With the 2016 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature now in full swing, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at the campaign finance records of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers (LFT) and Louisiana Association of Educators (LAE) to see where their donations have been going.
Below, I’ve assembled all campaign donations made by LFT and LAE from 1999 to 2015. Note that these records to do not include contributions made by union-affiliated PACs, local affiliates, or LFT and LAE’s parent organizations, the American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association. The list below also omits LFT and LAE’s contributions to party committees (although I’ll get to that later in the post).
I. Union Contributions: The Big Picture
Let’s start with the individual contributions made by LFT and LAE since 1999. Overall, 60% ($448,050) of the $750,118 in campaign contributions made by the state’s two teachers unions were made by LAE, while the other 40% ($302,068) came from LFT.
Not surprisingly, 80% of the total money given by LFT and LAE ($604,750) went to Democratic candidates, while Republicans garnered a measly 19% ($143,893) of the unions’ donations (and the remaining $1,475 went to a few random independents).
To their credit, when LFT and LAE made campaign contributions, they tended to back winners. 72% of the individual contributions made by the unions went to candidates who eventually won their elections.
II. Who Received The Most Money?
Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell has received more money – $18,500 in total – from LFT and LAE than any other candidate over the past 16 years. Before his election to the PSC in 2003, Foster served in the Louisiana State Senate for nearly three decades. He also waged an unsuccessful campaign against Bobby Jindal for Governor in 2007. Interestingly enough, last week Governor John Bel Edwards announced he’s backing Campbell in the race to fill David Vitter’s seat in the U.S. Senate.
In terms of current state legislators, Sen. Yvonne Dorsey-Colomb comes out on top. She has received over $15,000 in contributions from the teachers unions. Rounding out the “Top 10 List” of LFT/LAE beneficiaries are:
- Rep. Robert Johnson (D-Marksville): $8,100
- Rep. Sam Jones (D-Franklin): $8,050
- Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith (D-Baton Rouge): $6,750
- Sen. Troy Brown (D-Napoleonville): $6,700
- Gov. John Bel Edwards (D-Amite): $6,050
- Sen. Regina Ashford Barrow (D-Baton Rouge): $5,700
- Sen. John Alario (R-Westwego): $5,500
- Rep. Vincent Pierre (D-Lafayette): $5,250
- Rep. Jack Montoucet (D-Crowley): $5,150
III. Giving to Party Committees
Finally, as promised, we turn to LFT and LAE’s contributions to party committees, which are used by the parties to support candidates for office. Again, the vast majority (88%) of the $315,680 the two unions made to party committees went to Democrats, while Republicans got the scraps.