NEA and AFT Political Spending Revealed
In this revealing story about teacher union political spending, reporter Alicia Mundy reveals the millions that teacher union officials have forced reluctant teachers to give to causes they do not believe in. CEAFU supporter Judy Bruns, a retired Ohio teacher who formerly served as an NEA Assembly Representative, was a victim who worked tirelessly within the NEA to reform its outlook.
From The Wall Street Journal:
What do the American Ireland Fund, the Rev. Al Sharpton and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network have in common?
“All have received some of the more than $330 million that America’s two largest teachers unions spent in the past five years on outside causes, political campaigns, lobbying and issue education. The contributions-totaling more than $200 million from the National Education Association and more than $130 million from the American Federation of Teachers-were disclosed in annual reports that unions file with the Labor Department detailing their spending on political activities and advocacy work, as well as separate political-action-committee filings.”
The contributions—totaling more than $200 million from the National Education Association and more than $130 million from the American Federation of Teachers—were disclosed in annual reports that unions file with the Labor Department detailing their spending on political activities and advocacy work, as well as separate political-action-committee filings.
Some of the spending that the two teachers unions identified to the Labor Department as “political and lobbying” activities from fiscal 2007 through fiscal 2011 went to election consultants, voter mobilization and advertising. Additional millions went to PACs that donate almost entirely to Democratic candidates and committees.
Some of the contributions provide indirect political benefit to the unions, by fostering allies among progressive groups. This has helped give teachers widespread political clout on Capitol Hill and in statehouses, and has made them nearly indispensable to the Democratic Party.
Members’ dues underwrite much of the unions’ “political activities,” but not donations to candidates, parties and PACs. Those are funded by voluntary contributions. The NEA, the largest teachers union, with about 3.2 million members, also has a super PAC, which can raise unlimited funds. That super PAC had more than $3 million in cash on hand the end of June.
NEA teacher union officials felt the impact when the millions they poured into the Scott Walker recall campaign failed to do the job. Teachers in Wisconsin now have all of the freedom of association others in Right to Work states have.