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Money In The Bank A Look At Political Spending By LAE & LFT in 2016

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Although the Louisiana Association of Educators (LAE) and Louisiana Federation of Teachers (LFT) largely stayed on the sidelines during last year’s electoral contests, a review of campaign finance reports filed by their political action committees over the past 12 months provides some interesting insights on our state’s two teachers unions.

Here are some highlights…

I. Both unions amassed lots of campaign cash in 2016

Filings with the Louisiana Board of Ethics show that LAE’s political action committee ended the year with over $146,000 on hand, up from the $102,000 they started with in January. Meanwhile, LFT PAC saw its fund balance more than triple over the course of 2016, going from $38,000 in January to more than $131,000 by the end of December.

II. They helped repay loans Sen. Milkovich gave to his own campaign

State Senator John Milkovich (D-Shreveport) received more money from the teachers unions than any other legislator last year. LAE PAC and LFT PAC gave the freshman senator a total of $5000 in 2016, which was used to retire his campaign debts.

Milkovich, who was elected to office in 2015, drew headlines last year for his cuckoo beliefs, such as his insistence that the federal REAL ID Act is an “effort to create a national database to spy on people” and his claim that “scientific research and development and advances in the last hundred years…have validated the biblical story of creation.”

State Senator John Milkovich (D-Shreveport)

On the other hand, Milkovich is a strong opponent of the Common Core State Standards (on the grounds that they promote “agnosticism, socialism and moral relativism”) and serves on the Senate Education Committee, which might explain why the unions helped cover his campaign debts. Interestingly enough, the only debts listed on Milkovich’s most recent campaign finance report were loans that he made to his own campaign.

III. They gave way more to Democrats than the GOP

OK, this probably doesn’t come as a big surprise, but LAE and LFT’s PACs spent way more on contributions and fundraisers for the Louisiana Democratic Party than they did on contributions and fundraisers for Republicans. In total, the two unions steered almost $19,000 to LDP in 2016, while La. GOP walked away with a measly $1,250 from LAE PAC.

Explore the rest of the data from LAE PAC and LFT PAC below…


Louisiana Association of Educators PAC

The Louisiana Association of Educators is the state affiliate of the National Education Association, the largest teachers union in the United States. The data below covers the period from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016.

