Teachers Union Tries to Buy Alabama GOP

posted at 10:41 am on June 3, 2014 by Mike Antonucci

Two articles of faith about teachers’ unions are being put to the test in Alabama’s primaries tomorrow. The first is that Alabama is one of those “weak union” states. The other is that teachers’ unions give all their political money to Democrats.

The Alabama Education Association (AEA) is attempting to put both of those beliefs to rest simultaneously as it makes an unprecedented effort to dismantle the Republican supermajority in the state legislature. Its unique method of accomplishing this is to throw huge amounts of money at Republicans.

Our story begins with National Research Services, a previously unknown firm with a Tennessee post office box that incorporated in Delaware on a Friday and received hundreds of thousands of dollars of AEA PAC money the next Monday.

National Research Services then provided campaign advertising to a slew of friendly Republican incumbents and the primary challengers to the unfriendly Republican incumbents. On May 9, the union’s PAC had already spent more than $2.1 million on the primaries, far exceeding any other group.

AEA is so set on ousting the sitting GOP legislators, it is spending money on mailers accusing the incumbent Republicans of voting to “bring Obamacare to Alabama.”

The weekly campaign disclosure reports continue to show almost all of AEA’s PAC contributions going to Republican candidates.

State representative Todd Greeson is a Republican running for an open senate seat. He has received $200,000 from AEA, but sought to highlight his independence.

“Outside of probably the NRA, that’s probably the only group I’ve voted 100 percent with,” he said. “And pro-life – I’m about 100 percent (voting) on pro-life. That’s about it. That’s the only areas I’ve voted with a special interest group. But the NRA doesn’t really contribute money in a legislative race.”

AEA is either getting very broadminded in supporting gun-toting, abortion-hating, Obamacare-damning Republicans for office, or it is engaging in the worst kind of cynical political power play – the kind of thing teachers’ unions always claim to be above.

But there’s plenty of cynicism to go around. The Republicans and pundits who have complained for years about the percentages of teacher union money going to Democrats can now see what the reverse looks like. Do they feel better or worse?


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It’s Alabama, I’m mildly surprised they even have teachers.

I KEED I KEED!

Bishop on June 3, 2014 at 10:45 AM

It’s Alabama, I’m mildly surprised they even have teachers.

I KEED I KEED!

Bishop on June 3, 2014 at 10:45 AM

H8R.

AEA is either getting very broadminded in supporting gun-toting, abortion-hating, Obamacare-damning Republicans for office, or it is engaging in the worst kind of cynical political power play – the kind of thing teachers’ unions always claim to be above.

Okay, does anybody even believe that the teachers’ unions are above cynical political power plays?

Happy Nomad on June 3, 2014 at 10:50 AM

I’ll take “Power Play” for $2000 $200,000, Mike.

Steve Eggleston on June 3, 2014 at 10:53 AM

HAHAHAHA

I didn’t see the sign until now.

OMG

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA

Bishop on June 3, 2014 at 10:55 AM

Okay, does anybody even believe that the teachers’ unions are above cynical political power plays?

Happy Nomad on June 3, 2014 at 10:50 AM

No, and the recent news that New Orleans closed its last remaining public school has probably driven them to desperation.

State senator Dan Patrick, Texas’ next Lt. Gov., ran on getting school choice in Texas.

The writing is on the wall, at least in the south.

Occams Stubble on June 3, 2014 at 10:56 AM

It’s Alabama, I’m mildly surprised they even have teachers.

I KEED I KEED!

Bishop on June 3, 2014 at 10:45 AM

Only ones that don’t know the difference between “our” and “are”.

leftamark on June 3, 2014 at 10:58 AM

HAHAHAHA

I didn’t see the sign until now.

OMG

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA

Bishop on June 3, 2014 at 10:55 AM

“Unions hour my cup of tea?”
“Unions borrow my cup of tea?”
“Unions abhor my cup of tea?”

