FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
So, the NEA spent $50 million on political activities and lobbying last year….
THAT'S NOT BAD FOR A GROUP THAT CLAIMS NOT TO BE A SPECIAL INTEREST.
Cross-posted at LaborUnionReport.com
Recently, a friend received a
heart-wrenching “letter” allegedly from a Philadelphia teacher named “Wendy C.”
Assuming that “Wendy” is a real person (and not some astroturfing union stooge), we’ll giver her the benefit of the doubt for a fleeting moment as you take the time to read [emphasis added] “Wendy’s” letter:
Right now, my job — along with those of my colleagues — could be in jeopardy.
I’m a public school teacher in Philadelphia. And, like most states across the country, Pennsylvania is facing some bad budget shortfalls.
Without federal help, a lot of teachers like me — as well as other public servants like police officers and firefighters — will lose their jobs. Maybe you know some of these people. Maybe it’s you.
Democrats in Congress are trying to do the right thing, proposing emergency assistance for states to preserve more than 100,000 jobs like mine. They’re racing back to the Capitol for an emergency session this week to pass this bill and save these jobs.
But Republicans are standing in the way. Minority Leader John Boehner is calling the bill a “payoff” to “special interests” and attacking every Democrat who is fighting for us.
But I’m not a special interest. I’m a teacher.
Can you join me in telling House Democrats that they have our support as they fight for our jobs?
Speaker Nancy Pelosi — and the entire Democratic Caucus — have decided to rush back to Washington to make sure that hundreds of thousands of workers like me will get to keep our jobs. In addition, the bill will actually create even more job growth by closing tax loopholes for companies that ship American jobs overseas.
But the Republicans are going to do everything they can to prevent this aid.
Please stand with me, in support of Democratic leaders who are standing up for folks like me:
Wow! For not being a special interest, Wendy sure does have the special interest pitter patter down pat, including a nice little hyper-link to the DNC’s Organizing for America.
Given this, let’s assume for a minute that Wendy had some help writing her letter to our anonymous friend. Since Wendy claims to be a teacher in Philadelphia, she’s probably a member of the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA), which is part of the National Education Association (NEA). It’s also probably safe to assume that either the PSEA or, more likely, the NEA, drafted the “letter” in which Wendy claimed she isn’t a special interest before attaching her name to the letter.
So, for argument’s sake, let take a look at just how much the we’re-not-a-special-interest group NEA rakes in, shall we?
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in 2009, the National Education Association raked in a whopping $355,334,165 in “dues and agency fees” from (mostly) teachers around the country. With moneys coming from other receipts and interest payments, the NEA’s total take in 2009 was $377,365,590.
With all that money coming in, you’d think the NEA was sitting pretty, right?
Well, like many unions, the NEA spent just a tad more than it brought in. In fact, it spent $388,289,409—close to $11 million more than it raked in.
So, where did all the money go? Here’s where the NEA says it went:
|50. Representational Activities||15||$49,260,204|
|51. Political Activities and Lobbying||16||$50,408,080|
|52. Contributions, Gifts, and Grants||17||$89,164,816|
|53. General Overhead||18||$49,657,808|
|54. Union Administration||19||$72,405,184|
|56. Per Capita Tax||$3,887,607|
|57. Strike Benefits||$26,089|
|58. Fees, Fines, Assessments, etc.||$0|
|59. Supplies for Resale||$5,823|
|60. Purchase of Investments and Fixed Assets||4||$9,703,226|
|61. Loans Made||2||$6,672,337|
|62. Repayment of Loans Obtained||9||$0|
|63. To Affiliates of Funds Collected on Their Behalf||$27,492|
|64. On Behalf of Individual Members||$10,812|
|65. Direct Taxes||$8,087,472|
|67. Withholding Taxes and Payroll Deductions|
|67a. Total Withheld||$28,843,125|
|67b. Less Total Disbursed||$28,214,565|
|67c. Total Withheld But Not Disbursed||$628,560|
|68. TOTAL DISBURSEMENTS||$388,289,409|
With more money going out than coming in, it’s fairly easy to see why the NEA is worried about losing members. Easy, that is, until you start looking at how the NEA spent its members’ money.
Actually, when the union spent $50 million on “political activities and lobbying,” as compared to only $49 million on representational activities, it is actually harder to see how the NEA isn’t a special interest.
Further, when the NEA reportedly celebrates the anniversary of Mao Zedong’s communist takeover of China, the question must be asked, if Wendy isn’t a special interest, then what is she?
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776
For more news and views on today’s unions, go to LaborUnionReport.com.