Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Last week, I commented
on an article about the abuses of the California Teachers Association (CTA).
That article, which appeared in the Orange County Register, referenced
a much more detailed article in City Journal by Troy Sendik. At the
time, that article had not yet been published to the Internet, but I noticed this
morning that it is now available. Here are a couple of samples.
First, we see part of how the CTA defeated a ballot initiative it first spent exorbitant amounts of dues money to block (although it still succeeded in delaying it for two years):
In 1993, Prop. 174 finally came to a statewide vote. The union had persuaded March Fong Eu, the CTA-endorsed secretary of state, to alter the proposition's heading on the ballot from PARENTAL CHOICE to EDUCATION VOUCHERS--a change in wording that cost Prop. 174 ten points in the polls, according to Myron Lieberman in his book The Teacher Unions. The initiative, which had originally enjoyed 2-1 support among California voters, managed to garner only a little over 30 percent of the vote. Prop. 174's backers had been outspent by a factor of eight, with the CTA alone dropping $12.5 million on the opposition campaign.Second, we see details about the role of the CTA as an ATM for left-wing political causes:
Cannily, the CTA also funds a wide array of liberal causes unrelated to education, with the goal of spreading around enough cash to prevent dissent from the Left. Among these causes: implementing a single-payer health-care system in California, blocking photo-identification requirements for voters, and limiting restraints on the government's power of eminent domain. The CTA was the single biggest financial opponent of another Proposition 8, the controversial 2008 proposal to ban gay marriage, ponying up $1.3 million to fight an initiative that eventually won 52.2 percent of the vote. The union has also become the biggest donor to the California Democratic Party. From 2003 to 2012, the CTA spent nearly $102 million on political contributions; 0.08 percent of that money went to Republicans.There are aspects of the analysis I disagree with, especially the premise that public education can be "saved", but this does not detract from the great value of the article as a catalog of abuses by the union, all made possible or exacerbated by poor government policy.