N.J. lobbyist spending turned down in 2012

    New Jersey’s Election Law Enforcement Commission says spending on political lobbying in New Jersey declined sharply in 2012 largely because the state’s largest teachers union was quieter.

    Total spending on lobbying was $56.6 million for the year, nearly 24 percent lower than the 2011 spending, the lowest level since 2008.

    Much of the change came because the New Jersey Education Association spent less than $100,000 on advertising in 2012, down from nearly $11 million the year before as it was engaged in a campaign against Gov. Chris Christie.

    Last year, the union and the governor agreed on a law that overhauled teacher tenure.

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    ELEC Executive Director Jeff Bindle says lobbyist spending rises when there are hot-button issues and falls when there are not

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