Few any longer deny that unions, no matter what union is under consideration, have any desire to consult their own membership on what causes, political candidates or Parties their dues money is spent upon. Several states are beginning, at long last, to address the unamerican, forced nature of such spending of dues against the member’s wishes by the organization to which they belong — or are forced to belong just to hold their job. But still this practice goes on despite the light shined upon the unconscionable practice employed by every union in the country. Apparently, teachers in Washington state have about had it with this practice, too, and their support of their own union organization is wearing thin.

The Evergreen Freedom Foundation* has released the results of their latest poll of teachers from the great Pacific state, and they aren’t a happy lot.

Ten-year Trend: Democrat teachers want political independence from union

Washington’s teachers, Democrat and Republican alike, increasingly agree that they should not be forced to pay for the Washington Education Association’s politics. In a poll commissioned by EFF, teachers were asked if they agreed or disagreed that, “Teachers should not be forced to pay for someone else’s politics, including the WEA’s.”

73% agreed compared to 62% who agreed in a poll ten years ago when the same question was asked. Support for the statement increased sharply among both Republicans and Democrats.

Republicans : (1997) 81% (2007)92%

Independents : (1997) 67% (2007)66%

Democrats : (1997) 52% (2007)66%

Now think about WEA’s decade-long campaign to convince teachers that, when it comes to politics, it knows best. WEA’s message has not resonated with teachers, even those who side with it ideologically. Maybe for teachers, the First Amendment cannot be “untaught.”

And who could blame these beleaguered teachers in the state of Washington? As The Wall Street Journal said not too long ago:

If we told you that an organization gave away more than $65 million last year to Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Amnesty International, AIDS Walk Washington and dozens of other such advocacy groups, you’d probably assume we were describing a liberal philanthropy. In fact, those expenditures have all turned up on the financial disclosure report of the National Education Association, the country’s largest teachers union.

Perhaps soon we can see a day when dues are not used for such political advocacy when that usage runs contrary to a member’s desires.

*About the EFF

Founded in 1991 with a base of 341 supporters, the Evergreen Freedom Foundation (EFF) is a private, non-profit, public policy research organization in Washington state. Our funding comes from more than 3,300 individual members and various foundational grants. We do not accept public funds.

Our mission is to advance individual liberty, free enterprise, and limited and accountable government.

Our primary research areas are budget and taxes, education, health care, welfare, and citizenship and governance. Within those areas we publish studies, conduct seminars, and work to provide information for legislators, journalists and the general public.

It is our core belief that a freedom loving people must understand the principles from which freedom is derived. EFF’s objective, therefore, is to disseminate those key ideals and motivate the citizenry to act upon them.

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