Two of the donors to the "dark money" PAC supporting Gov. Phil Murphy's political gave a combined $3.6 million contribution as he was pushing for a millionaire's tax, according to separate media reports.

New Direction New Jersey funded commercials supporting the millionaire's tax in the spring and has run commercials during the governor's first year on topics including the full funding of public schools, fixing NJ Transit, protecting healthcare and new gun safety laws.

But the group's funding sources are secret. Murphy has publicly encouraged the group to be transparent but so far it has not disclosed its donors. Murphy also initially conditionally vetoed legislation that would require independent political groups — like New Direction — to disclose their donors, but the state Senate and Assembly approved the bill again by a combined 103-0 vote and resent Murphy the bill, which he then signed.

NorthJersey.com and the USA Today Network reported that before the legislation the union for 12,000 office cleaners, security and food service employees, Service Employees International Union, 32BJ SEIU, donated $150,000 in June 2018.

The story also noted an earlier Politico report that the NJEA — the teachers union — gave New Direction a $1 million donation in April 2019 and $2.5 million in 2018.N

New Direction New Jersey has not disclosed new donors, according to NorthJersey.com and the USA Today Network.  The legislation does not require any donors prior to the law being signed to be revealed.

The group's website does not identity anyone associated with the group and has not updated the site's news feed since May.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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