LAE PAC Receipts

NAME CITY STATE DATE AMOUNT
LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS Baton Rouge LA 1/6/16 $9,312.81
LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS Baton Rouge LA 2/5/16 $5,697.31
LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS Baton Rouge LA 3/3/16 $9,012.68
LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS Baton Rouge LA 4/7/16 $8,184.49
ANITA J AUGUSTUS Baton Rouge LA 4/27/16 $20.00
KAREN G BELL Hammond LA 4/27/16 $20.00
MARY BONIER Creston LA 4/27/16 $20.00
SUZANNE D BREAUX Abbeville LA 4/27/16 $20.00
JANET M BROUSSARD New Iberia LA 4/27/16 $20.00
GERRI CARTER Gonzales LA 4/27/16 $20.00
JENNIFER R CHERAMIE Thibodaux LA 4/27/16 $20.00
BETH CLARK Minden LA 4/27/16 $5.00
PATRICIA A COLBERT- CORMIER Lafayette LA 4/27/16 $40.00
JANES CREWS Lafayette LA 4/27/16 $20.00
JENNIFER L DUGAL Abbeville LA 4/27/16 $5.00
RODOLFO ESPINOZA Lafayette LA 4/27/16 $10.00
DONALD G FONTENOT Lake Charles LA 4/27/16 $20.00
RACHEL M GIFFORD Cullen LA 4/27/16 $20.00
CRYSTAL GORDON Port Allen LA 4/27/16 $20.00
ANITA GREEN Slaughter LA 4/27/16 $20.00
CHRISTINE N GREEN Angie LA 4/27/16 $20.00
LISA G HAYES Denham Springs LA 4/27/16 $20.00
CYNTHIA Y HENDERSON Shreveport LA 4/27/16 $20.00
GWENDOLYN A HILL Baton Rouge LA 4/27/16 $20.00
SHELIA A IRVIN Darrow LA 4/27/16 $20.00
ANTHONY G JACKSON Jena LA 4/27/16 $20.00
VICKY B JOHNSTON Lake Charles LA 4/27/16 $20.00
DOUGLAS E JONES Angie LA 4/27/16 $20.00
LAMONICA S JONES West Monroe LA 4/27/16 $20.00
LINDA A JONES Abbeville LA 4/27/16 $20.00
DAWN M JORDAN Shreveport LA 4/27/16 $20.00
MELINDA MANGHAM Lafayette LA 4/27/16 $20.00
CAMMIE M MATURIN New Iberia LA 4/27/16 $20.00
MICHAEL H MCCOY Shreveport LA 4/27/16 $20.00
DEBORAH MEAUX Baton Rouge LA 4/27/16 $100.00
LEANA MILLER Scott LA 4/27/16 $20.00
TIA T MILLS Baton Rouge LA 4/27/16 $5.00
DENISE G MOULEDOUS Abbeville LA 4/27/16 $20.00
D’SHAY P OAKS Vidalia LA 4/27/16 $20.00
STEPHANIE D OWENS Shreveport LA 4/27/16 $40.00
JANICE R PEREA Houma LA 4/27/16 $5.00
FREDRICK L PINKNEY Ruston LA 4/27/16 $40.00
CHRISTINA E PRESLEY Bossier City LA 4/27/16 $40.00
KAREN J RICHARDSON Kaplan LA 4/27/16 $20.00
SUZETTE S RIDDLE Abbeville LA 4/27/16 $20.00
LUCIAN D ROBERSON Shreveport LA 4/27/16 $85.00
CYNDY W RUTHERFORD Baton Rouge LA 4/27/16 $20.00
SHERLEEN SANDERS Baton Rouge LA 4/27/16 $20.00
SARA SCOTT Denham Springs LA 4/27/16 $20.00
ROSLYNN A SEIBOLD Montegut LA 4/27/16 $100.00
ROSLYNN A SEIBOLD Montegut LA 4/27/16 $100.00
EMMA SHEPARD Shreveport LA 4/27/16 $20.00
MELISSA G SIKES Church Point LA 4/27/16 $60.00
VICTORIA M SIMMONS Houma LA 4/27/16 $40.00
PATSY L SONNIER Scott LA 4/27/16 $20.00
ELIZABETH A SULLIVAN Shreveport LA 4/27/16 $20.00
KATINA R THOMSPON- GIVENS Baker LA 4/27/16 $4.75
VELVA J TRASK Walker LA 4/27/16 $20.00
DIANE VICKERS Baton Rouge LA 4/27/16 $20.00
PAULA WILLIAMS Monroe LA 4/27/16 $20.00
DONNA M WILRIDGE Branch LA 4/27/16 $20.00
ERNESTINE S WINSLOW Clarence LA 4/27/16 $20.00
JOHN R WRIGHT Sorrento LA 4/27/16 $20.00
LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS Baton Rouge LA 5/5/16 $5,942.98
DEBORAH MEAUX Baton Rouge LA 6/14/16 $100.00
