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Hot for teacher's money

Massachusetts election laws are governed by a rather complicated set of laws. One of those is that organizations are limited to how much they can give a candidate, but they aren't constrained on how much they can spend on a race on their own, without the blessing of a candidate. Last year these "independent expenditures" were made by a handful of private citizens, and one advocacy group. The Massachusetts Teachers Association pumped over a third of a million dollars into Bay State campaigns last year, all out of teachers' union dues.

It wasn't just spread around evenly, either. In one state Senate race, the union spent $47,000 in support of one Democrat -- roughly 2/3 of the Republican challenger's total expenditures. With numbers like those, it's no wonder the Democrat won -- and I'm quite certain that Senator Edward Augustus, Jr. is reminded of that fact on a regular basis.

I don't think there should be further laws restricting campaign financing per se, but I see a major need for a revamping of how unions are allowed to spend their members' money. And I think that other organizations need to look at this tactic -- it's wrong for only one group to have access to this.


Comments (6)

Disgraceful. I think unions... (Below threshold)

Disgraceful. I think unions are one of the biggest obstacles to education reform in this country.

Chris
http://amateureconblog.blogspot.com/

In Pennsylvania, only money... (Below threshold)
goddessoftheclassroom:

In Pennsylvania, only money given specifically to the PAC can be spent on compaigns and not a penny of actually dues. I belong to the Association for its liability coverage, but I've never dontated to the PAC.

The Association is the recognized bargaining unit, and I do respect the benefits I get, but dues money has no place in politics.

The Unions are doing terrib... (Below threshold)
Josh Davenport:

The Unions are doing terrible damage.

Private unions should be able to direct dues to whatever they see fit, but public unions have no competition, and need to reigned in.

You can enact whatever regu... (Below threshold)

You can enact whatever regulations you want, but as long congressmen and senators have the power to bestow money and power on people, creative individuals and groups will find a way to bribe them within the law.

There's only one solution...
http://steelcitycowboy.harkyman.com/2005/12/only-real-solution-to-campaign-finance.html

Sickening really. These te... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Sickening really. These teacher unions could care less about what their efforts do to the education of the children. They simply use the children as political pawns to gain more money and the cry about the need for more teachers. They're pathetic. Education unions should be free from politics. Nothing good can arise from these unions.

Care about what nefarious d... (Below threshold)

Care about what nefarious deeds the teachers' unions are up to? Visit the Education Intelligence Agency at http://www.eiaonline.com




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