In Partnership with 74

McKenna is the union candidate, but CTA gave to Johnson backers

Vanessa Romo | July 16, 2014

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AAVREP JohnsonCalifornia’s biggest teacher union contributed $20,000 to an organization that is a major supporter of the LA Unified school board District 1 candidate that UTLA is trying to defeat.

According to the California Secretary of State, which tracks political contributions, the California Teachers Association (CTA) gave the money to the African American Voter Registration and Education Project (AAVREP) in June of last year.

AAVREP, a Super PAC founded in 2002 by LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, has spent over $114,000 in independent expenditures on behalf of Alex Johnson, a strong supporter of charter schools who is running against George McKenna, whose only independent expenditure group for the Aug. 12 runoff election is the PAC for the LA teachers union, an affiliate of CTA.

Johnson works for Ridley-Thomas as an education advisor.

The Project says it’s the largest organized effort targeting African American and urban voters in California, registering more than 175,000 voters over the last 20 years. Its goal is to increase political participation among African American and urban voters.

Since CTA made the donation to AAVREP, the group has also spend money to support Wendy Gruel in her mayoral campaign and the Los Angeles County Democratic Party. 

“Educators believe it is extremely important for citizens who are eligible to vote do so in order to make their voices heard,” said Claudia Briggs, a spokeswoman for CTA. “This is why from time to time we support voter registration projects around the state.”

Previous Posts: UTLA votes to endorse McKenna in District 1 board race; Vote-by-Mail request for District 1 school board starts today; McKenna, Johnson re-launch campaigns for school board seat

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