Wednesday, October 11, 2000
Homosexual convention targets grade-school kids
Curriculum to make kindergarteners comfortable with 'gay and lesbian
by Allyson Smith
CHICAGO -- Members of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network,
GLSEN, discussed plans to campaign against the Boy Scouts and to introduce
positive discussions about homosexuality into elementary school
classrooms -- including kindergarten -- during their annual conference Oct.
6-8 in the Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights.
This year's conference theme, "Ending the Hate Beginning in School,"
highlights GLSEN's contention that teaching pro-homosexual lessons to young
schoolchildren is an appropriate way to combat "homophobia" and
directed at homosexuals. But critics like Peter LaBarbera of the Americans
for Truth Project, who led a pro-family coalition protesting the conference,
said GLSEN's elementary school agenda "manipulates the minds of
GLSEN chose the Windy City for its conference to celebrate the opening of
its third regional office here (the organization is based in New York City).
Organizers said around 800 people, including teenage students, some of whom
received financial scholarships, attended the event.
Scouts out, homosexual clubs in
GLSEN announced plans to pressure schools to lobby school districts to stop
sponsoring the Boy Scouts due to its ban on homosexual scoutmasters.
"The Boy Scouts can present in someone's homeroom, they can get the school
lists of students, they can have posters in the halls. ... It's a very
unique, special access that most other clubs do not enjoy, and at the same
time they are a discriminatory club," said GLSEN public policy director M.K.
LaBarbera countered that homosexual student clubs advocated by GLSEN
nationwide -- called Gay-Straight Alliances -- often receive much the same
access. Recently, Newton North High School in the Boston suburb of Newton,
Mass. (Rep. Barney Frank's hometown), celebrated "Bisexual Awareness Day." A
large banner with the slogan "Celebrate Bisexual Awareness Day" was hanging
over the main entrance of the school until parents got wind of it and
complained to school authorities.
Brian Camenker, president of the Parents Rights Coalition, and whose
daughter attends Newton North, obtained posters detailing alleged "myths"
and "truths" about bisexuality that were posted in the school's halls to
promote "Bisexual Awareness." One of the stated "myths" was:
people are promiscuous." A "truth" was that "Bisexual people may or
be attracted to both sexes equally."
At the anti-GLSEN rally Friday, LaBarbera said: "If you asked parents whose
agenda -- GLSEN's or the Boy Scouts -- presents the real threat to
schoolchildren, I think most would say that GLSEN does more harm than the
Boy Scouts ever could."
Gay elementary social studies
At a workshop at the GLSEN conference titled "Appreciating a Broader Canvas:
How Teachers Understand Gay and Lesbian Content Integration in Elementary
Social Studies," participants were instructed on ways to incorporate pro-gay
content into family studies for grades K-3 and into U.S. immigration history
for grades 4-6.
The K-3 lesson plan advised educators to help students "recognize diverse
family constellations" by encouraging discussion of individual family
differences and similarities and by showing photographs from a book entitled
"Celebrating Families," which includes "lesbian mothers/adopted
The lesson plan for grades 4-6 told teachers to integrate
homosexual-affirming curricula into U.S. immigration studies by
interspersing stories of homosexual migration from small towns to large
cities amongst traditional immigration studies of other groups who came to
America to escape persecution, such as the Pilgrims and Chinese and Hispanic
In another session, the film "That's a Family!" was shown. The movie is the
second by lesbian activists Debra Chasnoff and Helen Cohen, creators of the
controversial film "It's Elementary," which showed instructors giving
pro-homosexual classroom lessons to young children. According to a
promotional flyer, "That's a Family!" is a highly entertaining half hour
documentary for elementary school children, featuring kids from a wide
variety of family structures. Family portraits include multi-racial
families, grandparent-headed families, gay and lesbian families,
single-parent families, and others."
In addition to segments depicting male and female homosexual families, the
movie also includes a vignette of a family consisting of a mother and her
live-in boyfriend. Traditional, mother-and-father two-parent families are
not shown -- except in cases where the parents have widely divergent ethnic
or religious backgrounds. GLSEN and other homosexual groups are lobbying to
get "That's a Family!" shown in classrooms across the country.