SUZETTE S RIDDLE Abbeville LA 6/14/16 $10.00
WILLIAM S RIDDLE Abbeville LA 6/14/16 $20.00
AMY C BERGERON Scott LA 6/16/16 $20.00
JOHNELL D CELESTINE Opelousas LA 6/16/16 $50.00
DOLORES CORMIER-ZENON Carencro LA 6/16/16 $40.00
LYNDA GUIDRY Baton Rouge LA 6/16/16 $100.00
INETTE MALVEAUX New Iberia LA 6/16/16 $20.00
KAREN MERRITT Shreveport LA 6/16/16 $20.00
WILLIAM S RIDDLE Abbeville LA 6/16/16 $10.00
ANGELA ROTHERMEL Baton Rouge LA 6/16/16 $20.00
SHERLEEN SANDERS Baton Rouge LA 6/16/16 $20.00
PRUDENCE SPOONER Port Allen LA 6/16/16 $20.00
ALISHIA VALLIEN Opelousas LA 6/16/16 $20.00
LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS Baton Rouge LA 6/17/16 $5,697.29
SUZANNE D BREAUX Abbeville LA 7/1/16 $20.00
THAI BROWDER Franklin LA 7/1/16 $30.00
DILEK BUCHHOLZ Baton Rouge LA 7/1/16 $20.00
HERMAN CLAYTON Lutcher LA 7/1/16 $20.00
JIM CROAD Minden LA 7/1/16 $5.00
KRISTIE DALTON Zachary LA 7/1/16 $10.00
JENNIFER L DUGAL Abbeville LA 7/1/16 $20.00
DARYL GATES Shreveport LA 7/1/16 $10.00
BARBARA GROTH Crowley LA 7/1/16 $30.00
EVET HARRIS Arcadia LA 7/1/16 $10.00
CYNTHIA Y HENDERSON Shreveport LA 7/1/16 $10.00
ELLEN HOLMES Palermo ME 7/1/16 $10.00
HEATHER HUNTER Silver Spring MD 7/1/16 $10.00
CAROLYN F JONES Harvey LA 7/1/16 $20.00
DAWN M JORDAN Shreveport LA 7/1/16 $20.00
AUSTIN LENORA Centerville LA 7/1/16 $30.00
LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS Baton Rouge LA 7/1/16 $8,475.03
GREGG MILLS Alexandria LA 7/1/16 $20.00
ALICIA MITCHELL Monroe LA 7/1/16 $20.00
D’SHAY P OAKS Vidalia LA 7/1/16 $20.00
ANNIE J OLIPHANT Natchitoches LA 7/1/16 $20.00
ALMETRA PIERCE Centerville LA 7/1/16 $10.00
CHRISTINA E PRESLEY Bossier City LA 7/1/16 $20.00
KAREN J RICHARDSON Kaplan LA 7/1/16 $60.00
LUCIAN D ROBERSON Shreveport LA 7/1/16 $10.00
TRACI ROMERO New Iberia LA 7/1/16 $20.00
CYNDY W RUTHERFORD Baton Rouge LA 7/1/16 $20.00
GRANT SHREINER New Orleans LA 7/1/16 $10.00
ASHLEY SPURLOCK New Iberia LA 7/1/16 $20.00
VALERIE STOVALL Shreveport LA 7/1/16 $10.00
WANDESHA TRAYLOR Monroe LA 7/1/16 $20.00
SHELIA WASHINGTON Lake Charles LA 7/1/16 $20.00
VERNON WELLS Baton Rouge LA 7/1/16 $10.00
RENITA B WHITRACK Baton Rouge LA 7/1/16 $20.00
DONNA M WILRIDGE Branch LA 7/1/16 $20.00
ERNESTINE S WINSLOW Clarence LA 7/1/16 $20.00
LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS Baton Rouge LA 7/8/16 $2,366.50
PATRICIA CLARK Greensburg LA 7/14/16 $20.00
PATRICIA CLARK Greensburg LA 7/14/16 $20.00
KIMERBLY K DOMANGUE Duson LA 7/14/16 $20.00
ANDREA GALLIANO Houma LA 7/14/16 $20.00
GWENDOLYN A HILL Baton Rouge LA 7/14/16 $20.00
LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS Baton Rouge LA 8/1/16 $6,001.31
LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS Baton Rouge LA 9/1/16 $7,100.30
LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS Baton Rouge LA 10/12/16 $7,396.70
WILLIAM S RIDDLE Abbeville LA 10/3/16 $10.00
LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS Baton Rouge LA 11/9/16 $5,439.64
DEBORAH MEAUX Baton Rouge LA 11/4/16 $25.00
WILLIAM S RIDDLE Abbeville LA 11/13/16 $10.00
LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS Baton Rouge LA 12/8/16 $7,685.95

