So… “How Much Does NEA Spend on Politics?”

Of course, the answer to the question is: Depends what you mean. Some issues to consider:

  • Are we talking about the national union headquarters, state union affiliates and/or local union offices?
  • Are we only discussing “PAC money” or all the kinds of independent expenditures that regular dues money may be spent on?
  • Are we looking at spending only on political candidates or on local and state ballot issues, too?
  • Are we including only direct campaign contributions, or also “member communications” on political topics?

No one understands how this all works better than Mike Antonucci from the Education Intelligence Agency, and he explains it well in his latest Communique. Bookmark for future reference.

California Teachers Empowerment Network Makes Big Splash in Townhall Magazine

A big “sister” group of Colorado Independent Teachers that continues to make a big splash on the West Coast is the California Teachers Empowerment Network — letting teachers in the Golden State know about their various membership options. You may remember the radio ad exposing the NEA’s agenda that they aired last fall.

Well, now CTEN founder and president Larry Sand has been splashed onto the pages of Townhall magazine (PDF). We couldn’t resist the opportunity to send them a big Kudos for their great work and to let Mr. Sand know just how good his picture makes him look, sitting next to Rob “Meathead” Reiner.

California Teachers Empowerment Network Responds On Air to NEA’s Bob Chanin

Remember the National Education Association’s Bob Chanin being a little bit too candid about the union’s priorities? Well, a “sister” group of ours on the West Coast, known as the California Teachers Empowerment Network, has released a new radio ad on KRLA in Los Angeles. Thought you’d like to take a listen to the one-minute spot:

Here’s where you can find the Citizens’ Commission on Civil Rights report (PDF) cited by CTEN president Larry Sand on the radio ad.

Should the NEA and AFT Teachers Unions Stop Sending Member Dues Money to ACORN?

If you are a member of the teachers union — whether the National Education Association or American Federation of Teachers — you may find this news disturbing:

Teachers unions have contributed over $1.3 million to ACORN and its affiliates, since 2005, according to U.S. Labor Department financial disclosure forms.

But there is no guarantee that the $1,333,112 million in donations from the National Education Association (NEA) and Teachers AFL-CIO unions are actually being used for their stated purposes, according to present and former Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN) officials.

Some of the larger donations include $100,000 from the NEA in 2008 and $200,000 in 2007 for political activities. The Teachers AFL-CIO Local Union 2 contributed $406,730 in 2008, $457,778 in 2007, and $346,300 in 2006 for representational activities.

Now that ACORN staffers have been caught on video helping a man and woman posing as a pimp and a prostitute acquire illegal home loans to set up a brothel it is imperative that these organizations reconsider their support, said Ron Sykes, treasurer for ACORN’s Washington D.C. branch. [emphases added]

The U.S. Senate on Monday overwhelmingly voted to stop sending taxpayer money to ACORN. What are teachers unions going to do?

As always, it’s important to note — especially during this time of the school year — that all Colorado teachers have membership options.

National Education Association Spends Member Dues for Government Health Care

We are in the midst of a very divisive and controversial debate in our nation over legislation that would greatly expand the role of government in providing health insurance. If you were a full-time member of the National Education Association (NEA) through joining your local teachers union, then you sent money during the 2007-08 school year to support the current proposal from Congress and President Obama to promote socialized medicine.

According to the latest disclosure report filed with the U.S. Department of Labor, NEA gave $500,000 in 2007-08 to the group Health Care for America Now, a 501c4 political organization that is backing President Obama’s health care plan. (It is likely that NEA has made further contributions to this group since 2007-08, since NEA is listed as being a member of the HCAN steering committee.)

Current union members sent $158 in dues to the NEA during the 2008-09 school year. The amount will be $162 for 2009-10.

Hey, NEA member, aren’t you glad they asked your opinion first? … What, you mean they didn’t?

You can get a refund of the political money taken from your paycheck that goes to CEA ($39) and many local unions (up to $24), but the NEA money (which takes many political forms, but doesn’t go directly to candidates) is completely non-refundable.

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