? Just go to TransparentCalifornia.com!”

            Except…

            Overpaid compared to what?

            TC salaries and benefits are by default listed by total compensation in descending order. And they are breathtaking.

            I say, for comparison, collate in the list of all private sector workers. (Names redacted, of course, privacy matters.) The first “breathtaking” public workers would be hundreds of pages in.

            There are your private sector jobs.

          • Posted by Tough Love on January 9, 2020 at 12:33 am

            Stephen,

            Coming to El gaupo’s rescue again?

          • TL. For the most part he is ragging on teachers. Probably not as much the $45,000 a year social worker.
            Let’s break it down — I’ll concede to you THIS (mine) generation of public employees is doing well. Not many are leaving. Not because they can’t, but because the deal is good. Maybe not AS good as before Fatso (your hero) but still pretty decent. Who would leave half way through their career when they can get a pension???
            Look at the situation for a 22 year old considering the same deal—- teacher pay is really not great when compared to private sector especially just out of the gate for folks with education degrees. (Even e masters.). Health benifits run at 35% for family plan. Again comparable. Certainly nothing that would make anyone say let me do this for 43 years of my life. (Excuse me 45). Why 45? Because Path to progress will for all intents eliminate the pension for them. Yea yea they’ll get $20,000 or so annuity at age 67 in the 2060s. Lol. Yea that’s a reason to stay.
            Summers off? No doubt a perk. Sick days? Nope. Folks can bank up to $15,000 tops. Again not much in 2060. Job security, very good. But again, big deal if it is a second income for a family type of job.
            Now as to where they will go? Cmon now. Like I said, for cops, almost none just sit on their rump after 25-30 years. Insurance work, security work, many Own their own business,
            I’m afraid I don’t know exactly what is going through the minds of public employees who are seriously considering leaving their jobs. I suspect most would only for GREENER pastures or because they truly are miserable. For now. But for people in college? You’d have to ask them. They have a different set of reasons I’m sure.
            But this mindset that if I left my job I’d go right on the welfare rolls or not be able to support my family (yes maybe if I got fired or just quit with NO plan) is just plain lunacy!!

          • Posted by Tough Love on January 9, 2020 at 10:24 am

            Quoting …………..

            “Look at the situation for a 22 year old considering the same deal—- teacher pay is really not great when compared to private sector especially just out of the gate for folks with education degrees. (Even e masters.). Health benefits run at 35% for family plan. Again comparable”

            You follow the NEW teacher’s comp with the statement ……….” Health benefits run at 35% for family plan. Again comparable”

            Now you know that’s not true. Only those making (per an earlier comment from you) over $100K in base wages pay 35% of the premium cost of a Family Plan. A new teacher (and most others) aren’t paying anywhere near that.

            Don’t become like Steven D., the great misleader, omitter of relevant facts, distorter of the true picture, and distractor from the pertinent issue at hand.

          • lol. Ok. You got me. It’ll only be in the mid 20% range and go steadily up as there salary increases. But yeah…technically your right but NO ONE would look and say “eh…I start at 20% premium share so I got my self a great deal!!!”
            Cmon now. It will be at 35% when they have some time on the job. Remember sweetie. Those numbers were NOT indexed for inflation. So the $110,000 for the 35% gets closer to gobbling Up more of the teachers every year. Just like the $40,000 on path to progress is not and won’t be indexed for inflation. Gives ya about $20k a year. Wow!!!
            After 45 years of service. Lol.
            Everything aside form that comparitevly small detail is 100% accurate.

  3. Posted by Anonymous on January 8, 2020 at 12:41 pm

    Sounds like a rhetorical question?
    Easiest answer is “large employers” (500 or more employees) the biggest dichotomy is not between public vs. private jobs, but between small employers and large employers, which includes most public agencies. Last time I checked, large private companies pay higher wages than for equivalent public jobs and have as much or more paid time off, according to the BLS.

    Very true, of course, that pensions are generally better in the public sector, but that is a trade-off some are less willing to take. I can’t tell specifically where they go, but go they do. Only about twenty percent of public sector retirees are “full career”. The average retiree has twenty years service. They spent another twenty years in the private sector at one or more periods in their careers. Most public employees don’t even stay long enough to vest in a pension (typically five years.)

    According to JOLTS, as I recall, the average job tenure for public workers is about eight years, vs. four in the private sector. Short tenure in the private sector driven largely by minimum wage jobs.

    Reply

    • Posted by aka chicken little on January 8, 2020 at 4:12 pm

      “Last time I checked, large private companies pay higher wages than for equivalent public jobs and have as much or more paid time off, according to the BLS.”

      Probably, it’s nearly universal that large companies have made great effort to offload work, downsize staff and reduce pay and benefits.

      “…pensions are generally better in the public sector…”

      Promises to pay late term benefits should be taken with a grain of salt. Look at money, credit, debt levels and so on. There must be some clairvoyants who can make these long term pension and health care promises.

      Reply

    • Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog! 🐶🐶🐶🦴🦴🦴 on January 13, 2020 at 10:31 pm

      Last time I checked, large private companies pay higher wages than for equivalent public jobs and have as much or more paid time off, according to the BLS.
      Jesus, do your whopper lies never end Dougie??

