Teachers’ Unions Are Washington’s Fat Cats

by Kyle Olson

We know how liberals, particularly those in the education establishment, like to say that Corporate America dictates public policy through campaign contributions.

A new report, prepared by the Center for Responsive Politics and the National Institute on Money in State Politics, does a good job of dispelling that myth.

As it turns out, the National Education Association was by far the nation’s biggest political contributor during the 2008 election cycle. The NEA dropped a cool $56.3 million on its list of favored liberal candidates at various levels of government, which was about $12 million more than the runner-up contributor spent.

The American Federation of Teachers was also busy writing contribution checks, to the tune of $13.8 million. And the two unions joined forces to contribute about $3.3 million to various campaigns in a handful of states.

What was that again? Our government has been bought and paid for by Corporate America?

The Education Intelligence Agency summed up the true situation this way: “America’s two teachers unions outspent AT & T, Goldman Sachs, Wal-Mart, Microsoft, General Electric, Chevron, Pfizer, Morgan Stanley, Lockheed Martin, FedEx, Boeing, Merrill Lynch, Exxon Mobil, Lehman Brothers and the Walt Disney Corporation combined.”

That’s ironic when you consider what the unions got in return for their huge investment. We’re certain they were excited on election night last November, with a Democrat headed to the White House, big Democratic majorities taking over Congress, and Democrats controlling statehouses across the nation.

But alas, Democratic officeholders at every level have turned on the unions, despite their generous campaign gifts. The President is demanding Republican-style education reforms through his “Race to the Top” initiative, and state officials across the map are scrambling to cooperate and quality for federal money.

So I guess we can’t say that the teachers unions are dictating public policy with huge campaign expenditures. They certainly tried, but their pet politicians ate up all the treats, then turned around a bit their masters.

Comments are closed.