Internal documents obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request show that the two largest teacher unions, the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers (AFL–CIO), have donated to a Democratic political advocacy organization named "Center for Media and Democracy" which produces numerous products for its base. One of them, Sourcewatch, is a wiki written by progressives to attack conservatives and they are also unsurprisingly opposed to most science. Because they think science is a vast right-wing conspiracy.

Donations to Democrats by education unions are hardly a shock. During my adult lifetime, the two unions have donated 30 percent more money to federal political campaigns than any other union (or corporation!) and it's almost exclusively Democrats, so Center for Media and Democracy is going to be lining up at that lucrative trough.

Teachers know what they are doing with their money and must approve of it. What they should not approve of is Sourcewatch and its parent using teacher money to attack...teachers.

That is what Sourcewatch does.

Ask any science teacher, or any teacher who publicly accepts agriculture or vaccines or, of all things, pasteurization, about Sourcewatch and if they have heard of them at all it is because they have been the brunt of the organization's unethical smears. They write administrators at schools, they harass the students of teachers, there is no tactic they won't use to advance their agenda. And their agenda is not education. It is the agenda of their dark money donors

Their boss even libeled me when I first pointed out that they refused to disclose their dark money funding - an odd stance for an organization that claims to be about transparency. Imagine being a guy who's had one speeding ticket in his life, and that one was bogus, and having the left-wing attorney running CMD tell me I am a convicted felon and...don't know it. But they do. 

Everything else they produce is just as evidence-based as what that crank wrote. If you go read their site, wear goggles for protection.

I suspect NEA and AFT do not have an  overt agenda against science, they are just giving money to well-connected insiders. And CMD is certainly well-connected in the Democratic party. They put out weekly posts invoking their vast right-wing conspiracy, especially in the science community, and could practically trademark "the Koch brothers", since that still appears in practically every document they manufacture despite one of them being dead.

Nothing special about that, the anti-science movement grooms people on the left by pretending that science funded by everyone except their political party is illegitimate. It even plays well in academia, unless scientists peek behind the curtain and see for themselves that keeping raw milk from children is not a corporate conspiracy, it is stopping a movement by crackpots who don't understand basic immunology. 

Who are their dark money sources? They won't disclose it. That's the beauty of claiming weekly that dark money is everywhere else while accepting "anonymous" donations from donor-advised funds, which can be used to launder money from special interests. Ironically, their allies pretend not to notice that Sourcewatch refuses to disclose its own sources; like $500,000 from an offshore donor-advised fund at the time when James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, had busted Russia using offshore donor-advised funds to covertly fund activists who were willing to carry water for the Putin regime on organic food and natural gas, Russia's top two exports.

They got half their budget for a year from some random anonymous group or corporation and don't know who it was? Your suspension of disbelief has to be really high for that to pass by unchallenged.

Okay, the organization was created by Democrats, is funded by Democrats, and is staffed by Democrats, so it is little shock to the science community that they are "skeptical" of vaccines and agriculture and natural gas and nuclear the way many Democrats deny those settled areas of science. The Republican party has similar groups carrying water for their issues.

But this is teacher money being used to attack teachers.

Given their political bias, NEA and AFT had no reason to look too closely, they were willing to see an organization founded by Democrats helping undermine Republicans and that was probably good enough.

But donations to Center for Media and Democracy are not helping teachers, they are hurting them. And if teachers are going to be hurt, it should not be by the very unions they pay to defend them.