Its gubernatorial candidate may be on the ropes, but the New Jersey Education Association is not holding back in the upcoming New Jersey election and is already spending triple its previous totals in campaign efforts.
The union’s new super PAC, Garden State Forward, has spent or distributed more than $5 million for the governor and legislative races, according to the state’s Election Law Enforcement Commission. Since the last reporting, Garden State Forward also wrapped up another television advertising buy of nearly $1 million for Democratic challenger Barbara Buono that brought the total to almost $6 million.
Add to that at least another $630,000 already reported by its long-standing NJEA PAC, and the total nears $7 million. More is to be disclosed in the next report to be released today. The NJEA’s total election spending in each of the past two statewide elections was a little over $2 million each time.
This doesn’t include the union’s massive lobbying efforts in recent off-election years -- largely to combat Gov. Chris Christie and funding and pension cuts. With those, the NJEA has spent more than $30 million since 2010, double all of its political spending in the previous decade, according to the commission’s reports.
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