The Newark Teachers Union (NTU) an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) opened a gofundme.com account as reported on Bob Braun's Ledger Facebook page on Friday. Donated funds are to be funneled through ERC Foundation. Repeated Google searches, however, have unearthed no information on the mysterious charity. Requests for clarification from the NTU have not been returned.
To make matters worse, the AFT is flush with cash. Opensecrets.org totaled up $1,273,694 in 2016 AFT federal campaign contributions. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton raked in $22,880 while former Democratic candidate Senator Bernie Sanders got a measly $8,229. Unfortunate Democratic Senator Corey Booker was only granted $15. Back in 2015, watchdog.org detailed AFT donations to Clinton affiliates as $250,000 to Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Foundation, $250,000 to Clinton Global Initiative and $100,000 American Bridge 21st Century (a Clinton allied research group).
The AFT has plenty of money to spend on political candidates and politically aligned organizations with questionable agendas in regard to the future of public school education, whereas the teachers the union purports to represent have to resort to begging.
Abigail Shure, Newark Teacher
UPDATE FROM THE RIGHT:
The union of about 3,000 members has a goal of $100,000 for its campaign, but after the first four days it has raised zero. The union claims this unique project is necessary because “we don’t have access to the same funding sources as those who want to destroy our public schools.”
That might be literally true, but NTU has an annual budget of about $3.4 million and is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, a parent organization whose budget is $188 million. The idea that it requires a GoFundMe campaign for $100,000 is laughable.
It’s possible this is merely a PR stunt to rouse the zeal of activists in the state, or perhaps AFT refused to fund this particular scheme. But if you have a few extra bucks, I suggest you bypass NTU’s page and instead donate to Bonnie’s bullet removal surgery.