The NJEA recently announced their list of Congressional endorsements. In almost every case, they went with the incumbent – whether Democratic or Republican. There were a few exceptions. In the 11th district (where Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen is the incumbent), they made no endorsement. The NJEA also didn’t take sides in the 7th, urging members to “make their own choice” between Mike Ferguson and Linda Stender. Perhaps not so surprisingly, they snubbed Scott Garrett in the 5th by endorsing Paul Aronsohn – the only congressional challenger to be endorsed by the NJEA.
From Aronsohn’s statement announcing the endorsement:
“Simply stated, when it comes to public education, Scott Garrett has it wrong. He consistently votes to cut funding for No Child Left Behind, for special education, for vocational education and for higher education. And Garrett believes that home schooling should be treated equally with public schooling.”
Considering their inclination to play it safe and side with incumbents, this endorsement says more about Scott Garrett than it does about Paul Aronsohn. Of course, had they not genuinely believed in Aronsohn, they would have stayed out of the race completely like they did in the 11th, but this should serve as another reminder of just how extreme Congressman Scott Garrett is. This is the same person who while in the state Assembly, called for the abolition of the federal Department of Education. In endorsing his opponent, the NJEA is sending a clear message about Scott Garrett. Though he would like to paint himself as a moderate, he hails from the extreme anti-tax, starve-the-government-until-it’s-small-enough-to-drown-in-a-bathtub wing of the Republican party, and voters should be reminded of that every day.
Update (11:15 AM): On second thought, this could be more about Aronsohn than Garrett. Unlike this year, in 2004 the NJEA didn’t endorsement Garrett or his opponent.