Trent England | March 19, 2015
Oklahoma Education Association dues fund anti-gun politics
Even with its membership declining, the Oklahoma Education Association (OEA) is the largest public employee union in the state. The group is on record stating, “education is politics.” Yet the politics of the group, and of its national affiliate, are not always widely known.
Current law requires government to serve as the dues collector for the OEA. Some of that OEA dues money is passed on to the National Education Association (NEA), which is based in Washington, D.C., and is the largest public-sector union in the country. House Bill 1749, currently pending in the Oklahoma Senate, would take government out of collecting union dues in state government and school districts.
Yesterday, I showed that the NEA supports abortion “without limitations,” including sex-selection abortions and partial-birth abortion. The NEA has also played a role supporting gun-control measures, including proposals that have no specific connection with public schools.
- In 2013, NEA vice president Lily Eskelsen Garcia declared that Second Amendment supporters “are going to hell.”
- The union’s official position on firearms calls for “strict prescriptive regulations” of all handguns and a ban on “military-style semiautomatic assault weapons.” (NEA resolution I-34, p. 91)
- The NEA lobbied in favor of President Barack Obama’s gun-control proposals.
- California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s “Assault Weapons Ban” was endorsed by the NEA.
The NEA’s far-ranging and far-left political positions may be part of why the group’s membership has declined for several years. Of course, the OEA and its dues-paying members have a right to support gun bans and abortion-on-demand. The debate over HB 1749 hinges on whether that same right extends to taxpayers who currently are required to provide an in-kind subsidy to these organizations and their agendas.
David and Ann Brown Distinguished Fellow
Trent England is the David and Ann Brown Distinguished Fellow at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, where he previously served as executive vice president. He is also the founder and executive director of Save Our States, which educates Americans about the importance of the Electoral College. England is a producer of the feature-length documentary “Safeguard: An Electoral College Story.” He has appeared three times on Fox & Friends and is a frequent guest on media programs from coast to coast. He is the author of Why We Must Defend the Electoral College and a contributor to The Heritage Guide to the Constitution and One Nation Under Arrest: How Crazy Laws, Rogue Prosecutors, and Activist Judges Threaten Your Liberty. His writing has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Times, Hillsdale College's Imprimis speech digest, and other publications. Trent formerly hosted morning drive-time radio in Oklahoma City and has filled for various radio hosts including Ben Shapiro. A former legal policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation, he holds a law degree from The George Mason University School of Law and a bachelor of arts in government from Claremont McKenna College.