Those involved with the effort to recall Jeffco School Board Members are insistent that their effort is not a union-backed effort. Their campaign finance reports show otherwise. One of the most interesting takeaways: most of the money was laundered through Jeffco United, an issue committee that does not have to report its donors. This committee is claiming, as a rationale for the recall effort, a lack of transparency from the board, but won’t disclose it’s own donors. The Jeffco community should demand to know who is funding this effort.
Here’s a rundown of the campaign finance report:
According to TRACER, the pro-recall organization Jeffco United for Action has raised over $190,000, just over $140,000 this reporting period. That’s not to say that union resources are not doing much of the heavy lifting for the effort, but we wouldn’t expect them to honestly report in-kind contributions.
Jeffco United, one of those dark money organizations (C4s) that liberals love to complain about, has given $93,000 to Jeffco United for Action (the campaign committee). So, the truth is that we don’t know who gave and how much they gave to the effort because it’s not reported. So much for transparency – doctor heal thyself. Support Jeffco Kids, another c4, also gave $6,000.
The largest individual donor is no longer former Superintendent Cindy Stevenson (although, she’s still up there with her $2,000 donation), but Robert Pew, who has given $25,000 to the effort.
Democrats may know and love Pew because he is a super donor to lefty causes, and seems to have a special fondness to the most disgusting organization in America, Planned Parenthood. Scrolling through Pew’s donations, one will see Sen. Andy Kerr, Rep. Brittany Pettersen and the rest of the Jeffco Dems. He’s also given $25,000 to the appalling 527 Mainstream Colorado, and $25,000 to defeat Amendment 67 (personhood). Pew is the Chairman of Steelcase, whose foundation has given over $60,000 to Planned Parenthood votes in 2013 alone.
The organization spent $120,000 with Black Diamond for signature gathering to initiate the recall effort. While Black Diamond is known throughout the political industrial complex, what’s not often reported is who its founder is. His name is Steve Adams and he is the former president of he Colorado AFL/CIO. Adams’ union ties don’t stop there as he also served as the Secretary and Treasurer of the Machinist Union at United Airlines.
For anyone doubting whether unions are just political operations, here is how he described his involvement with the Machinists: “…paved his way into politics when he became Secretary and Treasurer for the Machinist Union.” And, here’s what he said about his tenure leading the AFL-CIO: “In 2003, Mr. Adams further advanced his career in politics by becoming President of the Colorado AFL-CIO.”
But, the union connection doesn’t stop with Black Diamond. Once again, Strategies 360, the shop representing JCEA and the now-defunct DougCo teachers union, received nearly $17,000. And, again, the lawyer for the Democratic Party got a few bucks.
It’s clear that this recall effort, combined with the anti-reform movie that the union is promoting, is an all-out war against reformers. This recall has nothing to do with these board members and everything to do with the national sentiment that unions have outstayed their welcome. The question is whether pro-reformers will turn out, or simply cede ground to the union because of the union’s successful (if inaccurate) smears of the board in its quest to regain control of the state’s largest school district.