At a GLSEN workshop entitled "LGBT Inclusion -- Not the Usual Suspects,"
attendees received a handout telling of ways to include pro-homosexual
content in geometry classes by using "known political symbols (a pink
triangle, a yellow star of David, a political flag, the purple teletubbie)
to study shapes. While the geometry lesson is the goal, the history and
political information surrounding the shape is also introduced."
Although conference presenters talked about the importance of disseminating
only "age-appropriate" material, all participants, including dozens of high
school-aged kids, had the opportunity to receive a "Visitor's Companion"
that advertised Chicago's homosexual "leather" bars, a sex club and a
homosexual bathhouse called "Steamworks," which was advertised as a
LaBarbera questioned why GLSEN's organizers -- already bruising over the
recent arrest of a Chicago GLSEN leader for soliciting sex with an underage
boy (GLSEN expelled the man) -- did not take the "simple step of keeping
these gay sex club ads from reaching the teenagers in their care."
"For years, GLSEN has claimed to protect 'at-risk' kids. But they are now
helping put young teenage boys at risk by uncritically passing out a gay
guide that hawks anonymous sex clubs and 'leather' bars in Chicago," he
said. "This fits into a pattern of GLSEN failing to shield its young
followers from a homosexual male sexual culture that not only tolerates, but
often celebrates promiscuity." (At last year's GLSEN conference in Atlanta,
a similar sexually-laden booklet was passed out to attendees.)
Coming out in the classroom
During an all-day seminar Friday called "LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and
Transgender] Educators Empowerment," high school teacher Patricia Nicolari
of GLSEN /Connecticut described ways in which educators can "come out" to
students based on a five-stage continuum ranging from "In [the closet]" to
"Out [of the closet]." She described actions teachers might take during
Stage 3, "Gradual Risks," as follows:
"You wear the jewelry, maybe a little triangle or a little rainbow,
something very subtle. You start with a little sticker on your car or maybe
a few little subtle changes in your classroom that only you think that you
know ... maybe talking about your roommate and the things that you've done
together, trips that you may have taken. You may bring up gay news ...
testing the waters, so to speak. When you test the waters, you're trying to
gauge the climate in your school. You could do that in the faculty room.
When you bring up gay news, how do the other teachers react?"
During Stage 4, "Increased Risk-Taking," Nicolari advised "taking your
partner to school events," "addressing gay jokes," and getting the [school]
administration and parents "into place."
Co-moderator Michael Fiorello discussed the importance of enlisting
"straight allies" such as members of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and
Gays and religious leaders who defend homosexual teachers. He added, "I'm
not trying to stifle minority religious views ... but they should not be the
controlling element of curriculum [or of] hiring policy, firing policy, [or]
Quoting a 1977 textbook she uses in her junior-senior "Family Life" class,
Nicolari said, "In this book, dating will refer to one male and one female
spending time together. So I said [to my class], 'I feel I need to point
this out. There can be exceptions to that. It can be two females dating, or
two males dating.'"
Much of the GLSEN conference dealt with assisting high school and middle
school students in launching and improving "Gay-Straight Alliance" or GSA
clubs. These in-school clubs promote the acceptance of "gay," bisexual and
"transgender" students, and have been the subject of intense controversy all
across the nation. Among the workshops offered at the GLSEN conference was
one entitled, "How to Run a Killer GSA."
The high level of commitment among GLSEN activists to the "trans" cause was
illustrated by the numerous seminars devoted to "transgender" issues.
GLSEN held two all-day seminars for youth activists only on Friday. Among
the fliers available outside the seminars was one entitled "Transgender
Issues and Resources." This publication listed "tips and suggested
activities that can be used to help your GSA become more gender-inclusive,
begin talking about gender and transgender issues, and make your school more
safe for transgender or gender-questioning students." One suggested activity
was for GSAs to "watch and discuss movies with gender nonconformist
characters," including "Joan of Arc," a film about a Catholic saint.
suggestion urged GSA members to "campaign to create a unisex bathroom at
Combating the 'right wing'
Another of the all-day seminars was one on "Responding to the Right Wing."
It was co-hosted by Barbara Miner, managing editor of an 'urban educational
journal" called "Rethinking Schools." During the session, Miner said that
the strategy of the "right wing" is "to engender distrust of public
education [and] to batter down the separation of church and state." "Right
wingers," she said, are "anti-immigrant" and "very virulent in their
Miner expressed fear of school voucher initiatives, saying, "Vouchers and
private schools will do an end-run around 20 to 30 years of rights gains."