I’m not sure what she meant…

SailorMark on June 3, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Let me tell you the AEA in this state is completely lost without power. And they had it for a long time. A GREAT website that covers politics in this state and was honored as the blog of the year in Alabama at CPAC is Yellowhammer News. This article documents the lengths the AEA is going to influence our primary today:

DEHIII on June 3, 2014 at 11:02 AM

Power play doesn’t describe it. The Alabama Department of Education is the largest employer in the state. My local state representative beat the democrat incumbent in 2010. The dem switched parties and is now running as a republican, and it turns out he is the beneficiary of the attack ad described above.

cornbred on June 3, 2014 at 11:02 AM

Well the link didn’t work so just copy and paste: http://yellowhammernews.com/statepolitics/democrats-distributing-sample-ballots-alabama-republican-primary/

DEHIII on June 3, 2014 at 11:02 AM

But there’s plenty of cynicism to go around. The Republicans and pundits who have complained for years about the percentages of teacher union money going to Democrats can now see what the reverse looks like. Do they feel better or worse?

This is not really much of a surprise to see. As we’ve seen with amnesty, the Republican party is for sale.

Doomberg on June 3, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Minor nit, Mike.

The Alabama Primary elections are today, not tomorrow.

Conservative Mischief on June 3, 2014 at 11:21 AM

Seeing how the people are dressed in the photo, and the “W” on the cup, I would guess that this is a picture from the unions picketing against Scott Walker in Wisconsin.

mydh12 on June 3, 2014 at 11:21 AM

Any Republican accepting money from any teachers’ union should be treated as Democrat for all electoral purposes, and I hope that’s what Okies will do. Given that they have a Republican supermajority, I’d say the best thing for a Republican pol to do with AEA-supplied dough is to publicly donate it to a tornado relief charity fund.

Rix on June 3, 2014 at 11:22 AM

The parasite is searching for a new host. With a few notable exceptions the Democrats got voted into oblivion in Alabama during the last two election cycles. In most districts here a Democrat couldn’t get elected as dogcatcher.

cornbred on June 3, 2014 at 11:25 AM

I wonder how many “true conservatives” will get swayed by the cash.

p0s3r on June 3, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Minor nit, Mike.

The Alabama Primary elections are today, not tomorrow.

Conservative Mischief on June 3, 2014 at 11:21 AM

Republicans today. Dems hold their primary tomorrow. Pass it on.

Happy Nomad on June 3, 2014 at 11:31 AM

I wonder how many “true conservatives” will get swayed by the cash.

p0s3r on June 3, 2014 at 11:30 AM

I don’t know what a true conservative looks like in Alabama. Only place I’ve lived where I got accused of being too liberal.

Happy Nomad on June 3, 2014 at 11:32 AM

What disturbs me is that they HAVE huge amounts of money. I don’t know how many Repubs they can buy but they can make it look like they are buying them.

crankyoldlady on June 3, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Alabama is a red state, these teachers’ unions will be swept out by a crimson tide.

Steve Z on June 3, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Happy Nomad on June 3, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Heehee.

SailorMark on June 3, 2014 at 11:34 AM

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA

Bishop on June 3, 2014 at 10:55 AM

.
What our you laughing at?

ExpressoBold on June 3, 2014 at 11:34 AM

We need an asteroid. A big one.

Tsar of Earth on June 3, 2014 at 11:35 AM

The money is not supporting republicans. It is opposing OTHER republicans. That is a small but important difference.

Wino on June 3, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Chaos!

Ward Cleaver on June 3, 2014 at 11:39 AM

If the Alabama Republicans were really smart, they should call a press conference, denounce the attempt as a bribe, and return the cash forthwith. And make this a national issue.

tjmorrill on June 3, 2014 at 11:44 AM

Democrat has a hard time getting elected in AL unless they pretend to be a republican getting votes from liberals and fooled conservatives.

That’s how RINOs always do it.

ROCnPhilly on June 3, 2014 at 11:53 AM

“Unions ‘our’ my cup of tea”?

Sounds like at least one teacher flunked her grammar lessons. And you can’t blame that sign on grammar check programs.

hachiban on June 3, 2014 at 12:02 PM

It’s Alabama, I’m mildly surprised they even have teachers.

I KEED I KEED!

Bishop on June 3, 2014 at 10:45 AM

Alabama!

