Landmark Legal Foundation, the organization that uncovered massive abuse of federal tax, election and labor laws by the nation's largest teacher's union, has filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), alleging flagrant and widespread violations of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) by the Colorado Education Association (CEA) and the Poudre, Colorado Education Association (PEA).
Landmark's complaint details how the CEA and the PEA employed union staff members, including PEA's president and office manager, for several weeks to work full time as de facto campaign managers for the 2004 candidacy of Democrat Bob Bacon for the Colorado State Senate. The costs associated with the unions' expenditures on behalf of the campaign (staff salaries and benefits, travel expenses, etc.) are all required by the IRC to be reported on the unions' federal tax returns as in-kind political contributions. Neither the CEA nor the PEA reported any political spending for the 2004 tax year.
"The leaders of the CEA and the PEA appear to have turned their unions over lock, stock and barrel to the Bob Bacon for Senate campaign," explained Landmark President Mark R. Levin. "Hundreds of man-hours and tens of thousands in tax-exempt, teachers' dues were used for no other purpose than to elect a candidate who would do the unions' bidding in the state Senate."
Landmark's complaint is the latest in the organization's National Education Association (NEA) Accountability Project, an effort that has documented millions of dollars in unreported political expenditures by the national teachers' union and its state and local affiliates. Earlier complaints by Landmark to the IRS resulted in a full field audit of the NEA, an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor, a complete overhaul of reporting requirements for large unions by the Department of Labor, as well as the uncovering of several significant violations of federal and state law by NEA affiliates around the country.
"Colorado's teachers have a right to know what their leaders are doing when they involve their unions in politics," Levin said. "And they have a right to know that their dues are not being used to do an end-around the law to advance a political agenda. Moreover, the IRS needs to determine whether the CEA is doing the same thing with other local affiliates elsewhere in the state."
Founded in 1976, Landmark Legal Foundation is one of the nation's oldest conservative public interest law firms. The Foundation has offices in Kansas City, MO and Leesburg, VA.