NJ teachers union tips the balance in race for governor
With just four weeks until election day, Phil Murphy doesn't just lead his GOP challenger in the polls, he leads with six times more money on hand to spend on a final push for voters.
It is no secret that money wins most elections. If you want to win in the Garden State, the fastest way to get it is to get in the good graces of the state's largest teacher's union.
The New Jersey Education Association is, by far, Gov. Phil Murphy's biggest contributor.
As New Jersey 101.5's Michael Symons reports, the NJEA has contributed $5 million to the Murphy campaign. Organized labor has contributed another $2.5 million through a separate political action committee.
If you removed those two contributions totaling $7.5 million, Jack Ciattarelli would actually have raised more money than Murphy.
While Ciattarelli does list larger contributions in his latest filings with the Election Law Enforcement Commission, most of the money he has raised has come in the form of smaller donations.
Contrast that to Murphy, where his campaign is largely being financed through big-money donations from groups that stand to benefit the most from his progressive policies.
Some of Murphy's strongest allies when he ran for governor four years ago were labor groups, and they are back with big money again this year.
Jeff Brindle, the executive director of the ELEC took note of that when he told us the NJEA, labor groups and other big-money PACs "have become a major force" in state and local campaigns.