New Jersey Teacher Union Sets Sights on Senate President


New Jersey Education Association teacher union officials are attempting to relieve Senate President Steve Sweeney of his job. How much of this money is taken from teachers against their will? Andrew Seidman has the story on

The high-profile bid by New Jersey’s largest teachers’ union to unseat Senate President Stephen Sweeney in November’s election has intensified, as political groups aligned with each side have already spent nearly $1 million on television advertisements.

No matter that it’s early August, well before most campaigns begin hitting the airwaves to try to persuade voters in state legislative races.

New Jerseyans for a Better Tomorrow, a super PAC that supports Sweeney (D., Gloucester), has spent about $600,000 on broadcast and cable ads since July, while the political group founded by the New Jersey Education Association has spent about $300,000, according to a media-buying firm and another source.

“This is an extraordinary amount of money being spent so soon,” said Larry Weitzner, CEO of the GOP media-strategy firm Jamestown Associates. “It shows you how pitched the battle is and how intensely personal it has become for the NJEA and Senator Sweeney.”

Given the current ad blitz, spending by outside groups and the campaigns could reach $8 million, he said, putting the race on track to be among the most expensive in the history of New Jersey legislative campaigns.