We’re now nearing two months since the undeniably terri-bad local school board elections of 2015. I’m sure all of you remember The Night the Lights Went Dark, when very nearly every conservative school board member or candidate fell victim to the might of the education establishment and the teachers union. Now, as the dust begins to settle and the masks start to fall off, it is becoming increasingly clear that the National Education Association itself flexed its muscle to squash Colorado’s local reform efforts before they could fully take root.
In Thompson School District, a massive progressive money-laundering outfit called America Votes dumped amounts of dough into making sure a conservative board majority that had the audacity to challenge its union contract would not be reelected. America Votes’ partners include both national teachers unions, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Planned Parenthood, and whole host of other leftist organizations. It’s the same group that underwrote the union-led recall effort against Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin to the tune of a million bucks. It’s about as left as left gets, and it also happens to have received $355,000 in 2014-15 from the National Education Association.
One wonders if that money might explain America Votes’ involvement in little Thompson School District, but one will never find out thanks to the fact that one can’t track where the money dispensed by the America Votes ATM actually originated. Given this fact, one might complain about “dark money,” if one were so inclined. Or one might just use one’s common sense to arrive at a logical conclusion about where the Thompson money came from.
Sadly, we’ll never be able to prove where the Thompson money originated. But in Jefferson County, we now know exactly who funded Jeffco United, the supposedly “parent-led” front group that spearheaded the recent Jeffco school board recall effort. In an absolutely shocking twist that I’m sure no one saw coming, we’ve learned that the National Education Association was primarily responsible for filling the pro-recall organization’s roughly $250,000 war chest.
NEA reported a $150,000 contribution to Jeffco United—60 percent of the pro-recall organization’s money—on its recently filed federal LM-2 report. For those who don’t know, LM-2’s are federally required annual disclosure forms for large labor organizations. (You can find and surf these incredibly dense documents here if you are so inclined.)
Jeffco United didn’t need to disclose its donors as a nonprofit (though that may soon change given the legal battle mentioned above), but NEA did have to disclose its own contribution to the organization. Chances are both groups simply banked on the fact that few people even know that LM-2 reports exist, and that even fewer have the patience to look at them. Clearly, that was a mistake. The cat is now (officially) out of the bag, and the final piece of the recall organizers’ mask is melting away.
We already know that the Jeffco recall effort was driven almost entirely by lies, and that the union began plotting the conservative board members’ demise before they ever even took their first vote. Now we know that the organization at the center of the recall organization was primarily and directly funded by the National Education Association itself. If we couldn’t already, I think we can now officially say the “community-driven effort” and “just moms” narratives that recall supporters sold to Jeffco voters were complete and utter fabrications of the nastiest kind. Really, truly despicable stuff, especially for folks pushing a platform based primarily on transparency. Seriously. Ick.
But hey, I guess you get what you pay for when it comes to tricking voters. Let’s make sure we learn our lessons well, and hope that voters do the same.