LAE PAC Disbursements

Disbursements: General Expenses

RECIPIENT CITY STATE DETAILS DATE AMOUNT
ASSOCIATION OF LOUISIANA LOBBYISTS Baton Rouge LA Conference Fee 1/6/16 $295.00
CAMPAIGN FINANCE Baton Rouge LA Statement of Organization 1/27/16 $100.00
HOTEL MONTELEONE New Orleans LA Travel Expense 1/15/16 $601.40
LOUISIANA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Baton Rouge LA Lobbyist Badges 1/6/16 $40.00
MYSTICK KREWE OF LOUISIANIANS INC. Baton Rouge LA Event Expense 1/15/16 $1,000.00
ROUSES MARKET #29 New Orleans LA Event Supplies 1/15/16 $216.01
ST. LANDRY PARISH DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE Opelousas LA Event Expense 1/15/16 $280.00
LEADERS WITH VISION Baton Rouge LA Contribution 2/16/16 $180.00
LEGISCON Baton Rouge LA Special Session Fee 2/16/16 $650.00
POSTLETHWAITE & NETTERVILLE Baton Rouge LA PAC Management and Reporting Services 3/21/16 $3,000.00
GLOBAL TRANSPORTATION & LIMOUSINE SERVICES LL Metairie LA Transportation Expense 4/5/16 $600.00
HARRINGTON’S CAFE Baton Rouge LA Event Sponsorship 4/14/16 $412.16
HOUSE DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE OF LA Baton Rouge LA Event Sponsorship 4/27/16 $1,750.00
LOUISIANA FEDERATION OF TEACHERS Baton Rouge LA Event Sponsorship 4/4/16 $1,750.00
LOUISIANA LEGISLATIVE BLACK CAUCUS Baton Rouge LA Contribution 4/4/16 $2,500.00
MORE VOTES LLC Jackson MS Live ID calls on behalf of the Vereta Lee Campaign 4/14/16 $1,300.00
POSTLETHWAITE & NETTERVILLE Baton Rouge LA PAC Management and Reporting Services 5/13/16 $700.00
REPUBLICAN LEGISLATIVE DELEGATION COMMITTEE Baton Rouge LA 2016 Elephant Stomp Fee 5/13/16 $1,250.00
BATON ROUGE MARRIOT Baton Rouge LA Event Expense 6/27/16 $2,366.50
DEMOCRACY ENGINE Washington DC Credit Card Processing Fees 6/16/16 $0.67
NORTHSHORE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION Covington LA HOOPLA Sponsorship 6/27/16 $1,000.00
SQUARE INC. San Francisco CA Credit Card Processing Fees 6/14/16 $4.70
SQUARE INC. San Francisco CA Credit Card Processing Fees 6/16/16 $9.08
AABACO SMALL BUSINESS Sunnyvale CA Website Expense 7/25/16 $101.77
NALPSE Denver CO Annual Dues 7/25/16 $350.00
WALMART SUPERSTORE Mansura LA Event Supplies 7/25/16 $419.72
FEDEX Lafayette LA Printing Expense 8/8/16 $87.37
LOUISIANA DEMOCRATIC PARTY Baton Rouge LA Event Tickets 8/8/16 $2,000.00
RUCK.US New York NY Website Expense 8/8/16 $20.00
ANGELA K MAURER Deville LA Refund of LAE PAC Dues 9/26/16 $10.00
ELISE SAUCE Morgan City LA Refund of LAE PAC Dues 9/26/16 $10.00
BURCHIE L SMITH Edmond OK Refund of LAE PAC Dues 9/26/16 $10.00
ANEDOT Baton Rouge LA Credit Card Processing Fees 10/3/16 $0.69
EVENTBRITE San Francisco LA Lafayette Lifetime Achievement Banquet 10/12/16 $472.16
HYATT REGENCY NEW ORLEANS New Orleans LA Travel Expense 10/12/16 $430.86
HYATT REGENCY NEW ORLEANS New Orleans LA Travel Expense 10/12/16 $59.57
LOUISIANA LEGISLATIVE BLACK CAUCUS Baton Rouge LA Annual Legislative Conference Tickets 10/13/16 $3,000.00
ANEDOT Baton Rouge LA Credit Card Processing Fees 11/4/16 $1.27
ANEDOT Baton Rouge LA Credit Card Processing Fees 11/13/16 $0.69
THE COMMITTEE FOR A BATTER WEST BATON ROUGE Brusly LA Contribution 11/7/16 $1,000.00
CANTINA LAREDO Nashville TN Food & Beverage 12/12/16 $99.87
LOEWS VANDERBILT HOTEL Nashville TN Lodging 12/12/16 $1,253.35
LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS Baton Rouge LA Table Sponsorship 12/6/16 $450.00
LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS Baton Rouge LA Payment of In-Kind Contributions for Carl Gaines Jr. 12/6/16 $905.98
LOUISIANA DEMOCRATIC PARTY Baton Rouge LA Contribution 12/6/16 $2,500.00
RACETRAC 492 Baton Rouge LA Event Supplies 12/15/16 $549.86
WILLIAM S RIDDLE Abbeville LA Mileage Expense 12/12/16 $550.00
THE SOUTHERN Nashville TN Food & Beverage 12/12/16 $130.94
UNION COMMON Nashville TN Food & Beverage 12/12/16 $85.01

