by Steve Gill
In a 2014 article Mission America noted that the National Education Association (NEA) Teachers Union was more extreme than ever. Beginning in the 1960s, the NEA began a progression of increased political activity, largely left-leaning and almost exclusively pro-Democrat Party. Today, NEA’s annual budget is around $367 million, not accounting for the cushy, separate budgets of its state affiliates like the TEA. Virtually none of their efforts are used to promote Republican candidates, except when seeking just enough cover in majority Red states to claim bogus “bipartisanship.”
Political contributions of teacher unions hit a high in 2016, when donations hit $33.2 million. It will likely be higher in 2018, though declining NEA membership means less money collected from fewer members and more from the extremist leftwing donors and groups that have no real interest in education policy. Of the money that went to politicians directly in 2016, ninety three percent (93%) went to Democrats.
The NEA (National Education Association) probably doesn’t realize — or care — that many of their members are Republicans who may not appreciate having their member dues used to advance partisan left-wing causes. As more of their members learn how their money is spent in the political arena, greater numbers are choosing to stop the flow of their dollars to causes they oppose.
The departing NEA General Counsel Bob Chanin’s comments given during a recent speech denigrating conservatives is very revealing. Conveniently left out of published comments were his actual words, some of which you can see here on YouTube. After sharing fond recollections of his 41 years as the NEA’s top lawyer, he switched gears and started lobbing grenades at “conservative and right-wing bastards,” (his words) including Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, and Forbes. With an attitude and language like that he may be a shoo-in to be the comic relief at next year’s Washington Correspondents Dinner.
The Executive Director of the Christian Educators Association David Schmus argues that Teachers Unions have abandoned Christian teachers. Isn’t it time that Christian teachers return the favor? Why provide financial resources to a group that does not use YOUR dollars to represent YOUR interests and values?
For many Christian teachers the knowledge that the NEA uses their money to support abortion on demand through an alliance with Planned Parenthood might be justification to stop financing that agenda. Planned Parenthood’s own annual report claims they ended the lives of 321,384 unborn babies in 2016-17. They claim they are promoting “reproductive freedom” — by stopping the reproductive process???
So, how do teacher unions, whose leaders are far to the Left of the average teacher, get away with spending dues money on candidates and causes that so many of its members dislike? The answer is really very simple: because its members let them.
And why do so many Republicans, who claim at election time that they are conservative, take money from a liberal union? Again, the answer is simple: Republican primary voters have been deceived into letting them take that money without paying a price at the ballot box. As we enter primary season in Tennessee, that needs to end! Every Republican candidate who takes dollars from the teacher union, should be exposed and voters informed.
Liberal unions are a backbone of the left-wing; a critical source of cash, campaign workers and votes. Christian teachers who don’t like being forced to pay for their union’s political agenda need to stand up and just say “no more!” And voters who don’t want supposedly conservative candidates taking liberal teachers union money need to reject them at the ballot box. If we don’t “vote our values” with our money and our ballots on Election Day, then we shouldn’t expect those values to be represented by elected officials who are aligned with those OPPOSED to our values. As long as we tolerate it, the blame is on US, not THEM.
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Steve Gill is Political Editor of the Tennessee Star and hosts the Gill Report that airs weekdays on radio stations across Tennessee.