Fox Falsely Suggests NEA Members' Dues Will Fund Obama's Re-Election Campaign
Blog ››› ››› MELODY JOHNSON
Following the National Education Association (NEA)'s early endorsement of President Obama's re-election campaign, Fox & Friends claimed that the organization will "tax" its members $10 to "front" the president's campaign:
Co-host Brian Kilmeade further claimed that the NEA is asking "for an extra $10 to support President Obama's quest for re-election." However, the suggestion that NEA members' dues will fund Obama's re-election effort is false; in reality, a $10 per-member fee will reportedly go toward efforts to limit threats to collective bargaining like those seen of late in Wisconsin and Ohio.
In two separate segments on Tuesday, Fox & Friends condemned the NEA as a "reliable source of Democrat votes in the past" and misled its viewers to believe that:
1) $10 of every NEA member's union dues are going toward Obama's 2012 campaign;
2) Obama's 2012 campaign will be "paid for by ... you."
Although the NEA has said that it will stand behind the president during his 2012 campaign, according to the Chicago Tribune, the $10 per-member fee is intended to combat anti-collective bargaining efforts. From the Tribune:
Also Monday, the representative assembly approved a $10 per-member fee increase for the next five years, specifically to confront state and local efforts to limit collective bargaining rights for many public workers as has happened in Wisconsin and Ohio, [NEA President Dennis] Van Roekel said.
Further, these fees not only aren't going to support Obama's re-election, they legally can't. From Education Week'sTeacher Beat blog (emphasis added):
70.1 percent of the body, or 5,258 delegates, approved the amendment to the bylaws that authorize the $10-per-member annual assessment, 60 percent of which will be used primarily to support the Ballot Measure/Legislative Crisis fund, and the other 40 percent for national and state media campaigns. These funds can't support campaigns but can support messaging and action against things like anti-collective bargaining legislation.
While Doocy did say that the $10 "technically is going to be going into [NEA's] crisis fund," which he said is "going to help the president's team do messaging in advance of the election," there was no mention that the funds cannot be used to support campaigns.
Further, on-screen text suggested that Obama's campaign will be "paid for by ... you":
Signs that Fox & Friends' misinformation worked appeared in the form of two separate viewer emails, which criticized the NEA based on Fox's false suggestions. And with that, one of their talking points for the day had been achieved: to attack unions.