This questionnaire is the candidate survey sent out to New Hampshire Legislative Candidates from the American Federation of Teachers in New Hampshire. To say that it isn’t about the children is understatement. Here’s a sampling of the most anti-taxpayer questions in the questionnaire:

  • Would you vote for any weakening or repeal of collective bargaining laws for NH’s public employees?
  • Would you vote for any legislation that would limit the ability of a union to collect dues through a payroll deduction?
  • Would you vote for any measures that would block the implementation of the Affordable Health Care Act?
  • Do you support any proposed constitutional amendments such as CACR6 which would prohibit any increase in a tax or fee without a supermajority of lawmakers (60 percent) approving it?
  • Do you support and would vote to provide an annual COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) for retirees of the NH Retirement System?
  • Would you vote to retain the current structure of the NH Retirement System as a defined benefit program or a defined contribution (401-k type) plan?
  • Do you support so-called “voter-id” legislation that would create additional requirements for voting in NH?
  • If elected, would you become a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)?
  • Do you support diverting funds to charter schools?
  • Would you vote for school vouchers?

There are 25 questions in the questionnaire. I just picked out the 11 most offensive questions. It isn’t surprising that AFT-NH would include questions about charter schools and vouchers.

It’s offensive, though, that they’d ask whether legislators would “divert funds to charter schools.” The elected officials that represent the people have the authority to do what the people want. If they decide that funding charter schools will improve educational outcomes, then that’s what they should do.

Wording it that funding charter schools is diverting money from union schools is offensive. I could argue that union schools are diverting money from higher quality schools.

It’s painfully obvious that AFT-NH will fight hard to retain their defined benefits retirement plans. Potentially, that’s a fight of epic proportions between the NH legislature and AFT-NH. The fight for automatic COLAs will potentially be a fight of epic proportions, too.

If NH is like most states, their PEU pension plans are badly underfunded. Within a decade, they’ll have to take money from the state’s general fund to meet their defined benefit plan obligations. That most likely means raising taxes so that other budgets don’t get cut.

What’s puzzling is why AFT-NH is interested in a politician’s views on Photo ID. This questionnaire unquestionably looks out for the union’s rank-and-file. Still, it tells us that AFT-NH’s goals aren’t society’s goals. That’s why their agenda isn’t likely to get passed.

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