By NW Spotlight
It’s well known that unions will contribute to candidates for public office who have their general interests at heart. This happens all the time. However, unions have become much more brazen about supporting candidates as of late.
Candidates like Angela Chisum running for Bend-La Pine School Board are being bankrolled by the Oregon Education Association and Bend Education Association with the primary purpose of influencing them in upcoming school board actions.
In her campaign this year, Chisum has raised just over $9,000 (including the $400 she loaned to her own campaign). The Bend Education Association (local teachers union) has contributed $2,500 to her campaign and the Oregon Education Association (state teachers union) contributed another $2,300 in one transaction and even in-kinded Chisum printing for literature in another $200 transaction. The Oregon School Employed Association (OSEA – educational employees union) contributed $2,000.
The Oregon Education Association is responsible for a full 27% of Chisum’s budget, the Bend Education Association is responsible for another 27%, and OSEA is responsible for 21%. That means 75% of her budget has been bankrolled by union special interests.
The education associations are weighing in with big money in the Bend-La Pine School Board races for one specific reason: contract bargaining. Every three years the Bend-La Pine School Board is responsible for renegotiating their contracts the unions. Those negotiations have begun and the Education Associations would love nothing better than to gain additional leverage over school board members they helped elect.