She said the "right's" use of the term "high standards" is a
edging out diverse values" and cited the banning of a book containing
information about breast cancer an "example of the obsessiveness of the
Conference presenters and attendees repeatedly stressed the idea that
"respect for others" must supersede private religious beliefs and that
name-calling must be stopped. However, the prohibition on name-calling
excluded such labels as "radical right," "religious right" and
which were frequently used as pejorative labels for those who oppose
homosexual activism in schools.
NEA stands with GLSEN
National Education Association President Robert F. Chase gave the keynote
address at the GLSEN conference on Saturday morning. Chase's remarks were
preceded by introductions from GLSEN director of public policy M.K. Cullen
and GLSEN Executive Director Kevin Jennings, who said there are now over 700
GSAs "in high schools and middle schools today."
Cullen criticized a ballot measure in Oregon called the Student Protection
Act that would ban the promotion of homosexuality in schools. She derided
the ballot initiative, led by Lon Mabon of the Oregon Citizens Alliance, as
"anti-gay." At the mention of Mabon's name, several audience members hissed.
Jennings reminisced about the birth of the first GSA in 1989 and lauded
Chase as "the voice in American education today." Referring to a campaign
launched earlier that week by the Family Research Council, urging members to
write Chase to discourage him from attending the conference, Jennings said,
"Bob Chase laughed and said, 'I am happy they are coming after me.'" He
added that Chase had approached GLSEN to be invited to speak and quoted him
as saying, "I have a platform and I am going to send an unequivocal
Chase began his speech by referring to the Family Research Council campaign
and read several e-mails he had received from NEA members. He said the
letters represent "the attitudes, fears and misconceptions that some of our
members have." Chase insisted, "I am here today precisely out of concern for
the children our members teach. The NEA does not have what the right wing
has branded a quote 'radical pro-homosexual agenda.' Rather, we have a
radical civil rights agenda ... a pro-human agenda.
"This is not some special interest or radical agenda I'm talking about," he
said. "It's not about promoting unsafe and abhorrent lifestyles, but
protecting [against] abhorrent behaviors. It's not a matter of recruiting
gay or lesbian teachers, but of retaining them. It's simply a matter of
protecting all children and all school employees."
Chase concluded, "It is an education issue, no matter what the e-mails say,
or no matter what the Family Research Council says."
Pro Libertate - For Freedom
A VOTE FOR DEMO/REPUBS IS TO ENDORSE
THEIR POLICIES OF DEPRIVATION OF
Legal vs. NEA
Metcalf interviews Constitution defender
Levin on pending battle
many years, numerous critics have complained
the apparently close relationship between the
Education Association - America's
teachers' union - and the Democratic
Committee. Until recently, there was not
anyone could do other than complain.
however, on Geoff Metcalf's streaming
talk show, Landmark Legal Foundation
Mark R. Levin discussed documents his
compiled showing that the NEA used
general revenue to influence the election
candidates seeking public office - for which it has
paid income taxes nor reported to the IRS as
by the Internal Revenue Code.
a direct result of the documents Landmark
it has now filed formal complaints against
NEA with the IRS, the FEC and the Inspector
of the Treasury Department detailing its
Metcalf's interview with Levin details not only
case against the NEA, but also the
- the people and organizations - involved in
live daily program can be heard on
streaming page - TalkNetDaily -
4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Pacific time (7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
This discovery of yours could be considered
Please explain for our readers what Landmark Legal
discovered in these revealing documents you
your hands on?
All right. First of all there are a whole bunch of
that the federal Election Commission got
a four-year investigation of the AFL-CIO and the
National Committee. Somebody - I believe
Republican National Committee - filed a complaint
basically, "Hey look: This is a violation of the
laws that this union and the Democratic Party
coordinating campaign activities - and that is not
under our campaign laws."
a federal judge decided that it was permitted. So
we think about the campaign laws wasn't
a fruitful area to pursue.
So what did you do next?
When that ruling came out in July of last year, we
the FEC and we told them, "We want you to
all the information that you collected through
from whatever parties you subpoenaed and
it public as you normally do."
How did the FEC respond?
