Thursday, November 17, 2016

My Slogan "Make the UFT Great Again" Won Me 4 Unity Caucus Votes For UFT Exec Board

In a vote only a little less unlikely than the election of Donald Trump as US President, it was reported that four Unity Caucus members defied their caucus obligations to vote for Norm Scott for a seat on the UFT Executive Board. ... James Eterno, ICE blog,  MULTIPLE UNITY CAUCUS MEMBERS VOTE FOR NORM SCOTT
If Mike Schirtzer was able to persuade 4 Unity people to defect and vote for me, Hillary would have won if he was her campaign manager. I want a recount - Only 74 out of 101 EB members voted.

Still, I Blow a Kiss to My Unity Caucus Slugs - er - Fans (all 4 of them).

I was shocked this past Monday to discover that you can lose an election by the popular vote. Why, no electoral college for this one? Did we get returns from Wisconsin yet?

As reported by Arthur Goldstein in his report of last Monday's UFT Exec Board meeting:

Election results for Exec. Board functional chapter opening:
  • Nancy Barr 64 votes Norm Scott 10.
There are 101 members of the Ex Bd. I'm waiting for the absentee ballots to come in before conceding. Wait - let me do the math ---hmmmm---- my 10 plus 27 uncounted votes --- darn -- I still can't win --- see what happens when an aging retired teacher runs against a Unity candidate from the nurse's chapter?

Eterno speculates as to why the Unity defections:
  • Unity members were impressed by Mike Schirtzer's speech on behalf of Norm
  • Multiple Unity people wanted to actually make a protest point. 
  • The Unity candidate was someone who was unpopular
  • They like that the jokes are back in Norm's Ed Notes.
My guess is they wanted me on the EB to eat up all the leftover food.

Actually, if you read some of the comments on James' post from what seems to be Unity insiders, there may be some internal strife but never enough to have much of an impact.

If they had let me make a speech I would have said "Give me more sandwich choices at EB dinners or give me death."

When Mike Schirtzer nominated me for the position a few weeks ago and the boychik made such a fab speech, he promised me I would win - win 7 votes from the MORE/New Action EB members. I told him I wasn't even sure I would get those votes.

So on Monday I decided not to go to the meeting to suffer da agony of de feet. I have enough problems walking.

Well, James Eterno thinks I made history by getting 4 Unity votes (one of the MOREs was not there so I had 6, not 7 votes from our EB people).

Since it was a secret ballot, UFT security has been taking fingerprints off the defector ballots to determine who they were. But they won't find anything.

My Unity defector posse (sorry Lebron James) knows enough to vote while wearing gloves.

Below is James' entire post.



MULTIPLE UNITY CAUCUS MEMBERS VOTE FOR NORM SCOTT

In a vote only a little less unlikely than the election of Donald Trump as US President, it was reported that four Unity Caucus members defied their caucus obligations to vote for Norm Scott for a seat on the UFT Executive Board. There was a vacancy on the Board and an election to fill the seat was held on Monday.

We know there was Unity dissent since there were only six opposition members who were in attendance at Monday's meeting and Norm received 10 votes. That means four from Unity had to have voted for Norm. Four Unity votes for an opposition member is unprecedented. The Unity candidate still easily won but elections are about expectations and Norm was expected to get six votes. He wildly exceeded expectations.

I was a member of the Executive Board representing the High School Division for a decade. In that time there were plenty of interim elections to replace Officers, including the President, and Executive Board members who retired, moved on to the AFT or passed away. Over the twenty years I have been following the Executive Board, only once can I recall a single Unity Caucus member not voting for the Unity candidate. It was in 1997, my first year on the Board. It was such a rare event that then President Sandy Feldman noted from the chair that the vote crossed caucus lines.

One Unity member in two decades that I know of crossed party lines to vote for someone in the opposition until Monday night. Norm in one election quadrupled twenty years worth of vote totals for opposition candidates.

Maybe Unity members were impressed by Mike Schirtzer's speech on behalf of Norm or perhaps multiple Unity people wanted to actually make a protest point. Then again it is possible that the Unity candidate was someone who was unpopular or maybe four of them like that the jokes are back in Norm's Ed Notes.

Before anyone thinks there is a real crack in the Unity machine, let us remember this was a secret ballot election so we will never know, unless they come out and say, who the Unity dissidents were. They are about as likely to admit they voted for Norm as they are to split a mega-millions jackpot on Saturday. Then again, these are strange times for sure so perhaps we will find out.

Anyway, congratulations Norm on a job well done! You won over more Unity people than I ever did.

4 comments:

  1. Loved reading these. Great job, both of you.
    PS: keep up the good work, Norm. I cut all my subscriptions to political newsletters the day after the election. Now get all my news from Ednotes and am much, much happier.

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  2. I have a theory. Norm's 4 Unity votes are like Trump's Rust Belt votes. People want change. But unlike Rust Belt voters, NYC teachers haven't reached their bottom yet. If NYC teachers continue to be abused and disenfranchised, the rage vote that kept Hillary out of the White House might also one day keep Unity out of 52 Broadway. And like the democrats in Nov 2016, they will never see it coming. Roseanne McCosh

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    Replies
    1. Maybe but only if people running against unity can craft a message that is effective. At this point MORE's message is similar to the Democratic Party. Appeals to identity politics not class. As long as more is a marginal caucus with little chance of winning it can win a certain amount of votes from disaffected. On the other hand you can't build an organization without ground troops and at this point most of the people who want to do more than just vote but actually organize are motivated to get involved by the appeal to Sj issues. My feeling is that though sources I have in unity this was a protest vote over some internal grievances in unity. There would have been a few more but some were afraid and others weren't there.

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