You’ve been shafted (again) by your union.
The New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) spent $11.3 million on lobbying in 2011 according to new data released by the Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) (click here for a pdf of the report). In real numbers, approximately $10.8 million went towards advertising.
“For the children.” Right?
A little perspective, the NJEA spent just $6.9 million in 2010; no one came close to them in 2011! In fact, the next closest for 2011 was telecom giant Verizon, which spent $1.2 million (or $9.6 million less than the NJEA). Isn’t it just a little disconcerting when public employees are vastly outspending private industry in the lobbying arena? Conflict of interest, anyone?
And don’t forget: this advertising cash comes directly from about $130 million in annual union dues collected from teachers’ property taxpayer-funded paychecks. Like I said, taxpayers are literally PAYING out the nose for union fat cats to lobby against the best interests of educators, students and taxpayers alike. We’re bargaining against ourselves. It’s an insane system! Especially when all of that lobbying loot could pay for other things like oh, I don’t know, underfunded pensions!
New Jersey educators need to take advantage of this “teaching moment” and honestly consider: Have my kids and I benefited from all of this expensive lobbying supported by my union dues? Or is this lobbying cash really used to maximize and protect the influence (and paychecks) of fat cat union leaders?