Well, they said, "We have a microfiche problem.
are so many documents and so forth." So we
them and pressured them. Then, we threatened
with a lawsuit. Then, on May 2nd of this year, all of
sudden, they released over 6,000 of them and when we
them on May 2nd they said, "They are open.
can come and make some copies." So we went in
May 2nd and May 3rd and .
. and then you had an early Christmas!
(laughing) Yeah. That's right. Our main focus in this
is on the NEA. We went in and we copied all
relating to the National Education
Understand, they were not investigating the
Education Association. They were investigating
coordinated activity between the AFL-CIO and the
But the NEA is the most powerful, the largest and
wealthiest union in America - it's got 2.6 million
- and the AFL-CIO is a combination, sort of
overarching group of several unions, like the
and so forth. The NEA is the most powerful,
their name pops up all over the place. So we copied
materials and we took them. Then, four days later,
Federal Election Commission put them back under
under pressure from the NEA and the AFL-CIO.
OK, so you got your hands on the documents before
judge resealed them. What did you find?
When we went through them, we said, "Good Lord!"
is Christmas time in May - as you said.
I was blown away when I found out that the NEA
only a participant in a lot of the party-platform
and so forth, but actually had veto power.
That's the point! This is the structure. They sent up a
coordinating committee - steering committee -
is where the wealthiest, most powerful, most
members sat. They were from the Democratic
Committee in 1996 these documents talk about.
were from the Democratic Senatorial Committee,
Democratic Congressional Committee (meaning the
races), the 1996 Clinton-Gore Committee, the
Emily's List and, of course, our friends at the
They sat on this national coordinating committee
committee and they decided what the issues
be, how much money would be spent and what
strategy would be.
What is so amazing and appalling was they actually
their financial commitment until they had input
Into the policy at the state level. They set up 50 of
same kinds of steering committees in every state
typically, the state Democratic party and the
of these national unions - like in
Pennsylvania State Education Association and so
- would sit on these state committees. Candidates
contribute to these committees and these
would help decide what the strategy would
in congressional races, in gubernatorial races,
races - they would pull the strategy together
then they would send it up the ladder to this national
we were talking about and this national
could approve it, modify it, or reject it.
Mark, what is so astonishing is allegedly these people
smart enough to execute this scam and to get the
over the process - and the essence of it is the
- but they could still be stupid enough, myopic
or arrogant enough to not report any of that? Did
report any of this stuff to the IRS?
Well that's a good question. Under the Internal
Code, if you are not a tax-exempt organization
and many people do not know this: Unions are tax
they don't pay taxes - but if they spend one plug
on political activity intended to influence races
national, state or local level, outside their own
have to report that on their income-tax forms and
a corporate income-tax rate on those expenditures.
their tax forms are public. So we went back and
all the tax forms for the National Education
from 1994 up until the most recent one that
filed in June. And on every one of those federal tax
they said that they spent zero money on political
Hold on here. It is easily documented that they spent
and millions of dollars .
They spent millions for sure.
I remember reading about some $35-million in union
directed at the DNC .
The AFL-CIO - see it's not clear where that money
coming from. They've got a big shell game going on. If
say where is "that money," they say, "Well it's in a
Of course, political action committees can spend
Yeah, but what happens if you follow the chain of
of that money? Where did it come from? Did it
from union dues?
That's the point. Here's what I'm saying: If you look
NEA budgets (which we have) and strategic plans
we have), they are using their membership dues -
is the general operating money, the tax exempt
- and funneling it into political activity. That's
own documents say.
say, $300,000 and some odd dollars to coordinate
local democratic candidates. They're the ones who
in 1996 they spent $9.6-million for a wide array of
activity. And they spend tens of millions of
every year - and this is important and it wasn't
in the news articles - they spend tens of millions
what are called "uniservers."
uniserver is an NEA employee, way down at the
district level, in every school district.
are supposed to be helping with contract
and grievances and so forth - but the other
of their job is they are the biggest army of precinct
in America. These people help organize political
for the NEA right there at the school district
don't report any of those salaries on their federal
returns either. All that information has now been
and filed with the Internal Revenue Service and
are asking them to conduct an audit and to force
people to do right by the law.