      Reply

  4. Posted by MJ on January 9, 2020 at 7:06 am

    I didn’t ask about graduating college students as I think kids are smart enough to know that the teaching jobs are political and that you have to “know” someone to get you in. I also think that the younger teachers know they are screwed in the long term (at least the ones I talk to) and with the BS in public schools I agree it most definitely is not for everyone. Most of the higher functioning high school and college kids have more on the ball to get in with good companies and large employers.

    My question wasn’t about do publics complain more than private workers as I’m sure it goes both ways.

    In all fairness, I was referring to all the already existing “disgruntled” publics (teachers, state workers, municipal, county workers, etc) who feel they aren’t compensated enough for whatever job it is they have………someone made the statement that if their demands of higher pay are not met then they will leave for other jobs or opportunities

    Because my question was not answered directly, I think I got my answer indirectly. They know that they won’t find a better deal elsewhere. Good try to those who try to maneuver around the elephant in the room.

    And E, save your soapbox as I have repeatedly maintained that LE is a category unto itself and is different that the most other occupations. As to your salary and benefits, I have also repeatedly stated that I have no idea what I think a seasoned copy should be paid.

    Reply

    • I’ll answer the last question for you. Whatever that seasoned (or otherwise) cop can negotiate for herself.
      Not what the old crank down the street thinks. Not what the loudmouth cop who says he deserves 5X what he makes (Not many at all think that)
      But what they can negotiate with their employer. Same as you.

      Reply

  5. Posted by Anonymous on January 9, 2020 at 8:07 am

    Teachers. Attorneys. Doctors. Engineers. Scientists. Accountants. Managers. Programmers. Electricians. Mechanics. Equipment operators. Even truck drivers. It’s not necessarily “demands of higher pay”, as much as the desire to keep up.

    ” Salary growth in state and local government and public education has lagged that of the private sector. Over twenty years, average private sector wages rose by 15 percent above inflation while state and local government pay rose by 8 percent and public education by 5 percent.”

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/burypensions.wordpress.com/2019/04/11/public-employee-salary-benefits-growth/amp/

    Without getting into the “average” dispute again, several studies agree that public salaries are ten to twelve percent lower. Yes, in general, pensions compensate (and sometimes over compensate) if you are willing to wait. And now, willing to gamble the pension will even be there.

    Some jobs in the private sector are better than others. People are constantly moving from job to job if they find a better deal. Public workers are people.

    Reply

    • MJ. My wife is truly, I mean truly a non complainer. Christ, she puts up with me for Gods sake. She doesn’t complain about anything. But she says that folks complain where she works a lot. She is in medical billing. It doesn’t bother her. She does her job and does it well. So much so that she makes more than most of the other billers and is in fact a senior biller. Whatever that means. I’m sure if you walked into any corporate office you would find at or near the same level of complaining as you would in a teachers lounge. With very few exceptions, most people want to make more $$, get promoted, more time off etc. and that’s a good thing. I think it a loser mentality to “be happy I just have a job”.
      The idea that if you were teacher, you would be tickled pink and never try to have your salary raised is a little ridiculous.
      And again, I feel that like you, TL, pa drone and the rest on here, I should be able to earn whatever I can convince my employer to pay me. Unless you all want salary caps on your pay too and go communist like TL wants. 😉
      I do well and I will have a nice pension. But this idea that I’m some kind of a cigar chomping fat cat cruising down to my oceanfront house in Harvey Cedars in my Ferrari or Escalade is absolutely absurd!!! I’m as middle class as they come.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on January 9, 2020 at 10:35 am

        “Convince”?

        How that is now done is the problem, isn’t it, and I’m not talking just about whether your small Local PBA donates to your Town’s Elected Officials. The whole system under which Gov’t worker compensation (pay, pensions, benefits) is determined is riddled with underhanded deal-making, bribery, racketeering, and collusion.

        And the Taxpayers, the ultimate payer of that compensation has never had a TRUE seat at the Table or a definitive say in such decisions.

        Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on January 9, 2020 at 1:21 pm

        “How that is now done…”

        Is very little different from how all public policy is done, except probably much more transparent than most.

        In 2005 I refinanced my mortgage and almost lost the interest guarantee because of difficulty verifying income. Five years later, anyone and/or his ex wife can find that on line in a New York Minute.

        Jesse “Big Daddy” Unruh: “If you can’t eat their food, drink their booze, screw their women, take their money and then vote against them, you have no business being up here.”

        Public unions are but one of many “special interests” competing for support, and by no means the richest or most powerful. Certainly not the most devious.

        You are obsessing, because of your bias. It’s not healthy.

        Reply

        • She is biased. She is the old crank down the street that I mentioned earlier.
          And she has absolutely NO proof of any bribes, collusion, threats etc.

          Reply

          • Lol. Yea ok. That really proves your point. 🤣🤣🤣

          • Posted by Tough Love on January 10, 2020 at 11:17 am

            El gaupo,

            Do you think an exchange such as that in the linked video would ever happen in a Private Sector company ………. i.e with the worker, even a Union leader in a Union shop, threatening a company official’s job ?

            Of course not. ONLY in the PUBLIC Sector with the Elected Official on the receiving end of that commentary in the linked video could that happen. Why ? Because like most Elected Officials (politicians) their raison d’etre is simply to get re-elected, and having to put up with EVEN LISTENING to such obnoxious BS from a Union official (the purple lady in the video) comes with the territory, and unfortunately is all too commonplace.

            It’s the Taxpayers who wind up paying the price for those self-interested Elected Officials’ acquiescence to Union demands.

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