Teachers Union Pushes Voting Rights, Disclosure Ahead Of SOTU

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The largest teachers unions in the country is pushing President Obama to prioritize a number of electoral reforms, from new protections for voters to disclosure requirements, in his State of the Union address next week, suggesting a determination not to be outgunned once again during the upcoming midterm elections.

“Reactionary state laws, unequal and unethical administration of voting procedures, and the unfettered access of corporations to influence electoral outcomes has severely damaged our democracy,” wrote NEA president Dennis Van Roekel in a letter Friday to Obama. “We must correct this threat to our democracy by ensuring: 1) universal voter registration (as promoted by the Brennan Center); 2) equitable administration by states of voting procedures and access to the polls; and 3) that we curb the influence of money in politics that has resulted from the infamous Citizens United decision.”

The NEA also lists more familiar priorities, including immigration reform, balanced fiscal policy, and, of course, education access and financing. But its focus on election reforms suggests that public sector unions remain concerned that Citizens United, and state laws restricting voting rights, will leave them vulnerable to setbacks when midterm elections roll around next year.

Read the entire letter below the fold.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Beutler is TPM’s senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he’s led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com

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