Disbursements: Campaign Contributions

RECIPIENT CITY STATE DETAILS DATE AMOUNT
LAWRENCE A. (LARRY) BAGLEY Logansport LA Contribution for Debt Retirement 1/15/16 $1,000.00
SHARON HEWITT CAMPAIGN FUND Slidell LA Contribution for Debt Retirement 1/15/16 $500.00
JOHN MILKOVICH Shreveport LA Contribution for Debt Retirement 1/15/16 $2,500.00
DAWN COLLINS Baton Rouge LA   2/25/16 $1,000.00
VERETA LEE CAMPAIGN FUND Baton Rouge LA   3/3/16 $1,000.00
CARL GAINES, JR. Violet LA Direct Mail Printing 10/28/16 $412.50
CARL GAINES, JR. Violet LA Postage for Direct Mail 10/31/16 $291.77
LAWRENCE A. (LARRY) BAGLEY Logansport LA Contribution for Debt Retirement 11/7/16 $250.00
JEFF HALL CAMPAIGN Alexandria LA   11/7/16 $250.00
FRIENDS OF WESLEY BISHOP New Orleans LA   12/6/16 $500.00
SHARON W BROOME Baton Rouge LA   12/6/16 $2,500.00

LAE PAC Fund Balance



Louisiana Federation of Teachers PAC

The Louisiana Federation of Teachers is the state affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, whose local unions include the United Teachers of New Orleans and the Jefferson Federation of Teachers. LFT The data below covers the period from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016.

LFT PAC Receipts

NAME CITY STATE DATE AMOUNT
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS Washington DC 1/5/16 $28,363.94
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS Washington DC 3/24/16 $25,398.26
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS Washington DC 5/11/16 $1,750.00
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS Washington DC 6/9/16 $45,941.15
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS Washington DC 7/22/16 $38,867.01
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS Washington DC 11/7/16 $24,330.78

