After endorsing Menendez? The NJEA should stop pretending it cares about our kids. | Rooney

By Matt Rooney

The New Jersey Education (Mis)Association (NJEA) surprised no one on Thursday when it endorsed Bob Menendez’s U.S. Senate reelection bid, Save Jerseyans.

The notorious organization’s rationale was even less shocking. Hint: they couldn’t point to an actual piece of legislature or policy accomplishment. 

“Every election is important, but with the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, the U.S. Senate is vying to confirm a nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, who has a record of siding with big corporations, supporting private school vouchers, and opposing workers’ rights,” explained NJEA Vice President Sean M. Spiller. “Bob Menendez opposes Kavanaugh’s confirmation and, if re-elected, will continue to fight for public education and labor as he has done throughout his service in Congress.”

Priorities, right?

The Janus decision — which protects teachers from being forced to pay union dues should they decline to join the union — is undeniably a win for the First Amendment, but the landmark decision has also had the effect of forcing teachers’ unions to admit that their top priority isn’t educating our children… it’s holding onto political power (and the money they need to wield influence and enrich the leadership). 

Power is important enough of an aim to endorse a man — severely admonished by the U.S. Senate’s ethics committee and ordered to return $1 million in gifts, and who helped obtain a visa for the paramour of the married gift giver (Salomon Melgen) — who is hardly a role model for our kids by an reasonable definition unlike Brett Kavanaugh who seems like a particularly nice, decent family man regardless of whether you agree with his jurisprudence.

“The NJEA endorsing Bob Menendez tells you how morally bankrupt the NJEA union bosses truly are,” opined Hugin strategist Chris Russell on social media after the announcement. “As the proud son of a public school teacher, I feel bad that the men and women who are role models to our kids have to be force-fed the endorsement of a crook.”

Then again, what could we expect of the NJEA in the wake of those disturbing undercover videos taped by James O’Keefe this spring? The values of a morally bankrupt organization are necessarily reflected in its choice of politician.