Skip to main content

AFSCME President Lee Saunders
AFSCME President Lee Saunders
It seems the right is up in arms over public employee union AFSCME's decision to stop a partnership with the United Negro College Fund over the UNCF's budding relationship with the Koch brothers. After the UNCF accepted a $25 million donation from the Koch brothers, much of it earmarked to a "Koch Scholars" program with two of five seats on the scholarship committee chosen by the Koch brothers, and the UNCF's president spoke at the Koch brothers' annual summit, AFSCME decided to find another partner for its own scholarship program for students of color. To some, this is an OUTRAGE!!!

AFSCME's decision hinged on a specific policy issue that you might think the UNCF would care about:

In a letter to UNCF president Michael Lomax, AFSCME’s Saunders called the Kochs “the single most prominent funders of efforts to prevent African-Americans from voting.” Lomax’s appearance at the Koch brothers’ annual summit, where they plot conservative strategy – this year’s focus was taking back the Senate in 2014 — was “a betrayal of everything the UNCF stands for.” Members of AFSCME, a union that supports Democrats with money and people power, voted unanimously to back Saunders’ decision at their annual convention in Chicago last week.
That's key. It's not just that the vast majority of the money the Kochs gave the UNCF will go not to the general pool of applicants for UNCF funding, but to the Koch Scholars program for students studying "how entrepreneurship, economics, and innovation contribute to well-being for individuals, communities, and society" (can you say "well-funded effort to train up black conservatives"?)—it's that the UNCF president went and spoke at a right-wing strategy conference at which other speakers included Charles f'ing Murray, notorious purveyor of the claim that black people are genetically less smart than white people. That is some serious bad judgment right there, and it's not crazy to think it's the kind of bad judgment that can maybe be bought by a $25 million donation.

AFSCME President Lee Saunders and 15 percent of the union's membership are African-American. The union is also deeply committed to getting out the vote—while the Koch brothers are deeply committed to voter suppression. Parting ways with an organization apparently climbing aboard the Koch gravy train seems like a very good idea, don't you think?

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 08:15 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

a gilas girl, DeminNewJ, vicki, AaronInSanDiego, Wintermute, Vico, eeff, xynz, cyberKosFan, whenwego, KMc, shanikka, rabel, ivote2004, limae, fumie, wader, Redfire, psnyder, musiccitymollie, Catte Nappe, lcrp, dkmich, Bendra, Chris Reeves, Hillbilly Dem, boran2, Josiah Bartlett, vcmvo2, marina, radarlady, 3goldens, NoMoreLies, ichibon, UncleCharlie, scurrvydog, mjd in florida, chimene, democracy inaction, ajsuited, dewtx, Gary Norton, Overseas, Ice Blue, markdd, Rusty in PA, bunsk, Lindy, Arsenic, BlackWolf, xaxnar, Clytemnestra, profundo, raptavio, koNko, Naniboujou, MargaretPOA, Lefty Coaster, MJ via Chicago, philipmerrill, gpoutney, The Hindsight Times, gooderservice, JVolvo, llbear, onionjim, blueoregon, NancyWH, bstotts, OHdog, krwheaton, BeninSC, Habitat Vic, Mr K, camlbacker, karmsy, Ninepatch, bnasley, NoMoJoe, getlost, jedennis, Rosalie907, bobswern, jnhobbs, leonard145b, ny mark, roycej, TomP, cville townie, bkamr, also mom of 5, JeffW, Senor Unoball, Laughing Vergil, Calamity Jean, RandomNonviolence, Jeff Y, buffie, MufsMom, I give in to sin, younglady, Denise Oliver Velez, Tommymac, Hamlets Father, Larsstephens, Just Bob, commutergirl, Mokurai, p gorden lippy, Anima, Polly Syllabic, Lost and Found, DrWhk, 2questions, gulfgal98, pixxer, Puddytat, Egalitare, NYWheeler, ericlewis0, Loose Fur, cocinero, Oh Mary Oh, nosleep4u, mallyroyal, slice, annieli, redlum jak, Lost Left Coaster, La Gitane, poorbuster, FarWestGirl, lexalou, mikejay611, badscience, thomask, ShowMeMoBlue, BarackStarObama, IB JOHN, diffrntdrummr, Joe Jackson, waiting for lefty, Vatexia, ratcityreprobate, stlsophos, joanbrooker, Chitown Kev, allergywoman, Laurel in CA, YaNevaNo, mod2lib, James Allen, MightyMoe, IndieGuy, orestes1963, ahumbleopinion, Eric Nelson, AnnieR, 420 forever, Syoho, Arahahex, MartyM, FrY10cK, stvnjon, BobTheHappyDinosaur, mzkryz, nomandates, gypsytoo, libraboom, ggfkate, rhauenstein, Jim Domenico, danjb, Dr Arcadia, jbsoul, Virally Suppressed, occupystephanie, d3clark, thanatokephaloides, EveryWoman, SistahZa, hbk, JuliathePoet, AJayne, dblues, dewolf99, eyeRollz, Gunnar Thomas, bobcat41702, Scathach, BlueDuPage, KDfrAZ, coyote66, Katannah, YeaYouRite, CWinebrinner, NoBlueSkies, KarenWisconsin, Phillycook

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site