LFT PAC Disbursements

Disbursements: General Expenses

NAME CITY STATE DETAILS DATE AMOUNT
LOUISIANA GOVERNMENTAL STUDIES INC. Lafayette LA 2016 Legislative Directories 1/4/16 $450.00
CAMPAIGN FINANCE Baton Rouge LA Statement of Organization fee 2016 1/25/16 $100.00
LEGLUE & CO. CPAS New Orleans LA Accounting fees Aug. 2015 – Dec. 2015 1/25/16 $1,875.00
LOUISIANA BOARD OF ETHICS Baton Rouge LA Lobbying Registration Fees – K. Bishop 2/3/16 $110.00
OFFICE OF SERGEANT AT ARMS-HOUSE Baton Rouge LA 2016 Lobbyist Badge 2/3/16 $10.00
LOUISIANA BOARD OF ETHICS Baton Rouge LA 2016 – Lobbying Registration Fees 2/5/16 $550.00
LEGISCON INC. Baton Rouge LA Legislative Materials – Invoice #17813 2/22/16 $4,725.00
LEGISCON INC. Baton Rouge LA User’s Guide – K. Bishop 2/25/16 $65.00
LOUISIANA DEMOCRATIC PARTY Baton Rouge LA Governor’s Circle Contribution for Breakfast Honoring Patrons 3/14/16 $5,000.00
LOUISIANA SENATE DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE Baton Rouge LA 21st Annual Taste of the Senate 3/21/16 $3,500.00
LOUISIANA LEGISLATIVE BLACK CAUCUS Baton Rouge LA Donation 3/29/16 $2,500.00
LOUISIANA DEMOCRATIC PARTY Baton Rouge LA 2016 Donkey Romp Main Event 4/6/16 $1,750.00
HARRINGTON’S CAFE’ Baton Rouge LA House Democratic Caucus Lunch 4/15/16 $412.16
MORE VOTES LLC Jackson MS Calls made on behalf of Vereta Lee for Primary Election 4/15/16 $1,300.00
LOUISIANA LEGISLATIVE WOMEN’S Baton Rouge LA 2016 Women of Excellence (Chrisandra Lee) 4/29/16 $100.00
TREASURER OF THE STATE OF LA Baton Rouge LA Late filing penalty for the April 2016 Lobbyist Expenditure Report 6/10/16 $50.00
LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS Baton Rouge LA LAE/LFT 2016 School Funding Campaign 7/6/16 $495.00
MORE VOTES LLC Jackson MS Calls – LA Legislators 7/6/16 $3,763.50
LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS Baton Rouge LA LAE/LFT 2016 School Funding Campaign 7/14/16 $2,132.14
LOUISIANA DEMOCRATIC PARTY Baton Rouge LA 2016 Jefferson/Jackson Dinner Sponsorship 7/27/16 $2,000.00
LOUISIANA LEGISLATIVE BLACK CAUCUS Baton Rouge LA 2016 Bayou Classic Scholarship Jazz Brunch 9/30/16 $1,500.00
HEALTHY LOUISIANA ECONOMY PAC New Orleans LA PAC cashed check originally issued in 2014 and written off as uncashed in 2016. 10/19/16 $2,500.00
LEGLUE & CO. CPAS New Orleans LA Accounting fees Jan. 2016 – Oct. 2016 11/14/16 $3,750.00
LOUISIANA BOARD OF ETHICS Baton Rouge LA 2017 – Lobbying Registration Fees 12/13/16 $550.00
LOUISIANA GOVERNMENTAL STUDIES INC. Lafayette LA 2017 Legislative Directories 12/19/16 $1,125.00

Disbursements: Campaign Contributions

RECIPIENT CITY STATE DETAILS DATE AMOUNT
DAWN COLLINS CAMPAIGN Baton Rouge LA School Board – District 4 East Baton Rouge. 1/25/16 $1,000.00
JOHN MILKOVICH CAMPAIGN FUND Shreveport LA LA State Senate 1/26/16 $2,500.00
VERETA LEE CAMPAIGN FUND Baton Rouge LA LA House of Representatives – Dist. 29 3/14/16 $1,000.00
VERETA LEE CAMPAIGN FUND Baton Rouge LA LA House of Representatives – Dist. 29 4/19/16 $1,500.00
BARBARA NORTON CAMPAIGN Shreveport LA Campaign contribution 12/6/16 $2,500.00
COMMITTEE TO ELECT GARY CARTER JR. New Orleans LA Debt Retirement 2015 Primary Election 12/5/16 $250.00

LFT PAC Fund Balance

Pete became involved in education reform as a 2002 Teach For America corps member in New Orleans Public Schools and has worked in various capacities at Teach For America, KIPP, TNTP, and the Recovery School District. As a consultant, he developed teacher evaluation systems and served as a strategic advisor to school district leaders in Cleveland, Nashville, Chattanooga, and Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. He now writes about education policy and politics and lives in New Orleans.

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Dr. Keith LegerPraying & Hoping for a Good, Productive and Enjoyable School Year :-)CodeNaturallyBrigitte NielandPeter C. Cook Recent comment authors
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Dr. Keith Leger

tag:twitter.com,2013:859855715061694466_favorited_by_513654552

Dr. Keith Leger

https://twitter.com/petercook/status/859855715061694466#favorited-by-513654552

Praying & Hoping for a Good, Productive and Enjoyable School Year :-)

Praying & Hoping for a Good, Productive and Enjoyable School Year 🙂 shared your post.

CodeNaturally

tag:twitter.com,2013:829710867637862401_favorited_by_3222855084

CodeNaturally

https://twitter.com/petercook/status/829710867637862401#favorited-by-3222855084

Brigitte Nieland

A Look At Political Spending By LAE & LFT in 2016 #LaEd #NOLAed #LaLege #edreform peterccook.com/b/3g8

Peter C. Cook

Giving a pol $ for loans he made to himself 3 mo after Election Day is different from campaign giving when the outcome’s unclear

Andrew Tuozzolo

eh, sort of. Could be going to a reelection kitty. Not really any functional diff

Andrew Tuozzolo

sorry, but why? I mean, it’s the same as a donation during a campaign.

