The Internal Revenue Service is auditing the nation’s largest teachers union – one that works energetically to elect candidates, lobbies the Congress on legislation, but files tax returns reporting zero political expenditures from member dues.

The National Education Association promised to cooperate, but its president, Reg Weaver, said the union “will not be silenced” by the audit.

It will be if there is any justice in America. It will be if the rule of law means anything in this country.

The NEA, unlike most other labor unions in the country, enjoys tax-exempt status. Therefore, it must report political expenses “direct and indirect” on its tax return because some of those expenses could be considered taxable. The IRS defines a political expense as “one intended to influence the selection, nomination, election or appointment of anyone to a federal, state, or local public office.”

The Associated Press, which reviewed the NEA’s filings from years 1993 through 1999, as well as hundreds of pages of internal NEA documents, found the 2.7 million-member union spent millions of dollars to help elect candidates, produce political training guides and gather teachers’ voting records.

A July 1999 strategic plan stated the union budgeted $4.9 million for the 2000 election for such things as “organizational partnerships with political parties, campaign committees and political organizations.”

Part of the money, the document said, would be spent on a “national political strategy” that involved “candidate recruitment, independent expenditures, early voting, and vote-by-mail programs in order to strengthen support for pro-public education candidates and ballot measures.”

Landmark Legal Foundation filed complaints with the IRS seeking an audit and a criminal investigation of whether the NEA evaded taxes. Landmark got the NEA documents in a suit it filed that forced the IRS to disclose records identifying members of Congress who had asked it to audit political opponents.

Mark Levin, president of Landmark, hailed the IRS audit and said Monday that the NEA “has diverted tens of millions of dollars in membership dues to influence political campaigns, for which it hasn’t paid a wooden nickel in taxes.”

One of the political activities of the NEA is to ensure they have no competition in controlling and running government schools throughout America. The organization is especially active in efforts to make homeschooling illegal.

It’s no wonder the NEA is so worried about homeschooling. It may be the biggest and best threat to the government education establishment. While most voucher and school-choice plans could easily be co-opted by the state, it’s hard to imagine how government could ever corrupt homeschooling short of regulating it or outlawing it. And that’s just what the state’s partner in education crime – the NEA – is trying to do.

The NEA, which has demonstrated high marks only for dumbing down an entire generation of government school students, now wants to license parents to teach their own kids.

Look for the NEA to use its political chits to buy its way out of illegal, slush-fund involvement in politics. While the NEA is practically an arm of the Democratic Party, most Republicans don’t understand the danger the organization represents to the nation, its children and our freedom.

It’s clear the Democrats are running a protection racket for the powerful NEA. The NEA is running a protection racket for its employees. But more than that, the NEA is spearheading the drive for total government control over all education. The reason it does so is because government empowers the NEA. This is a union that has special privileges no other labor guild has ever enjoyed – including non-profit status for an organization that actively promotes, endorses and funds the candidacies of partisan political campaigns.

Besides battling homeschoolers and any other choice for parents who recognize the fundamental crises the NEA has created in our schools, the organization promotes bilingual education, homosexual, lesbian and transgendered education, environmental education, after-school care, before-school care and condom education. Reading, writing and arithmetic take a back seat or worse.

This is truly an extremist organization – one that would, if it could, change America’s character in ways that would make it scarcely recognizable to freedom-loving people.

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