And don't expect any uplifting words on democracy.
For some time we have noticed hits to this blog from the AFT in Washington searching for Jeff Zahler, an unusual sign of interest.
Noted red-baiter and Unity Caucus leader (and hack,) Zahler briefly served as UFT staff director in the fall of 2007 when he replaced Mike Mendel before retiring himself in January 2008.
Apparently, he will be doing the same job at the AFT as Randi takes him to Washington. (Will Zahler still have time to monitor the opposition blogs and leave anonymous comments?)
The choice of Zahler to go to the AFT is interesting, given the role he has played in the UFT as the attack dog of choice in his role of Unity Caucus leader. Zahler's crudely written Unity leaflets, which always make sure to attack ICE merely for existing, rank high on the list of things to laugh at during dull moments at Delegate Assemblies.
Zahler reached the heights with the notorious post card red-baiting Weingarten opponent Kit Wainer (see below) sent to the homes of thousands of UFTers in the 2007 election. The left segment of bought off opposition New Action, which had been red-baited by Zahler and others in Unity for decades in their pre-sell out days, sent off a message to Weingarten protesting (conscience cleared) and she made some lame apology but she winked as Zahler proudly defended his actions at a Delegate Assembly.
So Zahler is an appropriate choice to go to the AFT which for 30 years has been a factor in undermining left/militant unionism around the world. Check Mexico and Puerto Rico for recent events and see if you can find a copy of George Schmidt's 3-decade old pamphlet on the AFT and the CIA. (If you want a copy let me know.)
Here is a reprise of Zahler's greatest hits on Ed Notes.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007Considering the attack on ICE-TJC presidential candidate Kit Wainer as being old-century, the McCarthyite tactic of branding the opposition as "Reds" seems so old century. But this is an old tactic on the part of Unity Caucus. Ironically, they used this time and again against their current allies New Action, many of whose leaders have strong connections to socialist political parties and are themselves so-called red diaper babies, whose parents actually faced persecution by the real deal, Joe McCarthy himself and have a visceral response to "Red-baiting."
March 29, 2007
Randi then gave Unity Caucus head Jeff Zahler the floor to engage in another round of red-baiting, saying he was proud of the role he played and read excerpts in a second attack on Kit Wainer. Zahler said accusations of McCarthyism are not true because in those times Kit would be thrown out of the union and not even have a job (Shanker was all for the firing of Red teachers.) He attacked Kit for criticizing Al Shanker for supporting American foreign policy - like the war in Vietnam, which apparently in retrospect Zahler must also support. When Zahler started frothing at the mouth Randi, fearing rabiis, signaled "enough" and he sat down like a good boy.
May 21, 2007
With his new position as UFT Staff Director, Unity Caucus leader Jeff Zahler will have to give up his dual full-time positions of monitoring opposition blogs and as chief writer of red-baiting leaflets for Unity. In a recent speech at the Delegate Assembly he said he was proud of writing the red-baiting leaflet attacking ICE-TJC presidential candidate Kit Wainer.
Zahler brings a rich background to his new position as a disciple of red-hunter Joseph McCarthy and will be instituting loyalty oaths for all UFT employees.
June 12, 2007
Randi's paranoia (increasing by leaps and bounds as snitches at the palace at 52 Broadway have been telling us) requires attack dogs while she is traipsing around the country. Zahler, who has been so proud of his red-baiting leaflets, addressed the members and made a less than thrilling impression. He said something about only delegates should be seated - that's it Jeff, show how tough you are by eliminating the 12 seats in the visitor section. Someone muttered "we want Michael [Mendel]." Can't wait to see Zahler run a DA."