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Media Release 10-27-10 NEA Anti-Buck

Media Release 10-27-10 NEA Anti-Buck

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The Independence Institute is calling out the nation’s largest teachers union for spending large sums of teacher money on negative political advertising in Colorado.
The Independence Institute is calling out the nation’s largest teachers union for spending large sums of teacher money on negative political advertising in Colorado.

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Published by: Education Policy Center on Oct 27, 2010
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01/19/2011

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 27, 2010
Contact: Ben DeGrow, Policy Analyst303-279-6536, ben@i2i.org
NEA Spends Teacher Dues on NegativePolitical Ads
$1.9 Million from Members Used against Colorado U.S.Senate Candidate
GOLDEN, Colo.—The Independence Institute is calling out the nation’s largestteachers union for spending large sums of teacher money on negative politicaladvertising in Colorado. The National Education Association (NEA) has reported spending nearly $1.9million in independent expenditures to purchase ads to attack U.S. Senatecandidate Ken Buck. The money is drawn from general dues funds collected fromeducation employee members in Colorado and nationwide. The NEA’s new $547,000 radio ad purchase follows a $1.35 million anti-Bucktelevision campaign rated by the
Denver Post 
as “leans deceptive.”“Many teachers don’t like their money used this way,” said IndependenceInstitute education policy analyst Ben DeGrow. “Besides leaving the union, therereally isn’t anything they can do about it.”All members who join an NEA-affiliated local or state union are obligated tosupport the NEA with dues contributions. While the NEA contribution is entirely non-refundable, a designated political share of automatic contributions to the ColoradoEducation Association ($39) and to many local union offices (up to $24) areavailable for refund if requested each year before a deadline.In addition to the anti-Buck ads, NEA’s Colorado state and local affiliates havereported spending $1.24 million of member funds on state-level elections. Morethan 99 percent of the unions’ political giving has supported Democratic candidates,parties or 527 committees. This year the Colorado Education Association has sent more than $250,000 tothe 527 group “Accountability for Colorado,” heavily criticized by
Denver Post 
columnist Vincent Carroll for producing “very likely the sleaziest piece of paidpolitical advertising this year in Colorado.”“The least the union could do is ask first before taking teachers’ money tospend on politics, especially this kind of dishonest and nasty advertising,” DeGrowsaid. The Independence Institute is a non-partisan, non-profit public policyresearch organization based in Golden, Colo. More information on Colorado teacher

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