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0 comments | July 03, 2007 | 9:00 AM | posted by Ryan

The Philadelphia Bulletin published an op-ed by EFF's Labor Policy Center Director Mike Reitz yesterday, "The NEA Can't Force Political Spending."

The article starts:

"This week the National Education Association descends upon Philadelphia for its annual convention. With 9,000 delegates attending, the nation's largest union will debate issues, elect officers and set policy for the year ahead. They might even talk about education.

"But don't expect the union to discuss the dirty little secret to its survival."

Mike then discusses the union's use of dues on politics mentioning that while only 7 percent of NEA members will contribute to the union's Political Action Committee (PAC), the NEA will spend hundreds of millions of dollars on the campaign, much of this in in-kind and get-out-the-vote expenditures targeted at Democratic leaning voters.

He concludes by calling on the NEA and the presidential candidates courting the union's favor this week to respect the individual choices of teachers and accept only voluntary contributions:

"It's time for the National Education Association to give members a choice about its political spending. And the Democratic presidential contenders who are courting the union's endorsement should pledge to accept only voluntary contributions from the union."

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