NJ Politics Digest: NJEA Made $2.5M Donation to Pro-Murphy Dark Money Group

New Jersey's powerful teachers' union contributed $2.5 million to a dark money group pushing the pro-labor governor's agenda.

Governor Phil Murphy speaks at Cory Booker's "Justice For All" Kickoff Tour in Newark, N.J. on April, 13, 2019.
Gov. Phil Murphy. Jason Bergman

A week after Gov. Phil Murphy vetoed a bill strengthening disclosure requirements for contributions to “dark money” political groups, it was revealed that the state’s powerful teachers’ union contributed $2.5 million to a group pushing the pro-labor governor’s agenda.

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New Directions New Jersey had refused to reveal who helped fund their work supporting the first-term Democratic governor. Murphy, who appeared in television advertisements paid for by New Directions as he fought with his fellow Democrats over the state budget, also never revealed the donor’s names.

But, as Politico reports, the donation was discovered by a longtime NJEA foe who came across information about the donation by reviewing minutes from union meetings.

The report comes a week after Murphy conditionally vetoed a bill that received overwhelming support in the state legislature. The governor’s office claims Murphy’s conditions will strengthen the bill. But critics say the governor insisted on conditions he knows will kill the reform measure.

Senate President Steve Sweeney, a Democrat that the NJEA has worked hard to try to unseat, has said the Democratic-controlled legislature might attempt to override the governor’s veto.

In a statement to Politico ahead of its report, the NJEA acknowledged it had made the contribution. New Directions, which reneged on an earlier pledge to reveal its donors and has steadfastly refused to do so, said in a statement once the donation was uncovered that it was “proud” to have received the NJEA’s support.

Quote of the Day: “I’m bothered the governor is so connected to a point where it really affects the decisions for the people of New Jersey,” — Senate President Steve Sweeney, sarcastically responding to news that the NJEA contributed $2.5 million to a dark money group supporting Gov. Phil Murphy’s agenda.

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NJ Politics Digest: NJEA Made $2.5M Donation to Pro-Murphy Dark Money Group