A Super PAC funded by the NJEA, New Jersey’s largest teachers’ union, and run by U.S.Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s former Chief of Staff, has spent nearly $200,000 so far on television and radio ads to imply that Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini (R-11 Monmouth County) “took” $1 millon in government grants for herself and her staff, rather than help New Jersey schools prevent drug abuse.
Angelini is the CEO of Preferred Behavioral Health Group , a IRS approved non-profit organization that provides family support programs, alcohol rehabilitation programs, clinical case management, and therapeutic interventions. The organization provides drug abuse prevention education in Central Jersey schools as well as anti-bullying and suicide prevention programs. According to their latest tax return, PBHG had revenues of $14 million and paid total salaries and benefits of $10 million to the professionals who deliver the programs to Central Jersey families and students. Angelini’s salary in the year ending June 30, 2014 was $118,300.
Angelini earns $49,000 as a member of the Assembly.
General Majority PAC is running cable, radio and network TV ads in an effort to elect one of Angelini’s opponents in the 11th legislative district which is comprised of Allenhurst, Asbury Park, Colts Neck, Deal, Eatontown, Freehold Borough, Freehold Township, Interlaken, Loch Arbour, Long Branch, Neptune City, Neptune Township, Ocean Township, Red Bank, Shrewsbury Borough, Shrewsbury Township, Tinton Falls, and West Long Branch.
The PAC’s President is Susan McCue. McCue was Harry Reid’s Chief of Staff from 1999-2007 while he was U.S. Senate Majority Leader and was appointed to Rutger’s Board of Governors by Governor Chris Christie last year.
$2.75 million of the $3.1 million raised by General Majority PAC came from another PAC, Garden State Forward, which is closely aligned with NJEA, according to published reports.
In the “disgustingly dirty ad,” as Angelini called it, General Majority says that “taxpayers have given Mary Pat Angelini nearly $400,000 to represent us in Trenton.” This is apparently Angelini’s $49K salary for serving in the legislature multiplied by the eight years she has served. The ad says that Angelini “took” $1 million to pay herself and her staff from the charity she runs…”Not the kids.” How General Majority came up with the $1 million number is a mystery.
“Imagine the difference they could have made if they donated that money to the charity of their choice,” Angelini said of the nearly $200,000 of teachers’ earnings used to smear her. “I think it will backfire, we have an excellent reputation in Monmouth and Ocean counties. People know the difference we make. Over 90% of our employees provide direct care to our clients and work hard every day to provide many evidenced-based programs at no charge.”
Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, Angelini’s running mate and partner in representing the 11th district in the Assembly, said “In the face of the drug epidemic we are fighting, it very said that the NJEA is burning money to deride drug abuse prevention in a futile attempt to get a union bought and paid for vote in the Assembly.”