To the editor:
The Commonwealth Foundationís recent diatribe on union contributions to political causes was a bit confusing. The politically skewed organization specifically mentioned the Pennsylvania State Education Associationís ability to use membersí dues to subsidize political spending. This is a totally false accusation.
I recently retired after 40 years in the teaching profession. For the last 37 of those years, I proudly participated in the hierarchy of my Pennsylvania State Education Associationís local. During those years, I served as the localís treasurer. None of the dues money my local collected went for political spending. When the money arrives at the state level, PSEA did/does not use any of those funds for political purposes.
The only money that goes for political spending must come from money that our members donate for that purpose. It does not matter if funds are needed for lobbying, member training, election phone calling or any other political activity, those funds must come from individual member donations that have no connection to dues collection.
Now, while the average Joe in our state probably does not know that PSEA uses no dues for politics, the Commonwealth Foundation is no average Joe. Besides the fact PSEA has told the Commonwealth Foundation that no dues are used for political purposes, that Foundation is still posting false assumptions. A person would have to consider why a prestigious organization would continue to make such statements. Being ignorant of the facts could be called ineptitude, while purposely spreading a lie borders on criminality.