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January 2013 Policy Study, Number 13-1


School Choice: Not if the Unions Have Any Say





AFSCME contributed almost $750,000 between 2008 and 2012 to either the Iowa Democrat Party or Democrat County Committees.[32] Another $550,000 was donated to State Representative or State Senate Campaigns, all except for $1,000 to Democrats.[33] The money they spent, when you review all contributions back to 2003, was almost $2 million.


Again, this was money collected from their workers, who are originally paid by taxpayer dollars, being used to buy influence with the very same Legislators who are responsible for collecting the money to pay them. Round and round the money goes.


There are other examples. Despite the obvious and publicly disclosed financial ties between the anti-school-choice options teachers’ and government workers’ unions and elected officials, many people treat these officials as neutral, objective commentators on the validity and effectiveness of school choice.


At the very least, responsible voters should be aware of these financial ties when considering the Legislative actions. They are not unbiased decision makers.


If there were not significant concerns, nationally, about how campaign contributions and campaign spending might influence elected officeholders, requirements like those of the Iowa Campaign and Ethics Disclosure Board would not have been necessary. This data allows voters to see who might be influencing policy decisions. Responsible citizens and journalists should use this knowledge in evaluating the credibility of school choice opponents.




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