JetBoy on June 3, 2014 at 12:02 PM

What disturbs me is that they HAVE huge amounts of money. I don’t know how many Repubs they can buy but they can make it look like they are buying them.
crankyoldlady on June 3, 2014 at 11:33 AM

My sister was a teacher here–straight out of school at the time they would sign you up with the AEA, with dues deducted from your paycheck. The Republicans stopped that nonsense–the AEA has been suffering since. This is an attempt by the NEA to save a dying sub union. My sister quit paying dues by the way as soon as she realized she could opt out…

Doc Holliday on June 3, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Well, they saw what worked for McKaskil with Todd Akin, so they’re trying it again.

jaydee_007 on June 3, 2014 at 12:57 PM

I live in Alabama and I love Alabama but make no mistake about it, most of the republicans here are warmed over democrats. Certainly they are social conservatives but fiscal conservatives? Not even close. Now they can change my mind about them if they ever deal with the land barons.

baldwintide on June 3, 2014 at 12:57 PM

It’s Alabama, I’m mildly surprised they even have teachers.

I KEED I KEED!

Bishop on June 3, 2014 at 10:45 AM

Odd, little-known factoid: on a per resident basis, the most highly-educated second tier city in the United States is Huntsville, Alabama.

M240H on June 3, 2014 at 12:58 PM

The Republicans and pundits who have complained for years about the percentages of teacher union money going to Democrats can now see what the reverse looks like. Do they feel better or worse?

…we would have to interview hookers…to find out!

KOOLAID2 on June 3, 2014 at 1:11 PM

… the most highly-educated second tier city in the United States is Huntsville, Alabama.

M240H on June 3, 2014 at 12:58 PM

.
Imports from another state or commonwealth allows that factoid to be true. Why? The Marshall Space Flight Center is located there.

ExpressoBold on June 3, 2014 at 1:15 PM

In South Carolina our primary is next Tuesday. Both Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott are running for reelection to the Senate, and will when.

SC.Charlie on June 3, 2014 at 1:18 PM

N.B. I submitted this piece yesterday afternoon, hence the reference to “tomorrow’s primary.” But it just got posted this morning, catching me in a time warp.

Mike Antonucci on June 3, 2014 at 1:37 PM

ExpressoBold on June 3, 2014 at 1:15 PM

Also Redstone Arsenal, Cumming research park & the NWS office.

Huntsville, although smaller than most cities, has more PhD’s per capita than any city in the US. Cummings is the second largest research park in the US. Huntsville has tens of thousand of engineers as well.

batterup on June 3, 2014 at 1:51 PM

batterup on June 3, 2014 at 1:51 PM

Not to mention Missile Command and hundreds of private aerospace, defense and biotech research firms.

EB really had his foot for lunch with his post but will likely remain oblivious to it.

viking01 on June 3, 2014 at 2:05 PM

N.B. I submitted this piece yesterday afternoon, hence the reference to “tomorrow’s primary.” But it just got posted this morning, catching me in a time warp.

No big deal, which is why I called it a “minor” nit.

I’m a writer myself, and kick myself regularly over my numerous “minor nits.”

Carry on.

And yes, I voted today. :)

Conservative Mischief on June 3, 2014 at 2:21 PM

No, and the recent news that New Orleans closed its last remaining public school has probably driven them to desperation.

State senator Dan Patrick, Texas’ next Lt. Gov., ran on getting school choice in Texas.

The writing is on the wall, at least in the south.

Occams Stubble on June 3, 2014 at 10:56 AM

A disintegrating society is a disintegrating society. Doesn’t matter if you privatize it or socialize it. There is no panacea for all this. Yeah, call me Eeyore…

Oprah’s Star Charter School in New Orleans Is Closing Down

It seems like only yesterday that the Oprah television network featured an exciting new charter school in New Orleans that promised to turn around the John McDonogh school. The new charter group was led by Steve Barr and his Future Is Now organization.

“One year after the Oprah television network featured New Orleans’ John McDonogh High School in “Blackboard Wars,” hoping to depict a successful charter school turnaround, the Recovery School District is dissolving the school. All staff members will lose their jobs.

“A fresh start. This school needs a fresh start,” Recovery School District Superintendent Patrick Dobard said of the school run by Future Is Now.

