Nestled in the $4.2 million the Pennsylvania State Education Asssociation spent in 2010-11 on political activities are some very telling expenditures on polling firms. For example, remember the much-touted but poorly done Terry Madonna survey, that claimed two-thirds of Pennsylvanians are against school vouchers? Madonna’s firm got $32,000 from PSEA for their anti-voucher efforts. So much for objective polling of the public.
Then there were the mysterious “No Voucher Tax” ads run by TeamBlue Politics—a bigwig, progressive K Street lobbying firm in DC—that made it sound like a Tea Party group was campaigning against school choice. PSEA Spokesman Wythe Keever said: “PSEA doeesn’t know anything about it, and while we like the content, we’re not involved with it.” That’s interesting, because PSEA’s annual report to the U.S. Department of Labor shows the union lavished nearly $575,000 on TeamBlue for “public education funding advertising.”
PSEA spent a further $58,000 on a “public voucher survey” with Susquehanna Polling & Research. The union also contributed nearly $36,000 to the Keystone Research Center, a think tank that aggressively (and unsurprisingly) pushes union positions on growing government. Yet again we find ample evidence not only of the PSEA’s unsavory influence on Pennsylvania politics, but that they lie about their involvement too. But, hey—it’s all for the kids.