N.J. teachers union tops lobbyist spending list

    For the second straight year, New Jersey’s powerful teachers union has topped the list of lobbyist spending by special interest groups.

    The New Jersey Education Association spent $11.3 million in 2011–more than any other single group has spent before.

     

    State election records that $10.8 million of that amount went toward advertisements in 2011, shattering the NJEA’s record of $6.6 million in communication spending in 2010.

    The union, which has been at war with Gov. Chris Christie over his proposed education reforms, represents about 195,000 working and retired school employees in New Jersey.

    Christie says he’s not surprised by the spending, which he called a “political slush fund.”

    The NJEA says the advertising is needed to defend itself against the governor’s attacks.

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