Peter C. Cook

.@ConradAppel Or the $345,000 they spent on the OPSB races (although both technically came from AFT national): pcook.me/68sd

Conrad Appel

Don’t forget the $600,000 that they spent in the Jefferson Parish School Board race recently!

Louisiana

After Janus, The Drought? LAE & LFT are downplaying the impact of the Janus v. AFSCME decision, but both are subsidized by their national unions

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The United States Supreme Court handed public sector unions – including the teachers unions – a major defeat on Wednesday with their decision in Janus v. AFSCME, in which a majority of justices agreed that mandatory agency fee laws violate the First Amendment rights of non-union public employees.

In the 21 states with agency fee laws, public employees covered by collective bargaining agreements were required to pay fees to the union to cover bargaining costs, even if they refused to join. Because agency fees only offered a small discount when compared to union dues, many individuals felt compelled to become members.

Screenshot from Education Next.

Now that the Supreme Court has struck down those laws, many observers expect that public sector unions will lose anywhere from 10-30% of their members, and by extension, a big chunk of their revenues. In a conference call with reporters on Wednesday, National Education Association (NEA) president Lily Eskelsen García admitted her union expects to lose at least 200,000 members over the next 18 months, depriving them of around $28 million in funding.

What about Louisiana?

Louisiana, of course, is a right-to-work state, meaning that public sector unions here are unlikely to see a drop in their membership, but the Janus decision could have a significant financial impact on the state’s two teachers unions, the Louisiana Association of Educators (LAE) and the Louisiana Federation of Teachers (LFT).

In an article in The Advocate on Wednesday, officials from LAE and LFT sought to downplay the potential fallout from the ruling, insisting that any impact on their organizations would be minimal. They also wildly exaggerated the size of their respective unions, with both LAE and LFT claiming around 20,000 members.

LAE president Debbie Meaux and LFT president Larry Carter.

Mike Antonucci, a researcher who has been writing about teachers unions for decades, released figures on Wednesday showing that LAE had 10,461 members in 2016-17, of which only 9,416 were full dues-paying members. While precise numbers are not available for LFT, data from tax filings and public records requests show that the union receives far less in dues payments than their counterparts at LAE, while charging their members more on an annual basis. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that LFT is even smaller than LAE’s 10,000 members.

Those tax filings, along with annual reports filed with the U.S. Department of Labor, also reveal that both LAE and LFT are heavily subsidized by their national unions. According to tax returns, LAE reported $3,291,199 in revenue in F.Y. 2016, although Department of Labor reports show that nearly 30% of that money came from the National Education Association.

Data from IRS 990s and U.S. Department of Labor annual reports.

Likewise, LFT reported $1,809,239 in revenue in F.Y. 2016, but nearly 27% of that total came from its parent union, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). Moreover, as I’ve noted in previous posts, AFT also provides substantial funding to its local affiliates, like the United Teachers of New Orleans, Jefferson Federation of Teachers, and Red River United.

Will the money dry up?

Up to now, LAE and LFT could depend on their national unions to provide a substantial portion of their annual budgets, but the Supreme Court’s decision this week means that steady stream of funding could begin to dry up in the not-too-distant future. While It’s unlikely that AFT and NEA will completely cut-off subsidies to their affiliates in right-to-work states like Louisiana, there’s no escaping the fact that there will be less money to go around.

How that will ultimately impact the activities of Louisiana Association of Educators and Louisiana Federation of Teachers is yet to be seen.

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Louisiana

The Red River Ripoff Shreveport's AFT Affiliate Uses Bureaucratic Obstacles To Keep Dues Coming in

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Red River United (RRU), the American Federation of Teachers-affiliated union representing educators in Caddo, Bossier, and Red River Parishes, is using bureaucratic hurdles and subterfuge in an attempt to prevent members from leaving the organization.

A reader forwarded me a series of emails regarding three of the union’s current members who submitted a union drop request to Red River officials in October, indicating that they wished to end their affiliation with RRU and stop the monthly deduction of dues from their bank accounts.

