In the D.C. Examiner, Timothy Carney explains how the porktastic $410 billion omnibus bill "included a provision that effectively would end the D.C. school voucher program after next school year." He then breaks down the power that competition-hating teachers unions have over "change"-spouting Democrats.
Lockheed Martin, the top recipient of military contracts most years, spent more on politics than any other defense firm in the 2008 elections. They still spent less than the American Federation of Teachers, which shelled out $2.8 million in the last cycle—with nearly every AFT dime going to Democrats.
The top two teachers unions—AFT and the National Education Association—spent more combined, $5.27 million, than the top two defense contractors.
The top five lobbying firms, combined, didn't equal the AFT and the NEA in federal contributions in the 2008 cycle. Both of the teachers unions gave more than any oil company, and the NEA and AFT combined gave more than the top four oil companies combined.
These contributions give the unions clout, and federal lobbying records show they use this clout. Again, on closer inspection, the teachers unions look an awful lot like those corporate special interests Democrats supposedly oppose.
The NEA employs four different lobbying firms in Washington, in addition to their in-house lobbying arm, which includes at least six lobbyists. Over the past two years, the NEA spent $10.7 million on lobbying. Reviewing the filings of the NEA, the AFT, and their K Street hires reveals that lobbying to kill DC vouchers was a priority.