To be clear, teacher union dues do not go to political campaigns. That is a lie spread by those like the Illinois Policy Institute. The IPI was a big backer of Mark Janus in the case where the Supreme Court banned agency fees and fair share.
Union teachers can donate to the political campaigns which the unions support through their political action committees like the CTU PAC, IFT COPE and the IEA’s IPACE.
Frequently these teacher contributions to their union’s PAC are made through automatic payroll deductions.
Rank and file teachers often believe that their PAC donations are then transferred directly to the campaigns of individual candidates.
As a member of my local endorsement committee, we voted to support, oppose or stay neutral in local races and our PAC dollars were given to those candidates we endorsed.
But our unions’ political action committees also give hundreds of thousands of dollars to the political action committee that Democratic Speaker Michael Madigan personally controls.
In the last quarter the CTU PAC gave The Friends of Michael Madigan $8,000.
The Illinois Federation of Teachers’ COPE gave The Friends of Michael Madigan $210,000.
The Illinois Education Association’s IPACE gave The Friends of Michael Madigan $57,000.
The Friends of Michael Madigan has $11.5 million in cash on hand, five times as much as the Democratic Party of Illinois.
Union teachers who make a contribution to their union political action committee might be surprised that some of it ends up in the bank account of Michael Madigan and never finds its way to candidates.
Call it a slush fund.
Madigan uses it to pay for lawyers and sexual harassment settlements.
Paid for by The Friends of Michael Madigan.
We can assume some of that was teacher money.