Doing his usual fine reporting, the Education Intelligence Agency’s Mike Antonucci breaks down the American Federation of Teachers’ latest report of its contributions to advocacy groups. During the 2010-11 fiscal year, AFT gave $7.8 million in member dues money to a wide range of organizations, an amount as large as the previous two years combined.
The National Education Association has the larger educator membership presence in Colorado. But among the state’s AFT teachers, the largest concentration by far can be found in conservative Douglas County, the state’s third-largest school district. Interesting then to see some of AFT’s contributions, as reported by Antonucci:
- $1 million to the “YES on 27” campaign to eliminate the California Citizens Redistricting Commission
- $400,000 to Commonsense Ten, a Federal PAC that among other things bought radio ads in Colorado attacking Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ken Buck
- $300,000 to the National Democratic Redistricting Trust
- $250,000 to the Edward M. (Ted) Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate
- $150,000 to the Progressive activist group America Votes
- $100,000 to the Progressive magazine American Spectator
- $75,000 to Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition
- $40,000 to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
- $25,000 to the liberal Washington, D.C., think tank Center for American Progress
Also, opponents of the Douglas County Choice Scholarship program might be curious why AFT gave: $96,396 to Clergy Strategic Alliances; $60,000 to the “faith-based” Gamaliel Foundation; $25,000 to Catholics United; $7,500 to The House of the Lord & Church on the Mount, Inc.; $7,250 to the B’nai Zion Foundation; and $5,000 to Friendship West Baptist Church.
Perhaps a glimpse at this post, or even a deeper look into the list of contributions recipients, may provide the chance to ask questions or reassess membership options. But in any case, it’s interesting to see how American Federation of Teachers Colorado members’ dues have been used.