In another case of a union member supporting a political campaign as a condition of her membership, a delegate to the national convention of the National Education Association, the largest U.S. teachers union, said February in congressional testimony that the NEA required her to contribute money to Democratic candidates — and did so in her name on one occasion without her permission.
The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform published statements from three union members who objected to seeing their union dues diverted to support political candidates they did not support.
Claire Waites, an eighth grade science teacher in Baldwin County, Alabama, told the committee that during the union’s 2004 convention, the NEA instructed her to donate to a “Children’s Fund,” and directed her precisely how to contribute.
That fund, she later learned, contributed the funds toward the presidential campaign of Democratic Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry. (RELATED: Supreme Court rules 7-2 against SEIU on forced contributions)
“I felt a wave of illness come over me like none I had ever felt before,” Waites, a Republican, testified. “These who were supposed to be my people duped me into donating to a candidate I was voting against.”
Four years later, she learned during the 2008 NEA convention that Saaida Hunter, her county’s union president, had contributed again to the same fund “using the money Hunter had withheld from our travel money provided by the local.”
In a later conversation with Alabama state NEA president Peggy Mobley, she recalled in her testimony, she explained that “my Children’s Fund contribution was made without my permission and I wanted my money back.”
“She refused,” Waite recalled, “and told me they did not do that.”
Hunter, she said, later told her “that my contribution would go to the Obama campaign, another candidate I did not support, and that contributing in my name was probably illegal. … Needless to say, I never got my money back.”
Factor added in a subsequent interview that if President Obama is re-elected, “it will be because of the unions. Our first union-label president will owe them big-time. He’ll be paying them back, and it sure won’t be with more investigations and scrutiny. There will even be less.”