out of her spiritual vacuum by pointingrnto Koreatovvn as a better anti-povertyrnprogram than anything the soeial engineersrnl-rom Yale or Harvard have delivered.rnThat’s the first step.rn—Ralph R. ReilandrnT H E CALIFORNIA TEACHERSrnAssociation (CTA) and its allies raisedrn$17 million to defeat Proposition 174,rnCalifornia’s school voucher initiative,rnwhich proposed granting parents arnvoucher worth as much as $2,600 thatrncould be applied to tuition at public orrnprivate schools. Ironically, this special interestrndidn’t even have to break a sweat:rnthe campaign budget of “Yes on Proprn174” amounted to a mere $2 million,rnhardly the sort of money needed to campaignrneffectively in the country’s mostrnpopulous and demographically and culturallyrncomplex state. The CTA couldrneven afford to drop $100,000 on victoryrnparties throughout California. Thernunion’s politician-packed party at SanrnFrancisco’s posh Fairmont Hotel was sornlavish that one anti-voucher activist confidedrnto a San Francisco Chronicle reporter,rn”It’s the Circus of the Stars. It isrnan extravaganza.”rnDuring California’s last legislativerncampaign cycle (1991-92), the CTA gavernnearly one million dollars in campaignrncontributions to politicians, accordingrnto California Common Cause, which inrna July 1993 study of the “Top Ten” specialrninterests in California said the CTArn”ranked number one in terms of totalrnpolitical expenditures, and spent $7.4rnmillion on state political activities inrn1991 and 1992.” California CommonrnCause likewise noted that in the lastrnelection cvcle the CTA, which keeps arnstaff of eight lobbyists, diversified its investments:rncampaign contributions wentrnto 126 political candidates throughoutrnCalifornia, 86 of whom are now holdingrnoffice. Willie Brown, the DemocraticrnAssembly speaker whose career, fueledrnby extraordinary amounts of special interestrnmone’, has become a symbol of allrnthat’s rotten in the California legislature,rntopped the list of CTA monev recipientsrnin 1991-92 at $112,353. Brownrnopposed the voucher initiative, and AlicernHuffman, the CTA’s associate executiverndirector, has been raising money to helprndraft him into running for governor—orrnanother constitutional office.rnPoliticians on the CTA dole readilyrnrepaid the favor as election day neared.rnFor instance. State Senator Diane Watsonrn(D-Los Angeles), who took $4,198 inrnCTA money in 1991-92, said in Septemberrnthat “gangs” might start their ownrnschools under Prop. 174. That’s doubtful.rnBesides, adolescent thugs can alreadyrnhave their way in California’s publicrnschools: a 13-ycar-old and his friends,rnarmed with a gun and knives, didn’trnneed vouchers to help them plot arnhostage-taking at a public HuntingtonrnBeach school last October. The plot wasrnfoiled, ineptitude being one thing publicrnschools arc still good at instilling in students.rnIf the Christian Coalition pumpedrnthis sort of money into the state’s politicalrnsystem it would be front-page news.rnBut for the teachers’ union to be callingrnthe shots on education by way of itsrncheckbook is, well, just business as usual.rnThe press, however, was not wholly tornblame in the sinking of Prop 174. Initiativernstrategists blew most of their moneyrnup front on signature-gathering andrnfailed to expose the union’s politicalrnpower and its financial interest in preventingrnany competition. Moreover,rnanti-voucher conservatives and libertariansrnwho legitimately feared the intrusionrnof public policies in private educationrnunder a voucher regime and whornvoted against Prop 174 or who plainrnstayed at home on election day (both inrngood conscience) ironically helped tornstrengthen the statist status quo.rnProp 174 would not have toppled thernCTA, but it would have diluted its powerrnas well as gien parents the opportunityrnto challenge the growing menace ofrnpoliticized education—like the commonrnpractice of leading budding public employeernunion activists in letter-writingrncampaigns to the governor any timernpublic-school budget cuts are in thernnews or the everyday cultivation of a newrngeneration of sensitivity-niks by spendingrnclass time on condom etiquette andrnmulticultural indoctrination. Had California’srnschool voucher initiative passed,rnmore parents would have opted out of arnmajor state-managed and state-dictatedrnsystem of everyday life, and their childrenrnwould have learned the virtue of beingrnweaned from the bureaucratic teat.rnVoters in states where other schoolrnvoucher battles are shaping up—Ohio,rnPennsylvania, Arkansas, Wisconsin,rnIllinois, New York, Virginia, Michigan,rnand Oregon—should follow the moneyrnfrom teachers’ unions in their respectivernlegislatures and ask themselves one simplernquestion: Should power-obsessedrnunions—special interests maintainedrnprofessionally and politically with millionsrnof taxpayer dollars—be allowed torncontinue their control over the educationrnof the most impressionable?rn—]im ChristiernIS THE ROCKFORD INSTITUTE IN YOUR WILL?rnPerhaps a better question is:rnDo you liave a current will?rnIf not, the laws of your particular state will determine what is tornbe done with your estate upon your death. In addition, unlessrnthere is proper planning, federal estate taxes can claim up to 55%rnof your property. If you would like to discuss elements of yourrnestate planning, please write or call:rnMICHAEL WARDERrnLEGACY PROGRAMrnTHE ROCKFORD INSTITUTErn934 NORTH MAIN STREETFrnROCKFORD, IL 61103rn(815)964-5811rnMARCH 1994/7rnrnrn