Monday, October 3, 2016
One of the nation’s largest labor unions continues to pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into the Clinton family’s controversial foundation.
The American Federation of Teachers, or ATF, the second largest teachers union in the country with more than 1.5 million dues-paying members, made about $5 million in “contributions, gifts, and grants” from July 2015 through June 2016, according to its most recent labor filing. The union contributed $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative, or CGI, between July 2015 and February 2016 in payments classified as donations to a “charitable organization.” The five contributions comprise about 10 percent of the union’s overall charitable giving for the year.
Those contributions came in addition to the hundreds of thousands of dollars that the union has spent to aid Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party’s electoral chances in 2016, according to education watchdog DropOutNation.
“AFT has worked zealously and successfully to win influence over Clinton and position traditionalists into key roles in shaping education policy if she wins the presidency,” the group said in a blog post. “Meanwhile, AFT is making sure that the Democratic National Committee feels its presence. This includes handing out $300,000 to the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee, which put together July’s Democratic National Convention.”
The Clinton Foundation and CGI have come under increased scrutiny during Hillary Clinton’s presidential run. The family charity has been dogged by allegations of pay-to-play politics in light of donations from foreign governments, weapons and business contracts issued while Clinton served as President Obama’s secretary of state, and State Department meetings arranged with donors following contributions. The allegations spurred one of CGI’s former partners to call on the Clintons to immediately sever ties with the charity. The foundation announced in September that its largest arm would part ways with the Clintons if Hillary Clinton is elected president in November.
AFT has given up to $5 million to Clinton charities, the Washington Free Beacon reported in July 2015 when the union endorsed Hillary Clinton in her primary battle against self-declared socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.).