The Corner

Regardless of New Jersey’s Budget Insolvency, Politicians Can’t Oppose Teachers’ Unions

New Jersey Senate president Stephen Sweeney has declared that he will not run for governor of the state, leaving the 2017 Democratic primary as practically a coronation of Phil Murphy. A major reason why Sweeney is withdrawing so soon is that he put budget solvency over the demands of New Jersey’s teachers’ union.

The New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) is the most powerful influence on elections in the state, and Sweeney drew their ire when he blocked the senate from voting on a constitutional amendment that would protect government workers’ pensions. The state’s wide-ranging budgetary problems put it last in long-term solvency, and in August Sweeney specifically said that until an impasse about transportation funding is resolved, “we can’t in good conscience put a constitutional guaranteed pension payment on the ballot.”

As a result, the measure will not be on the ballot this November. This small victory for fiscal responsibility has naturally led to vicious attacks on Sweeney.

The NJEA showed it was willing to play hardball. When Sweeney stopped the amendment from being put to a vote, the union threatened to withhold all funding from Democratic candidates over his actions, which he called “extortion.” Naturally, Murphy, who was competing with Sweeney to earn the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, fully supports the amendment, received the endorsement of the NJEA, and is positioned to easily win the governorship next year.

When the teachers’ union is the largest contributor of political money in your state, you acquiesce to their demands or get burned.

Most Popular


Jussie Smollett Changes His Story Again

The actor Jussie Smollett continues to talk about the alleged January 29 attack on him during a frigid night in Chicago, giving Good Morning America his fullest description yet of his claims. It differs substantially from what he told police initially after the alleged assault. Smollett told GMA that the ... Read More
Politics & Policy

We’ll Regret This

Mitch McConnell says the president will sign the budget deal and he will also declare a national emergency to build the wall, as I expected. We’ll see the legal justifications he uses, but as a political and constitutional matter this is a long-term disaster. Oh, it might be good for Trump according to the ... Read More

Trump Declares National Emergency to Fund Border Wall

President Trump declared a national emergency on Friday in order to unilaterally appropriate $3.6 billion for the construction of his long-promised border wall. The announcement, made during a televised White House Rose Garden ceremony, came after Congress passed a bipartisan homeland-security-funding bill ... Read More