Home>Highlight>Group tied to Coughlin raises $3.4 million

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Woodbridge). (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe)

Group tied to Coughlin raises $3.4 million

NJEA contributes $2.75 million to NJ United

By David Wildstein, December 23 2019 2:05 pm

A non-profit formed to promote Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin’s agenda raised $3.4 million in 2019, most of it from the New Jersey Education Association.

The NJEA, the state’s largest public employee union, contributed $2,750,000 to NJ United through Garden State Forward.

New Direction New Jersey, a similar non-profit allied tied to Gov. Phil Murphy, raised a little more than half of its $6.7 million from the NJEA.  The teachers union contributed $4.5 million to New Direction New Jersey.

Fundraising totals for the Murphy group began after the 2017 election, when several of his advisors formed the non-profit, through their disclosure of donors in September

The Coughlin-allied non-profit received $300,000 from the Carpenters Action Fund.

Growing Economic Opportunities, a foundation connected to the Laborers’ International Union of North America, contributed $150,000 to NJ United.  They sent $300,000 to New Direction NJ.

The International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers contributed $18,000 to NJ United and $50,000 to New Direction New Jersey.

Another building trades union, the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Pipe Fitting Industry, donated $100,000 to NJ United.  They were not donors to New Direction New Jersey.

Other NJ United donors: the Compassionate Care Research Institute, which is connected to a pharmaceutical grade cannabis dispensary ($25,000); Gibbons PC, a major New Jersey law firm ($25,000); Richard Alaimo Associates, an engineering firm ($5,000); American Property Casualty Insurance ($5,000); Government Employees Insurance ($5,000); Property Casualty Insurance Association of America PAC ($5,000); and CLB Partners, a Trenton lobbying firm ($3,000).

Although NJ United is a 501(c)4 and was required to release its donors in accordance with a new state law passed this year with Coughlin’s support.  Julie Roginsky, who heads the group, pledged several months ago to voluntarily release the donors by the end of the year, which she has.

In September, progressive activist Seth Hahn left the Communications Workers of America (CWA) after ten years to join NJ United.

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