Before we get into the heavy nitty gritty, you filed
- one with the IRS and one with the FEC -
Well, last summer we filed two complaints, as you
One with the IRS and one with the FEC after going
a bunch of the NEA budgets and strategic plans
handbooks. We also filed against several state
This year, we have used the information we
from the Federal Election Commission search
is under seal now - as well as some new information
to the NEA's spending and the spending in a half
or so states such as North Carolina, Pennsylvania,
Kansas, Nebraska - and we've taken that
and filed it against those state affiliates of
What, if any, reaction or comments have you had
from the IRS? I read news stories in which IRS
say, yeah under normal circumstances they are
to report this kind of spending. What,
have you heard from either the IRS or the
Two things: First, with respect to the IRS, they are
allowed to tell us anything really. There is a section
Internal Revenue Code, 6103, that prohibits them
acknowledging any audit of any kind. Hopefully
we are doing is prodding the media to continually
the NEA and ask them if they are being audited.
the past they have said, "Oh, of course not!" So, if we
get a "No comment!" from them, we know they
the best news you just touched on was in the
Press article in which the current head of that
of the IRS that oversees non-profit organizations,
the unions, basically said, "Look - based on the
record some of this stuff looks like it goes over
And another long-term IRS official who writes
for tax-exempt groups on how to comply with
law said he wouldn't be surprised at all if they were
I've been involved in some political activity stuff and
have always avoided 501 (c) (3)s specifically
they don't give sufficient protections - and it's
easier to go with a for-profit corporation and
But with a 501 (c) (3), when they transfer their own
to some separate segregated something like a PAC
. they have to report it.
You betcha! And since 1994, the union hasn't. Now
brings up the next question - prior to 1994, did the
report political activity and spending?
Have no idea. We haven't gone back that far. You
to understand: We've got two offices full of NEA
We're just not in a position to go any further
is also some question whether the IRS is in any
to go any further back than six years. My
is if they do audit the NEA, they only have
or 60 auditors for non-profit groups, or in that
we've been told. They'd have to take around 10
of them to look at the NEA.
Hey, the potential return on the investment of the
would be well worth it.
I told them when you're done auditing all those
groups, maybe you can spend a little time
the NEA. You're exactly right. For example, what
with the Heritage Foundation about four years
was that a former Democratic congressman, David
from the Boulder Colorado area, read an article
the Miami Herald that bothered him. He cut it out,
his letter to it, sent it to the IRS whining
Heritage Foundation and 30-days later they launched
turned out to be a four-year audit of the Heritage
- based on a newspaper article.
Hey, my boss - Joseph Farah and the Western
Center - got audited. And when he asked
they were asking the kind of questions that were not
in focus, the dumb auditor reportedly told him,
is a political thing."
First of all, your boss Joseph Farah is one of the
on this cause and I definitely appreciate it. He's
courageous guy and a good friend, he and his wife.
the IRS, I think, is going to have a problem not doing
now when their own boss, in the newspaper,
to it - which is really quite unusual. We sent him
equivalent of two Manhattan phone books full of
evidence - copies of original documents .
. and arguably doing half their auditors' work for
Wouldn't that be nice if we could get paid for that?
that's exactly right - and you raise another good
Who is looking at this? Who is in control of the
process in the United States? We have filed it with
IRS. The FEC is toothless. Where is Congress?
got John McCain running around yelling about
finance reform - nothing that he proposes
anything about what the NEA is doing - or what the
for that matter ...
Mark, come on - be real. Congress doesn't have the
for this. They'll talk the talk, but they don't
anywhere near the essence of something that would
I can understand that the Democratic Party, as is clear
our documents, has essentially become a
subsidiary of the NEA and the AFL-CIO.
What I don't understand is why the Republicans don't
this as a target of opportunity to rub their nose in
They might - some of them might. What concerns me
this has been going on for year after year after year -
you would think, for self defense purposes, they
want to know something about this. The problem
the NEA funds the campaigns of some of the more
Republicans and assists them - like Arlen Specter,
maybe a few in New England and so forth, so they're
as likely to want to look into this.
this is really not a Republican or Democratic issue in
sense of wanting to make sure that the membership
are spent honestly. Look, the NEA has 2.6 million
Also, non-members have to pay fees in certain
to the NEA. The question for all these members,
Republican, liberal, conservative and
in between is, "Aren't you paying your dues
you want your union to represent you?"
