Thursday, March 10, 2016

Can Teacher Unions Pull Out the Vote for Hillary? Maybe Not

The UFT pro-Bernie crowd might have lived with Hillary if there was a fair and open debate in the UFT about who do endorse. The lack of democracy in the UFT/AFT/NYSUT will come back to bite them.  As Mike Antonucci points out below, the NEA and AFT did not deliver for Hillary in Michigan. Can NY be far behind?

The overwhelming union commitment of staff, money and resources to Hillary’s campaign should be producing overwhelming margins for her in union households, and helping her margins with other demographics. How impressed can she be with the relevancy and value of NEA and AFT if they can’t even deliver their own members?... Mike Antonucci, Intercepts
Yes, Mike is a libertarian anti-union commentator. But he always uncovers such nuggets.

With things heating up around the upcoming NY State primary, the UFT will pull out all stops to prove it can deliver for Hillary.


Tom Murphy who is chapter leader of the UFT retired teacher chapter, which pretty much controls the UFT elections, sent this out:


Volunteer to help Hillary Clinton win

Please join us to volunteer at our phone banks for Hillary Clinton on Monday, March 28 through Primary Day on Tuesday, April 19 to make calls to our members and fellow union members.
Sign up to volunteer »
Murphy used the traditional scare tactics about Trump, etc. The fact that Bernie was never put on the table as an option for UFT members will come back to bite Unity Caucus in the primary and beyond. I wonder if it will affect the UFT elections too. I can't think of one MORE person who had declared for Hillary though there are some leaners based on fear. One of our officer candidates, Mindy Rosier, it very active in the Bernie campaign and is running for delegate. How great would it be to see Mindy at the convention?

What I am getting from teachers is that given Hillary's ed deform background and loyalty to corporations and Wall Street they cannot vote for Hillary. Some say they would rather vote for Trump - and these are not right wingers. Others say they will go for a 3rd party. I am predicting troubles for Hillary in the NY State primary from not only a segment of UFT members but from all union members. Of course Hillary will probably win due to the African American vote, though in Michigan younger black voters under 40 went for Bernie.


Here is Mike's complete post:

Posted: 09 Mar 2016 10:19 AM PST
RedWedding


I can always tell what kind of night it was for Hillary Clinton by heading over to the NEA and AFT web sites and checking the press releases. If NEA has one about its “robust, targeted, and well-organized communications and field programs” or AFT has one with a headline containing “Union Members Pivotal…” it means she won. If there is nothing, then the affected state has been dropped down the memory hole.

If you remember way back to last October, when the NEA board of directors approved the Clinton endorsement, the union distributed talking points to its activists to explain the decision. Among the reasons given were:

* “Acting now allows us to pick our champion, and build credibility with the campaign, and that candidate, while demonstrating our value as a real player with substantial political power to bring to the table. We need to ensure that our views are part of the conversation on policies and priorities – not to concede that space by sitting on the sidelines. Acting now gives us a valuable voice in the room early, and often when it comes to working with the next administration.”

* “When we waited until the RA vote in 2008, we were one of the last organizations to endorse Obama. This left us, and our key issues in a position of little relevancy to the candidate and excluded us from being part of the team. We’ve learned that when we don’t act soon enough, campaigns go around us and organize our members without us. By the time they receive our official recommendation, their platforms are developed and they are well on their way to winning or losing.”

So the idea was to prove relevancy and value to Clinton by demonstrating political power. The problem is that even in the states Hillary won, she captured the union household vote by relatively small margins. Last night, Bernie Sanders won the union household vote – 49% to 47% – in Michigan, of all places.

The overwhelming union commitment of staff, money and resources to Hillary’s campaign should be producing overwhelming margins for her in union households, and helping her margins with other demographics. How impressed can she be with the relevancy and value of NEA and AFT if they can’t even deliver their own members?

If Clinton wins the nomination, she will owe it to African-American voters, who are voting for her in waves the unions can only dream of. They are not only rescuing Clinton’s campaign, they are saving the unions from an embarrassing loss of face and backlash from rank-and-file members.

NEA and AFT’s best-case scenario now is a Clinton presidency, but one in which she owes them no special debt of gratitude – sort of like an Obama presidency. It could be worse, but they had much higher hopes.
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