According to their website, the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey (CIANJ) was “established in 1927…has approximately 900 members, from Fortune 500 companies like Hertz Corporation, Ingersoll-Rand, Continental Airlines, Stryker, PSE&G, Sharp, and Sony to emerging companies and sole proprietorships representing all areas of business and industry. The organization is the leader in free enterprise advocacy for the purpose of providing - through education, legislative vigilance and membership interaction - an economic climate that enhances business potential and makes New Jersey a better state in which to live, work and conduct business.”
But that's not the whole story. They also seem to have a love affair with Republicans.
Their PAC, called the Private Enterprise Political Action Committee (PENPAC) has endorsed 40 plus Republicans for the state legislature, and only five Democrats.
Part of the criteria for the PENPAC choice: "A commitment to reducing government regulation."
And we all know what that means for consumers and labor.
Amongst the Republicans endorsed were Senator Sonny McCullough, Assemblyman Mike Doherty, and Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce ---all safe bets for Big Business.
The Democrats endorsed were Assemblyman and Senate Candidate Francis L. Bodine, Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula, Senator Paul Sarlo, Assemblyman Gary S. Schaer, and Senator Ray Lesniak.
PENPAC Chairman Richard Goldberg said, "..it is critical that these candidates, who believe in smaller government, are elected to the New Jersey legislature. ”
CIANJ also vehemently opposes the Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 800, S. 1041), which is supported by a bipartisan coalition in Congress. When enacted, the Employee Free Choice Act would level the playing field for workers and employers and help rebuild America’s middle class. It would restore workers’ freedom to choose a union by:
• Establishing stronger penalties for violation of employee rights when workers seek to form a union and during first-contract negotiations.
• Providing mediation and arbitration for first-contract disputes.
• Allowing employees to form unions by signing cards authorizing union representation.
Joining CIANJ in opposing the Employee Free Choice Act are anti-union front groups like the discredited Center for Union Facts, led by lobbyist Richard Berman. Berman is infamous for fighting against drunk driving laws and consumer and health protections. Also, the National Right to Work Committee and Foundation, the country’s oldest organization dedicated exclusively to destroying unions, also joins CIANJ in opposing the Employee Free Choice Act.
President Bush has threatened to veto the the Employee Free Choice Act.
That alone should tell you everything you need to know about the CIANJ.