Others at RedState have written before about the problems caused for advancing conservative policy by the union-funded Republican Main Street Partnership and their members. It just so happens I’ve stumbled upon another example, concerning education reform, Republican House members and the NEA.
As a reminder, the NEA is one of the big national teachers union organizations. It is, in fact, the biggest labor union in America. It’s allegedly had problems with leadership engaging in embezzlement, dabbling in child pornography, and encouraging teachers to politick in the classroom for Barack Obama and against [mc_name name=’Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000303′ ].
Currently, the NEA is on the warpath against education reform legislation being pushed by [mc_name name=’Rep. John Kline (R-MN)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’K000363′ ] in the House. While some conservatives also have issues with the legislation, suffice to say that their problem with it isn’t that it ensures conditions in which parents would be able to determine how their kid’s school is performing and create conditions for bad teachers to be denied automatic pay hikes, or for them to be fired, or any other number of measures that reasonable people would agree are appropriate to get crappy teachers out of the classroom. Suffice also to say that these same conservative organizations’ problem with the legislation isn’t that they take money from teachers’ unions and they are, shall we say, hyper-donor-responsive.
But that is exactly what Reps. [mc_name name=’Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’D000619′ ], Bob Dold, [mc_name name=’Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’G000564′ ], David Joyce, [mc_name name=’Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’L000567′ ], [mc_name name=’Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’L000554′ ], [mc_name name=’Rep. David McKinley (R-WV)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’M001180′ ], [mc_name name=’Rep. Pat Meehan (R-PA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’M001181′ ], [mc_name name=’Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’R000578′ ], Aaron Shock, [mc_name name=’Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’S001148′ ], and David Valdao appear to be. All of them are members of the union-funded Republican Main Street Partnership. They have all taken money from the NEA. They all have abysmal Heritage Action and Club for Growth scores (bar Dold, for whom ratings aren’t fully available given when he was elected). And they have all taken stances on key education legislation right in line with the NEA.
Davis, Joyce, Lance, McKinley, Meehan, Schock, Simpson and Valadao are all co-sponsors of Gibson’s NEA-butt-licking bill that says that a once-a-year test to determine whether a given teacher’s students are learning to the relevant state’s standards in English and Math only– and which, incidentally, would be key to allowing parents to see how their kids are doing in school and helping to identify and root out bad teachers– is akin to the Spanish Inquisition.
Meanwhile, Gibson, Joyce, LoBiondo, Reichert and Dold have opposed Rep. Kline’s bill, which just so happens to promote charter schools. You’ll be shocked to know that the NEA hates school choice and charters.
Reasonable people can disagree about what federal education legislation should look like, or even whether it should exist. But Republicans should not be taking money from teachers unions, or doing their bidding in Congress. And if they do, they had better stop pretending that contrary to all available evidence they are in any way “conservative.”