Last month, the Alabama Education Association (AEA), the labor union for Alabama's public K-12 school teachers, claimed victories defeating school choice and a handful of tax cut measures during the 2023 legislative session.
The organization touted wins against those conservative legislative priorities in the June 9 issue of its "The Capital Pulse," a newsletter for its members.
Despite those public proclamations, Republican lawmakers have been overwhelming beneficiaries of AEA contributions during the last election cycle.
Historically, the AEA has taken a hostile tack against the Republican Party and its policy priorities. That includes when the AEA was under the leadership of the organization's former executive director, the late Paul Hubbert, and can be traced back to the 1969 merger with what was then the black teachers' union, which current Alabama Democratic Conference chairman Joe Reed then led.
However, after Republicans took control of the Alabama Legislature in 2010, they sought to diminish the AEA influence in Montgomery and succeeded.
Some years later, while the AEA was working to regain its foothold, the Alabama Republican Party passed a resolution to discourage AEA campaign contributions to Republican candidates.
Although it was not an outright ban, it was said to be a "strong recommendation" not to accept their money.
During an appearance on Friday's broadcast of Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5's "The Jeff Poor Show," Alabama Republican Party chairman John Wahl acknowledged the current issues with the AEA wielding influence over the legislature, which he called a "liberal education union."
Wahl said the party was "looking into" addressing the AEA's influence over Republicans for the 2026 election cycle.
"It's a great question," he said. "It's something that I have talked about as chairman, and I know that I've had members with requests to do something about it. And I think it's something we have to look at, right? You can't have a liberal education union bragging about how they accomplished everything they wanted. They got all these wins in a state that is [supermajority] Republican."
"Obviously, that is concerning to us," Wahl continued. "Obviously, that's something we're going to be looking into for the next cycle."
Jeff Poor is the editor in chief of 1819 News and host of "The Jeff Poor Show," heard Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon on Mobile's FM Talk 106.5. To connect or comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com or follow him on Twitter @jeff_poor.
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