It appears that NEA-RI is stalking South Kingstown.
Most people who pay attention to these sorts of things know that the South Kingstown school department has the dubious distinction of having as one of its governing school committee members, Sarah Markey, an actual organizer from the National Education Association of Rhode Island (NEA-RI), which is the state-level union representing the district’s teachers. That fact makes a particular bit of information from an Eli Sherman report on WPRI jump out.
The town government is investigating political mailers in support of a school bond that were sent to students under 18 years of old. The question at issue is how the Rhode Island AFL-CIO identified these minors so as to put them on a mailing list. Here’s Sherman:
According to legal documents, Rhode Island AFL-CIO president George Nee told investigators he was contacted by [Brad Dufault of Checkmate Consulting], “who asked him if the AFL-CIO would be interested in circulating a mailer in support of the school bond referendum.”
“Mr. Nee further avers in his response letter that, after the AFL-CIO approved a draft of the mailer, Mr. Dufault was responsible for the logistics for having the mailer circulated and did not share the list of recipients with Mr. Nee or the AFL-CIO,” the town’s attorney, Michael Ursillo, wrote in the complaint.
The news hook is that Dufault has refused to testify as required under a subpoena from the town council.
It’s worth noting that NEA-RI is actually a member of the RI AFL-CIO, but a more-direct link exists, in this case. Consider this information, from a report I published through the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity not long ago (emphasis added):
… observers of politics in Rhode Island will notice that left-wing activists pushing controversial social issues like abortion and same-sex marriage are often funded by government labor unions. NEARI’s PAC, for example, gave $20,000 to the central group advocating for same-sex marriage. That group’s director, coincidentally, was Raymond Sullivan, a graduate of a $15,000-per-year private school whom NEARI paid $502,040 from 2011 through 2017.
Sometimes, it’s difficult to tell where one organization begins and another ends! Sullivan is now a principal of Checkmate Consulting, along with Brad Dufault, whose father,
Guy, appears to run Progress RI, which received thousands of dollars from Rhode Island’s labor unions. A $3,000 donation to Progress RI wound up being paid to Checkmate, which also happens to own the property used by Progress RI for its address. Incidentally, NEARI PAC has been operating rent-free, courtesy of the union, for some years (although the PAC may now be catching up on payments.
The dots are not difficult to connect. A school district with an NEA-RI organizer on its school committee wants voters to allow it to borrow money. A political consulting form run by another NEA-RI organizer approached the AFL-CIO to sponsor a mailer that went out to a list of children that only the school department should have.
Whatever the legality (let alone morality) of these actions, they certainly do indicate that the teachers union is deeply embedded in South Kingstown.