Everyone benefits… especially unions

A very good read about the real special interests behind the 281 referendum was found at Fraters Libertas blog. The writer discusses the funding behind the Yes & No groups. Below is an excerpt (emphasis ours):

But as the Vote Yes for Robbinsdale Area Schools site reminds us, “Everyone Benefits.” Not equally of course and as is usually the case when you’re trying to figure who stands to gain the most, it helps to follow the money.

This week’s New Hope-Golden Valley Sun reported on the campaign finance reports filed by District 281 referendum groups:

Campaign financial reports have been filed with Robbinsdale District 281 by the 281 C.A.R.E. Committee, which opposed the Nov. 4 referendum, and the Robbinsdale Area Schools “Vote Yes” committee, which supported it.

Ron Stoffel of Crystal, treasurer of the C.A.R.E. committee, reported $375 in contributions to that group between Jan. 1 and Oct. 26 this year.

The committee listed no donor names in its report.

It listed expenditures of $758 for advertising, $38 for postage and $10.69 for fundraising, for a total of about $806.

The group took in four hundo and spent eight. Truly a grassroots, shoe-string, citizen-lead operation.


The “Vote Yes” Committee’s report, filed by John Heinrich of New Hope, reported total income of $22,613 between May 13 and Oct. 20 this year.

That’s over SIXTY times as much as the group that opposed the referendum. And they put that money to good use:

The Vote Yes expenditures included $3,300 for database software setup and rental fees; $290 for banner, copies and post office box rental; $582 for T-shirts; $7,116 for lawn signs; $204 for phone bill; $75 for radio commercials; $500 for liability insurance; $57 for open house and phone bank expenses; and $3,622 for office rent in September and October.

But you say, if the citizens of the district supported the measure, shouldn’t they be able to support it with their dollars? Of course they should. Let’s see who those citizens are:

The largest contribution of $7,500 came from the Robbinsdale Federation of Teachers, the 1,800-member teachers’ union in District 281.

I guess the teachers’ union cares so much about the children of the district that they dug deep and ponied up some of the precious money collected by their members’ union dues. Their noble effort on behalf of the children almost brings a tear to the eye.

How is this levy money going to be used to help the children anyway?

Levy Question One–Asks voters to increase the existing $12.6 million levy by $7.6 million for a total of $20.2 million annually.

Passage of question one would reduce class size by rehiring 30 teachers, partially restore after school activities and retain valuable programs, including band and orchestra at the elementary level and some art and athletic opportunities at the secondary level.

Levy Question Two–This question can only pass if Question One passes. Asks for an additional $1.8 million dollars, bringing the total to $22 million annually.

Passage of question two would further reduce class size by rehiring up to 10 more teachers and support accelerated implementation and staff training for the Strategic Plan goal to enrich academic achievement.

Now someone of a more cynical bent might look at that and conclude that the teachers’ union contribution to the vote yes campaign was nothing more than a self-serving effort to increase the group’s membership, its power, and the amount of money that it will be receiving in dues from the additional teachers. But we know that this is all about the children and only a narrow-minded, anti-education, child-hating monster could think otherwise.

The teachers weren’t the only ones looking after their vested interests:

A contribution of $1,350 was reported from the District 281 Principals Association, as well as $1,000 from the Sunny Hollow Elementary School PTSO.

Donations of $500 each were reported from Sonnesyn Elementary School PTSO, Pilgrim Lane Elementary School PTO and Sandburg Middle School PTSO, while a $250 contribution was listed from Noble Elementary School.

It really warms my heart to know that these parent-teacher-student organizations could come together and voluntarily raise money that could be used to conduct a campaign whose end result will be to confiscate money from everyone else in the district that will then be used for their benefit. They really must care about the kids.

Others happy to contribute to a cause so that their neighbors can be taxed more to support that cause include:

School Board Member Tom Walsh of Plymouth donated $110; Assistant Superintendent Gayle Walkowiak contributed $300; and Jeff Dehler, the district’s community relations program director, donated $150.

Residents listed as donating money were John Appelen of Plymouth, $400; Stephen Hagstrom of New Hope, $350; Steve Lear of Plymouth, $500; and Mary McKoskey of Plymouth, $500.

The great thing is that even though Mary McKoskey could only contribute five hundred dollars, thanks to the awesome taxing power of the government she has helped the schools reap millions of additional dollars. Her gift just keeps on taking and taking and taking.

Funny that the people who talk about taking big money and special interests out of politics never seem to mention the eight-hundred pound education gorilla rampaging through neighborhoods throughout the country.


2 Responses to “Everyone benefits… especially unions”

  1. maryjanedoh Says:

    I’m sorry to report that besides the fact that the referendum was bought by the Education Mafia, complacency had a lot to do with voters in SD281 who didn’t vote on the referendum tax increase.

    Too many people were so disgruntled with the disgusting toxic political environment, locally and on the national level, that they have admitted to me they didn’t bother to go to the polls and vote this election cycle.

    Hopefully the poor fools will wake up once they get their 2009 property tax estimation in the mail. But that won’t happen for a couple of reasons:

    One, they won’t read their property tax evaluation for 2009, let alone complain about it publicly as allowed by the, ahem, law providing us the right to speak out – they’ll just shut up and pay their taxes.

    Two, a great deal of them are renters, so they won’t see the new tax documents sent to their Landlords. The homeowners will simply pass the tax hike on to their hapless tenants, most of whom are young parents who voted for this nonsense because, well, they’re parents and they didn’t think they’d have to pay for the increases – after all, they don’t own property.

  2. give2get Says:

    Still wondering how this is different than all USA elections/votes? Folks give to causes that concern them. Are we in some way surprised that parents, teachers and pricipals value education, and its being appropriately funded. Doesn’t seem sinister, just common sense.

    For different perspectives, more discussion on this can be found here. (Speed’s Equal Time string)

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