The Teachers Unions recognize that the education reform battle is NOT a national issue, but rather one fought at the state and local level.
Education reformers have been slow to grasp this fact and even slower to identify state legislative candidates sympathetitc to the desire to improve U.S. education and then contribute to their campaigns.
The Teachers Unions, on the other hand, have understood this for decades and have a very sophisticated infrastructure capable of identifying and funding candidates opposed to reform.
"We know how to get our friends elected," stated Dave Comerford, a spokesman for the Illinois Federation of Teachers, representing 103,000 teachers.
The Teachers Unions so far this year, have contributed more than $24 million to candidates and party committees at the state level, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics, a nonpartisan campaign research firm. Education reform organizations contributed about $4 million.
No one articluates the power and wealth of the Teachers Unions better that former Union General Counsel Robert Chenin -