I can't tell you how many complaints I get from union
that are upset because they might embrace
principles and yet they are compelled in
cases to actually take time off without pay to
in some kind of political activity they were
to do. The Beck Amendment was
to mitigate some of that.
I agree. But I would think even liberal Democrat
would want their money used to help get advice
contract negotiations and things of that sort - not
funneled from the NEA to a state for political
in some local race. These are serious matters -
if I was a NEA member, spending as much as I
on dues - in some states you can go over a
dollars, I wouldn't want them wasting my
on politicians and political activity.
Unfortunately, it is the union leadership that has that
connection. I was amazed and absolutely
away to read recently that the union honchos
sat on committees and had veto power.
We used to think the tail was wagging the dog - hell,
are the dog!
Yeah. The Democratic National Committee has these
articles in which we read, the Republican
has raised this amount, the Democratic Party has
that amount - that doesn't tell the whole story. In
recent Associated Press story, they mention that the
States Chamber of Commerce also spent $14
on political activity .
But they reported it .
They reported it and paid taxes on it. The National
of Manufacturers was another one that spent
five to six million dollars, they reported it, and
taxes on it. But all this under the radar stuff is -
you can understand why they want to keep it under
They don't want anyone to know, not their
not the IRS, not anybody.
Who sealed these documents after you initially got
hands on them?
First the FEC - and then they were prepared to
thousands more but the AFL-CIO and the DNC
into federal court and got a Clinton judge, who
has a Labor Union background, and she put in
a grant of their motion for a preliminary injunction
simply means she forced the government to keep
documents under seal. Not just the FEC - if Justice
them , all these groups - and she has scheduled a
for sometime in October.
Mark, has the FEC responded to your complaint yet
a hearing date or anything like that?
No. The FEC is notoriously slow. We got a letter
them last year saying they had received our
- and that's par for the course.
And the IRS isn't supposed to tell you anything?
The IRS isn't supposed to tell us - I'm not a fool
it comes to the IRS - but I suspect they are going
have to do something and they are going to have to do
Several people have suggested/recommended that
make sure to copy and back up all these documents
have in some secure cyber/digital/lock box and that
maintain real good fire insurance.
Well, we've got 400 of them, so they are going to
to track them all down in a nice bound copy from
end of the country to the other.
It has also been suggested that if or when the
speak out on this scam, their
in the mainstream press from the New
Times to Dan Rather will respond with the spin
Attacks Teachers." And the NEA will lean on their
to put pressure on elected officials because if or
they are compelled to pay interest and penalties,
union will be forced to come back to the members to
more money to pay the potential fines.
My only problem with that analysis is the Republicans
getting a heck of a lot out of this now, are they?
to lose really? We don't coordinate with them -
the unions - we don't take our lead from them or,
we did, we would have gone out of business a long
How can people find you if they want to either help
or get more information?
The best way is always online. You can find us and
can find this complaint and the additional casework
are involved in. Our phone number is (703)
We don't harass folks for money. We
send out a newsletter four or five times a year.
This has been percolating for a while. The FEC -
they're the FEC - we don't really expect much from
But the IRS will probably be compelled to do
I also would think that somewhere along the
- just based on my personal interaction with union
upset with unions spending money on stuff that
the antithesis of what certain members embrace - that
could potentially be a class-action suit somewhere?
Well, I guess there could be some kind of fraud
But we already have the template laid out in the
decision. They already have a constitutional right to
their money back - and to demand an
would seem to me you would want to go through that
first and, if you come up empty, you would
some kind of civil action based on fraud.
if they are going to go back to all these teacher
members and say, "Sorry, we don't spend any
on politics," well, we have exhibits that say they
by the way, it's too expensive to reproduce them
send them all out, but we're happy to send a few of
out to some people. Like I said, we've sent out 400
them at considerable expense. But we wanted to make
that they got to different parts of the country for
One of the NEA lawyers was very, very confident
they had complied with the law. Well, I've read the
and I know lawyers can argue anything - that's what
get paid for - but it seems that dog ain't gonna hunt
you ever get this stuff before a judge.
