Skip to comments.CA: Teachers are biggest backers of budget measures
Posted on 04/12/2009 2:04:22 PM PDT by calcowgirl
The state's largest teachers union, which has been one of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's most visible foes over the years, is the largest single financial backer of the Republican governor's budget-reform package on the May 19 special election ballot.
Newly released campaign finance reports for the election show that backers of the six budget-related measures are raking in far more cash than the opposition, and the gap is widening.
"We've got a lot of work ahead to educate voters about the importance of six complicated ballot measures, but we're confident we'll have the resources to do that job," said Julie Soderlund, a spokeswoman for Budget Reform Now, which is backing all six ballot measures.
Much of the money is coming from the California Teachers Association. The group has put more than $5.3 million into the campaign, including a $2.2 million contribution Friday to the effort to pass Prop. 1B, which would guarantee $9.3 billion in new state funding to replace recent cuts to the education budget.
...More than $4.9 million has been raised for Prop. 1B, which has no organized opposition.
... The only direct contribution to Prop. 1C, which would allow California to modernize the state lottery and borrow $5 billion against future revenues to close next year's anticipated budget gap, is $250,000 from the GTech Corp., the Rhode Island company with the contract to provide the state with all the needed games and equipment for the lottery.
The only measures facing any official opposition are Props. 1D and 1E, which take money from a pair of voter-approved taxes and temporarily move the cash into the general fund.
Opponents of the measures, who combined forces this week, have raised a total of $175,000 for their campaign.
(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...
The California Teachers Union, Bought themselves a Governator ? Along with several other Representatives, probably.
Here is an NPR (yes!)story showing the union seriously out of touch with their members on prop 8.
As California’s legal and cultural conflict over same-sex marriage played out this fall, the state’s teachers union put up $1.25 million to advocate against the gay marriage ban.
But at the same time, individual public school teachers in the state were giving more money to enact the ban than to defeat it, according to an NPR analysis of Proposition 8 contribution data recently released by the California secretary of state.
Teachers, aides and counselors in California public school systems gave about $2 to support the marriage ban for every $1 they gave to oppose it. The educators gave some $450,000 in individual contributions to advocates supporting the ban and about $210,000 to those opposing it, according to the NPR analysis.
Proposition 8 passed on Nov. 4, overturning a California Supreme Court decision that allowed same-sex marriages in the nation’s most populous state. Gay-rights supporters quickly challenged the measure’s constitutionality. The state’s highest court will begin hearing arguments in the case next month.
Disclosure Comes Against A Bitter Backdrop
During and after a campaign that cost tens of millions of dollars and featured incendiary rhetoric on both sides, arguments over financial support for and against the ballot initiative have been intense.
Supporters of Proposition 8 sought to keep secret the names of those who gave less than $1,000, but they were rebuffed by a federal judge. The ProtectMarriage.com-Yes on 8 committee argued that previous disclosures had exposed donors to harassment, intimidation and death threats.
And responding to reports about an investigation of its expenditures, the Mormon church said this week its support consisted of in-kind donations of about $190,000.
On the other side of the debate, the California Teachers Association drew fire for its decision to help finance the opposition to Proposition 8 with $1.25 million of its members’ money.
Advocacy Outside Education
Critics panned the CTA for using the funds to weigh in on a controversial social issue with no direct connection to education or classroom teachers.
“It was frustrating,” says Fred Vanderhoof, a sixth-grade teacher who has taught at Nelson Elementary in Pinedale, Calif., for the past 20 years. “But I was not surprised, because they’ve had a liberal agenda for a couple of decades.”
Vanderhoof, who does not belong to the union, gave $650 to support the gay marriage ban. To him, it is unremarkable that teachers gave more money in favor of the ban than against it.
“I think that as public school teachers, we are with these young people every day and we see the problems that they have not understanding their sexual identity and their sexual roles, male and female.” Gay marriage, he says, “is one more thing happening that is not going to help them. I think we teachers see that.”
As for the union, spokeswoman Sandra Jackson says the group’s elected policymaking body of about 800 classroom teachers saw Proposition 8 as important enough to take a position, whether or not it bears directly on education.
“It’s thought to take away the marital rights of same-sex couples,” she says. “Our concern was the overall civil rights issue.”
Members More Conservative Than Leaders?
The union joined the court fight against Proposition 8 and filed a brief saying, “There can be no question that Proposition 8, if upheld would undermine the very structure and intent of our Constitution to preserve and protect individuals’ inalienable rights despite the vicissitudes of majority sentiment.”
Mike Antonucci, a teachers union watchdog and blogger, says union leaders tend to be more liberal than the rank-and-file they represent.
A few years ago, he produced a report about the nation’s largest teachers union, the National Education Association. He wrote that the group’s own surveys of its members’ opinions demonstrate “how an organization of 2.7 million members of widely divergent political and social views can end up championing a narrowly liberal worldview.”
Antonucci says, “As I understand it, there’s a very powerful gay and lesbian caucus” within CTA’s policymaking council.
Union spokeswoman Jackson rejects the argument that the union’s leaders lean further to the left than its typical members do.
“I think the CTA does represent the majority of its members,” she says. “I don’t believe that the overall membership is more conservative than the leadership. If so, I think we would hear about it.”
Jackson says the union heard from many more members who supported the group’s position than from those who opposed it.
Why do newspapers keep referring to Governor Shriver as a Republican??? he is a Fool and a Marxist.
When your union is taking positions and spending money on issues not directly related to your profession, your dues are too high.
They are capable of spending unlimited funds, and achieve the same poor results... So it is best to minimize the expense of achieving stupid graduates by voting against giving them more money from ANY source.
I'm almost tempted to go look at the comments but I can hear the shrill whines from here, LOL.
The teacher’s union are anything but Democratic in their constitution. The leaders don’t canvas their membership, and certainly don’t give much respect to dissenters. To add insult and injury, they reward their officers with high salaries and benefits. Their aims are mainly political rather than economic. They oppose such common sense remedies such as higher salaries for teachers who teach high demand subjects as math and science, because the union is more intent that students be indoctrinated with liberals views.
I agree with you totally. I will be voting NO on anything the teachers union supports. NEA = Socialism
Well, that means all those measures will get a big NO from me.
Me too. I think most people are opposed but the outcome will fall more on turnout. They put the most contentious issues on the ballot during these special election, hoping that they can slip by their socialist proposal du jour.
I’m happy these tea parties are happening in California. I think it is alerting a lot of people that might not have been paying attention otherwise. There was good turnout at one near me yesterday. Lots of folks honking horns in support.
You really wonder what could possibly be going thru Schwarzenegger’s mind. Doesn’t he realize that he’s going to get the credit for bankrupting the state of California?
In his mind, it’s “reform”... and he’s not done yet!
Austrian socialists think BIG!
Step two, management must notify union members that they have the right to withhold the donations which go for political purposes (bribes).
The initiatives can be called the "Anti-bribery" measures.
So that's how you say "change" in Austrian! He's been taking lessons from 0bama.
Both California Teachers Association (CTA) and California Federation of Teachers (CFT) advocate, support and endorse tax increases for the residents of California.
However, they are the first ones to threaten to boycott classes, hold a protest and/or whine and cry if they do not receive their own pay increases.
Raising taxes on the parents/guardians of their students is done because...It’s all for the children/sarc.
Where do I sign the initiative position.
This is all anyone needs to know about whether these measures will restore fiscal sanity.
It's official: Arnold is PW.
Where do we get the money to hire people?