Word that the Supreme Court will hear Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association in October was welcome news to this writer. For years I have been writing op-eds and letters to editors about the use of union dues to fund political candidates and issues. It amounts to political extortion.
In a piece I wrote four years ago, “Teachers Unite,” I included the following quote from a farewell speech given by National Education Association (NEA) retiring general counsel Bob Chanin. In view of the renewed effort by California teachers, it needs to be reprinted here.
Posing the question as to why the NEA has been such an effective organization, Chanin said,
“It is not because of creative ideas, it is not because of the merit of our position, it is not because we care about children, it is not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child. The NEA and its affiliates are effective because we have power and we have power because there are more than 3.2 million people who are willing to pay us hundreds of millions of dollars in dues each year because they believe we are the union that can most effectively represent them, the union that can protect their rights and advance their interests as education employees.”