Romney: Ban Teachers Unions From Giving Money to Campaigns

Mitt Romney, who is on record saying that people and corporations should be allowed to contribute any amount they want to a campaign, doesn’t seem to think that should apply to teachers unions. Because that would be a conflict of interest.

In an interview with NBC’s Brian Williams at a network-sponsored forum on education, Romney accused teachers unions of putting their own interests above students. He said their contributions to politicians in charge of education issues are unfairly influencing the system, especially when it comes to contract negotiations.

“We have to get the money from teachers unions out of the campaigns. … We’ve got to separate that,” Romney said. “It’s an extraordinary conflict of interest.”

And why is that any more of a conflict of interest than a corporation giving contributions to a politician who is going to vote on bills that have a huge impact on their bottom line? I mean, it’s a convenient position for Romney, since it would benefit him by preventing a big supporter of his opponent from getting contributions, but it’s not a rational and consistent position in the least.

18 comments on this post.
  1. NitricAcid:

    You’d think he’d try and at least be subtle with his hypocrisy.

  2. anteprepro:

    Yes, I am sure that money from Teachers’ Unions are significantly and unfairly influencing elections.

    Looking at Romney’s views on the education system, I wonder if there is any evil that he won’t pin on teachers’ unions. You’d think they were a den conspiring to screw over children, neglecting them or miseducating them for the sake of massive salaries. It’s like he thinks every teacher is actually a Republican politician!

  3. machintelligence:

    You’d think he’d try and at least be subtle with his hypocrisy.

    Why bother? The ones who care (his opponents) don’t matter, and the ones who matter (his supporters) don’t care.

  4. d.f.manno:

    Rational? Consistent? Romney? DOES NOT COMPUTE.

  5. Reginald Selkirk:

    “Unions are people, my friend.”

  6. Marcus Ranum:

    ….. because teachers’ unions have waaay more money than the Koch brothers, or casino bosses.

  7. democommie:

    I remember reading somewhere that NYS teachers unions have over a half million members. They put everything they have into some issues with negligible effect on outcomes, on others they prevail easily. It’s fairly apparent to me that teachers’ unions like other organizations f ind that expensive ad buys for shit product will not sustain the sale of shit product.

    The difference between the unions and the pols is that the unions are not able to simply walk away from their membership after the election.

  8. Marcus Ranum:

    You’d think he’d try and at least be subtle with his hypocrisy.

    Authoritarian followers don’t expect consistency from their leaders. So, why bother? It’s not as though Romney is trying to win anyone rational among the undecideds, anymore.

  9. Chiroptera:

    Since everyone of us has some vested interest in many of the laws and regulations passed by the government, Romney just spoke out against political contributions from any person or entity whatsoever.

    The only campaign financing that would pass Romney’s criterion of fairness is that campaigns are soley funded by the state according to impartial rules that treats each candidate fairly.

  10. Trebuchet:

    Actually, I’m all in favor outlawing contributions from teachers unions — and all other unions, and corporations, and PAC’s, and pretty much everybody else.

  11. yoav:

    @Reginald Selkirk #5
    You forgot the other half of the sentence.
    Corporation are people, union members are not. In RMoneyLand workers are resources which the jobcreators™ should be able to use in any way they want in order to make a profit and therefore shouldn’t have any more say in the way the company (and the country) are run then other type of equipment.

  12. dogmeat:

    Wow, that

    ” (millions in) union contributions balance out (billions in) corporate contributions”

    meme didn’t last long. Wonder how long it will be before state militias start putting down workers strikes and “ring leaders” of unions are convicted of murder.

  13. flex:

    So wait,

    Wasn’t part of the Citizen’s United decision based on the fact that there was a law that restricted corporate donations to campaigns, but allowed unlimited union campaign contributions?

    So, they are unsatisfied with leveling the playing field (well, really tilt more toward the people with the big pockets), but want to eliminate any union campaign contributions at all?

    It doesn’t really surprise me, but it kind of surprises me that I’m not surprised.

  14. Abby Normal:

    I would think any communist agenda conflicts with the interests of liberty that’s the heart America. Therefore all Democrats should be barred from making campaign contributions.

  15. Childermass:

    Wow.

    I can see allowing unions and corporations to contribute.
    I can see not allowing them to contribute.

    But to pick and choose which one contributes to you as the criteria is more than convenient. It is outright corrupt.

    Personally, I would have it as a person — of the type with a pulse — can contribute to a campaign directly are some kind of PAC that can contribute to campaigns. This money must be uncompensated from any organization. And these personal donations should be the only ones allowed. Every donation over x amount would have to be disclosed.

  16. Ichthyic:

    Man, it’s just remarkable.

    I mean, how is it that Romney isn’t in the hospital from all the shoe leather he keeps ingesting every time he opens his mouth?

  17. Freeman:

    The conflict of interest that they imagine is that teachers, being employees of “the government”, ARE the government, therefore if they form unions and negotiate with the government for pay and benefits or lobby government on behalf of their interests, it’s “the government” vs. “the government”, lobbying itself or negotiating with itself, ergo the “conflict of interest”.

    I don’t buy into this thinking, but I know several (non-insane) people who do.

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