“Struggling charter schools have three years to prove themselves, and they can lose their authorization to operate after the fourth. However, the school known as John Mac is closing after only two years. The high school had the lowest performance score in the state in 2013, after alternative schools.

http://dianeravitch.net/2014/01/22/oprah-charter-school-star-in-new-orleans-is-closing-down/

————

(Reuters) – A Chicago charter school operator lied to holders of $37.5 million of municipal bonds about conflicts of interest and risked having to liquidate its schools, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Monday in charging the operator with defrauding investors.

————

Tony Bennett announced his resignation as Florida’s education commissioner on Thursday, plagued by a scandal that followed him from his previous position as head of education in Indiana, where he lost his re-election bid last November. Bennett’s resignation came three days after he was accused of changing the grade of an Indiana charter school founded by a Republican who had donated over $130,000 to his campaign.

————

Houston charter school misspent $5.3 million in federal funds, state report finds

————

Three more charter schools in Broward County could be forced to shut their doors this year, bringing the number of closures to 15 in the last 20 months.

It is an alarming failure rate that is prompting officials to call for more stringent rules from the state.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 3, 2014 at 2:32 PM

Ah, wait till the GOP takes the senate, then the floodgates will open.

Viator on June 3, 2014 at 2:35 PM

AEA is so set on ousting the sitting GOP legislators, it is spending money on mailers accusing the incumbent Republicans of voting to “bring Obamacare to Alabama.”

From the link:

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — A number of conservative Republicans in the Alabama Legislature are being attacked as too soft on Obamacare.
Indeed, one mailer sent to voters suggests a number of Republicans voted “to bring Obamacare to Alabama.” Republicans are livid, calling the mailer “misleading” and “absolutely false.”
The plot thickens when the source of the mailers is discovered: The Alabama Education Association. The mailers contain a website address to “learn more.” That website is AlabamaDeservesBetter.com, which is a site run by the Alabama Voice of Teachers for Education, the political arm of AEA.

Please, Please, Please.. Take a look at what these SOB’s do and remember it when someone tells you to stay home on election day or even vote for the democrats.

V7_Sport on June 3, 2014 at 2:56 PM

The Alabama AEA apparently already have bought a Dimocrat judge… the sleazy Gene Reese.

Gavel-slammer Reese is pawn to blocking the state’s recently passed education accountability law. In some ways similar to attempts to impede efforts to help scholars escape bad publik skools in Louisiana.

Reese is a mere circuit-court judge so Gov. Bentley may just tell the robed punk to pound sand and ignore him… or maybe the legislature can impeach and defrock (and tar and feather) the judicial clown.

viking01 on June 3, 2014 at 2:57 PM

I live in the Decatur/Huntsville area and I have seen this AEA money in action. My incumbent representative (and personal friend)Ed Henry (9th District)is a staunch conservative and has been bombarded by You Tube ads claiming he voted for Obamacare. I was shocked to see one of these ads pop-up myself while on You Tube. These ads are directly traced to the AEA and are completely false.

KickandSwimMom on June 3, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Considering the vile things the teachers unions did to WI’s Scott Walker they can be expected to stop at absolutely nothing, up to and including rape and murder and incest and bestiality, all in public and televised, the very things they teach and prmote with their pitiful fellow-deluded and bigoted students who do whatever teach tells them to do.

russedav on June 3, 2014 at 6:05 PM

“Unions hour my cup of tea?”
“Unions borrow my cup of tea?”
“Unions abhor my cup of tea?”

I’m not sure what she meant…

SailorMark on June 3, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Oh, come on. You know very well what she meant:

“I’m a union patsy idiot!”

climbnjump on June 3, 2014 at 9:20 PM

But there’s plenty of cynicism to go around. The Republicans and pundits who have complained for years about the percentages of teacher union money going to Democrats can now see what the reverse looks like. Do they feel better or worse?

Actually, all the money goes to: radio stations, tv stations, internet “stations”, advertising firms, printing firms, strategists, consultants, pollsters, analysts, etc etc etc.

They are just stimulating the economy.

AesopFan on June 3, 2014 at 10:47 PM