From the NY Post:
The UFT spent $245,406 lobbying the City Council alone in 2008, and another $47,074 in the first two months of 2009, records kept by the City Clerks Office show.
There are 30 in-house lobbyists registered with the UFT whose sole job is convincing or cajoling city lawmakers to share the union's point of view.
The big reward for approved candidates is an influx of union cash in the form of campaign donations and access to the UFT's network of phone banks.
In each borough, the UFT sets aside rooms with tables and telephones for its army of volunteers to call registered voters to get them to the polls to support its favored politicians.
Further, a political endorsement means access to a small army of teachers (the union has 135,000 members) to appear at campaign rallies or press conferences. For many parent voters, support from teachers translates into a general seal of approval.