The sign outside Red River United’s offices in Shreveport.

The receipt of those forms was acknowledged by the union. Nevertheless, when the three teachers checked with their banks at the end of the month, Red River United had once again deducted dues payments from their accounts. On November 1st, an email was sent to RRU officials notifying them of their mistake and requesting that the union refund those dues to the three individuals.

An emailed response from RRU’s in-house counsel, Elizabeth Gibson, flatly refused to refund those payments, explaining that the three teachers “executed a confidential agreement with Red River United (Membership Form), wherein the individuals authorized Red River United, or its designee, to draft their bank account each month for the amount indicated in the agreement for each billing period.”

She continued:

“Further, they acknowledged that they must give at least 30 days written notice to Red River United to cancel future automated debits. Red River United did not receive written notice at least 30 days in advance personally from the individuals indicating they had chosen to cancel their automated debits/membership. They must physically come to the offices of Red River United to cancel the bank draft due to the confidential nature of the information contained therein. These individuals have not done so. Accordingly, they are not entitled to a refund of the monies they authorized to be withdrawn from their bank accounts.”

Gibson added that the teachers needed to physically go to the union’s offices to provide a so-called “wet signature” in the presence of a Red River United employee in order to officially withdraw from the union and stop the monthly bank withdrawals.

Gibson’s emailed response in which she refused to refund dues to the three teachers.

A ridiculous (and dishonest?) response

Gibson’s response is not only ridiculous, but possibly dishonest. It’s also clearly an attempt by Red River United to make it as difficult as possible for current members to dropout of the union.

To start, the union’s “confidential agreement” – i.e., RRU’s membership form – isn’t all that confidential (in fact, I’ve included a copy of it at the bottom of this post). Nowhere on the membership form does it say anything about the requirement to provide a “wet signature” in the presence of an RRU employee to leave the union and stop monthly payments.

The small print from Red River United’s membership form.

Moreover, Gibson’s contention that the three teachers needed to physically go to RRU’s offices to cancel the bank drafts “due to the confidential nature of the information contained therein” is laughable. Anyone who has ever had a subscription to a newspaper or magazine can tell you that you don’t need to go to their offices to cancel it. Plus, there’s nothing “confidential” about the process. All Red River United needs to do is notify their bank to stop the monthly automatic withdrawals for those three individuals. End of story.

So why is Red River United trying to make these three teachers jump through bureaucratic hoops when they clearly don’t want to be part of their organization anymore? I suspect the union is trying to force them to come to their offices so they can pressure them to remain members, which is the kind of behavior you might expect from a dodgy timeshare broker, not a teachers union.

Nevertheless, teachers unions in other states have increasingly employed similar tactics to stem the departure of their members. For example, after Michigan became a right-to-work state in 2012, the Michigan Education Association (MEA) changed their opt-out policy to mandate that teachers withdrawal in August and force them to send their resignation requests to an obscure P.O. box address hidden on their website. The union subsequently refused to honor opt-out requests that were sent directly to MEA headquarters or were received outside of the month of August.

The United States Supreme Court is set to decide Janus v. AFSCME this spring.

I expect that we’ll see even more of these sort of schemes in the coming months. In September, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Janus v. AFSCME, a case which argues that requiring public employees to pay agency fees to unions (including teachers unions) is unconstitutional. It is widely expected that the Court will end up striking down the laws in the 22 states that currently mandate agency fees, meaning that teachers unions across the country will soon be scrambling to come up with ways to keep their members from dropping out.

Because Louisiana has long been a right-to-work state, the Janus case should have little direct impact here. At the same time, that’s exactly why Red River United’s efforts to make it as difficult as possible for members to leave their organization needs to be called out. Louisiana’s public school teachers have the right to join a union or not. Therefore, they should be able to leave a union just as easily as they signed up. If Red River United wants to salvage some of its integrity, it should immediately accept the resignation of the three educators in question and refund their dues as soon as possible.


Read Red River United’s membership form:

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Peter C. Cook
Peter C. Cook @petercook
New Orleans, Louisiana peterccook.com
Education Reformer • New Orleanian • Progressive • Democrat • Proud TFA alum • Check out my new side project: @retortonline
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