I've never met an opponent who wasn't confident
into the fight - and in nine cases out of ten, they
away with their tails between their legs. The NEA is
extremely powerful force with enormous resources.
are very cocky. And I'm glad they're confident
if I were them, I'd be a little less so.
position is simple. We're not the IRS. We're not the
Attorney. We're not a federal judge. We can't make
final decision about the NEA. But we can bring this
to the public, to the NEA membership and to
Internal Revenue Service and demand that they treat
NEA at least the way that they treated Joseph
the National Rifle Association, the Christian
and scores of other non-profit and for-profit
This original investigation that these damning
resulted from was looking at the AFL-CIO. I
you are focused on the NEA, but the obvious
is: "Does the AFL-CIO file these IRS form
Yeah. Every union files one. Every non-profit .
. except the NEA?
No, the NEA files one but on that line - line 81 -
they are required to report the amount of money
spent on political activity, they put zero. The
Press went back and checked the AFL-CIO
returns for the same period in which all this money
being spent and all this coordinated activity was
on - and the AFL-CIO reported zero also.
they are not only supposed to report the amount of
on that form, but then, typical of the IRS, there's
form, in which if it's anything more than zero,
supposed to give a detailed explanation of your
and where the money is coming from and so
OK, if the AFL-CIO is guilty of the same oversight as
the NEA, how come you haven't filed an IRS
or a FEC complaint against them?
We just learned about this. And there is another
that is taking a very close look at that piece of
because there are a number of groups and none
us are that big. The National Legal and Policy Center
has been eyeballing the AFL-CIO for something
a decade and a half.
The AFL-CIO's skirts may be dirty. But it was just a
weeks ago that everyone was shocked and amazed
President Bush was struggling to get approval for
energy development in that little section of the park
in Alaska, it was (and correct me if I'm wrong) the
that stepped up and supported the drilling.
I understood that union, the grandmother and
of all unions, sat on the sidelines but it was
Teamsters who stepped in. I could be wrong, but
my understanding. Of course, that's a great
with respect to the environmental groups and
hardworking blue collar out there .
Over the years I have gotten very, very cynical about
kind of stuff. I don't believe anything happens in
by coincidence. Traditionally, all those unions
been in virtual lock step with the Democratic party
if they say the sun will rise in the northwest
that's the party line.
Yeah, well, you might be right. But the Teamsters are
little different though. The Teamsters endorsed Reagan.
remember that because I worked on that campaign in
Generally speaking, I think you are right. And I
what you're saying is the fix is in - nothing is
That's the feeling I have. When it comes to campaign
these guys in the 87 square miles surrounded by
will talk the talk, but they don't want to mess
system. It's the mother's milk of their existence.
If that's true - and no amount of evidence of potential
or improper conduct is going to persuade even the
Revenue Service, which has a penchant for
even innocent people, to do its job - then
much all is lost.
And the republic is finished?
I'd say so. Let me say this. We are not done. We are
to continue to collect information. If another batch
this information is released, we're going to go through
- and I just want to make it clear if any of these NEA
are listening - we want them to know we are not
We are going to stay on top of this. We don't care
the leadership says or what the leadership wants.
don't get to make all these decisions about whether
are complying with the law or not. We hope the
agrees with us because it's an awful lot of
that's going unaccounted for. And the idea that the
politics doesn't mean politics - I'm sick of that
stuff too, the idea that their own documents are lying
the idea that they didn't sit on this coordinating
- or as the official of sat on it for the NEA
"I was just there gathering information."
And he had veto power over that information. OK,
got the IRS complaint and the FEC complaint - is
any prospect or any discussion or any interest from
- even one of the gadflies in Congress - a Ron
Bob Barr, Jim Traficant - anybody who might join
in calling for some kind of congressional hearings?
we know it isn't going to go anywhere - but is there
kind of congressional traction on this story at all?
So far - I'm not going to get into who - but there
actually been two pretty powerful committees that
asked for a copy of our information.
I suspect the conventional wisdom would be they are
spitless to ever take on the unions .
I would normally agree with that. Except what the
show is that the NEA is the Democratic
Normally, where these Republicans would cower
and they often do - now, it's a question of
really trying to keep this out of the partisan arena
I really think what is being done here is a
of law regardless of who is involved. But I will
you that two very powerful committees have
us - we have provided them with the
and they are now investigating. But we don't
on Congress to get the job done.
Metcalf is a talk-show host for TalkNetDaily.