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New Jersey Education Association President Marie Blistan. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe)

NJEA super PAC again the main funder of Murphy-linked non-profit

Garden State Forward gave New Direction New Jersey $6 million since last September

By Nikita Biryukov, December 23 2020 3:14 pm

The state’s largest teacher’s union again provided a non-profit run by allies of Gov. Phil Murphy with the bulk of its funding in 2020.

A donor list released by New Direction New Jersey, a 501(c)(4) non-profit created to advocate for Murphy’s policy and political agendas, the group received $6 million in contributions from Garden State Forward, a super PAC formed and funded solely by the New Jersey Education Association, in 2020 and the last three months of 2019.

That $6 million accounted for the vast majority of the more than $6.5 million New Direction received in 2020. Most of the money left over also came from labor groups.

Spending groups backed by the carpenters union gave a combined $250,000, and the Communications Workers of America contributed $127,000.

GP Management LLC, a firm specializing in corporate getaways and with ties to Formula One, gave the group $100,000. HNTB, an architectural company, gave $50,000, and Lyft donated $5,000.

The remaining money was given in small-dollar donations by individuals.

Though New Direction caused a frenzy among legislative Democrats in 2018 with ads Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford) and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Woodbridge) said were an attempt to exert pressure on their members, those tensions have largely cooled.

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