NEA's Recent Political Giving Flatters Colorado with a Badge of Honor

Every year the Education Intelligence Agency’s Mike Antonucci undertakes the daunting work of going through the National Education Association’s federal financial disclosure report (hosted online by the U.S. Department of Labor).

In his latest exclusive analysis, Antonucci found the NEA’s contributions to advocacy groups and charities reached $26 million in 2008-09 — nearly double from the previous year’s total. To almost no one’s surprise, the NEA’s disclosed giving includes plenty of money for liberal causes and some education-related initiatives. But the biggest chunks of money went to politically active committees to fight state-level issues.

Out of the $26 million, the NEA sent more than $5 million right into our Colorado backyard — including the single largest recipient on the list:

  1. Protect Colorado’s Future ($3.6 million)
  2. Coloradans for Middle Class Relief ($1.3 million)
  3. A Smarter Colorado ($87,000)
  4. Bell Policy Center ($40,000)

The first two on the list were committees organized to defeat a series of three reform initiatives on the 2008 state ballot, including a Right-to-Work amendment (which ironically, Colorado teachers already have) and an Ethical Standards amendment backed by my friends at the Independence Institute.

Number three is a committee that worked for an initiative to raise taxes on oil and gas, while the last one is a local liberal think tank. No doubt Colorado also was the recipient of a healthy share of $261,800 given to Project New West.

There’s a lot of ways I could react to all the recent attention NEA has given to my state. While I’m tempted to turn red with embarrassment, I choose instead to be flattered and wear it as a badge of honor (and maybe use it to go play Cops and Robbers, or something fun like that).