Tags: | teachers | union | spend | midterms

Teachers Union to Spend Record Amount to Help Democrats

By    |   Monday, 29 Sep 2014 11:12 PM

The American Federation of Teachers is on track to spend $20 million on midterm elections this year – more than ever before – to target conservative governors and to help Democrats in Senate races that may determine control of the upper chamber.

The Senate races include those of Democrats Mark Begich bid in Alaska, Gary Peters in Michigan, and Al Franken's tighter-than-expected contest in Minnesota, BuzzFeed reports.

"Basically, Washington will be immobilized if Democrats don't keep control of the Senate," union President Randi Weingarten said Monday, BuzzFeed reports.

The union is partnering with the Senate Majority PAC, which focuses on keeping Democratic control of the Senate, and is also working to retain or win governorships for Democrats, Weingarten said.

For example, the union is keying in on Democratic incumbents' gubernatorial races in Connecticut and Illinois – and is going after GOP governors in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida.

Republican Govs. Rick Scott of Florida, Rick Snyder of Michigan, Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania and Scott Walker of Wisconsin were elected in 2010, during a GOP sweep, and Weingarten said 2014 is the "second act."

"If Tom Corbett had gone to the electorate and said, 'I am going to cut $1 billion out of public education,' do you think he would have been elected as governor? " Weingarten asked, the Huffington Post reports.

"If Rick Scott had said, 'I'm going to go in and just cut education,' do you think he would have been elected governor?

"What we're doing is basically not letting these guys run from their records."

She said the union is backing candidates not only in close races, but in states where the AFT has a strong membership base.

"This election cycle is about trying to make sure that political leadership does what they should do to create educational and economic opportunity and to promote democracy," she said.

An AFT official said the union is on track to spend more than $20 million in 2014 to "try to dial back some of the damage done by the cuts to public education and public services and elect people who will fight for kids, families and communities."

In 2008, the AFT spent more than $8.2 million, according to data from OpenSecrets.org, Buzz Feed reports; it spent more than $2.5 million in 2012, and $2.1 million in 2010.

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The American Federation of Teachers is on track to spend $20 million on midterm elections this year – more than ever before – to target conservative governors and to help Democrats in Senate races that may determine control of the upper chamber.
teachers, union, spend, midterms
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2014-12-29
Monday, 29 Sep 2014 11:12 PM
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