The Washington Education Association (WEA) evidently needs to do a better job of educating its members about its importance, as it appears only 39% of its members contribute the recommended dues of $27 a year, or $2.25 per month, to its political action committee. Even at that diminished rate, however, the WEA would generate $864,000 in voluntary donations.
In order to make up for the deficit between voluntary donations and the demands Democrat politicians and PACS put on the WEA for campaign dollars, the WEA supplements its PAC funds with “direct contributions from the required dues and fees making up the union general fund.” The WEA also uses general funds to pay staffing costs for election-related activity. In fact, according to the Freedom Foundation, “only about half of WEA’s PAC was funded from contributions from voluntary donors.”
That means, whether teachers like it or not, a very large chunk of unions dues (which are, comparatively, very high) go toward paying for the WEA’s political activity. Here’s how the WEA has been using union dues this year:
- The WEA has spent $120,000 on Democrat Michael Wilson and in attacking Republican Mark Harmsworth. Of course, as SHIFT has reported, Wilson is currently under investigation by the Everett School District for illegal campaign activities.
- The WEA has, so far, spent $31,000 to defeat Sen. Steve O’Ban and $12,600 on mailers attacking Sen. Andy Hill. The WEA’s attack is on O’Ban and Hill comes in conjunction with California billionaire Tom Steyer’s attempts to take out the Republican senators in an effort to hand the State Senate back to Democrats.
- The WEA has dumped $442,000 into Democrat partisan PACs including the Kennedy Fund which, as SHIFT recently reported, is one of the top contributors to the New Direction PAC. New Direction is behind the made-up organizations Sensible Leadership for Whatcom PAC going after Sen. Doug Ericksen, 28th District Citizens for Real Democracy hitting Sen. Steve O’Ban and the Eastside Integrity PAC chasing Sen. Andy Hill.