Friday, July 25, 2008

Mr. Zahler Goes to Washington....

....but don't expect him to be Jimmy Stewart.
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, 2007

Unity Propaganda Machine Treads in Dangerous Territory

Considering 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

Breaking News: March 29, 2007

When a question was raised at the DA yesterday about the red-baiting flyer Unity sent out, Randi as usual cried about how she has stood up to such terrible personal attacks -- like questions about her teaching credentials - like questionning her statement on NY 1 not long ago claiming she taught 5 periods a day for 6 years - it was 6 months, but what's a little slipup amongst friends?

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

Coming Soon to UFT Staff: Loyalty Oaths?

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

UFT Delegate Assembly Report June '07

Paranoia will Destroya

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."

December 26, 2007

Shuffling the Deck on the UFT Titanic


  1. Jeff Zahler another boot-licker who parades around as RW's bodyguard, or is that bodydouble?
    The dye is cast for the AFT, watch the crap she pulls from the get-go.
    An interseting comment about the new AFT Pres in todays article by Elizabeth Green in the NY Sun. While no fan of the Shanker Legacy, RW is correctly depicted in the article. RW should be the corporate identity she so deserves.

  2. ould's Book Arcade wrote:

    Both on your site and the Socialist Register site,
    everybody seems to get worked up about someone called
    Leo Casey. I would genuinely like it if you would make
    some kind of clipped summary of these past conflicts
    and disputes, so that I can get some idea of how the
    intense hysteria that my Marxist views seem to
    generate, fit into the history of these past issues,
    about which I know very little.

    This will probably be more than you want to know.
    Leo Casey first became prominent in the New
    American Movement (NAM) after 1970. NAM had about 900
    very active members. NAM grew out of that section of
    Students for a Democratic Society(SDS) that did not
    want to become Maoist or Weather People.
    It was also joined by about 150 people who left the
    CP-USA (Mostly Dorothy Healey's frinds. Some people
    described NAM as Left Social Democratic. Others said
    it was the closest that ever came to a EuroCommunist
    grouping in America. Barbara Ehrenright (spelling?)
    was a typical NAM member.
    When the proposal to merge with the Democratic
    Socialist Organizing Committee (DSOC) was made, Casey
    was one of its strongest supporters. After the
    merger, Casey went to work in the national office.
    The merged name was Democratic Socialists of
    America(DSA). DSA is an American affiliate of the
    Socialist International, along with the British Labor
    Party, German Social Democrats, etc.
    DSA is the only socialist organization in America
    whose membership runs in the thousands of dues paying
    members, but most are otherwise inactive. It includes
    movie stars, prominent politicians who also belontg to
    the Democratic Party and a few top leaders of some of
    the American labor unions.
    In recent years, Leo Casey has been working in an
    office of the American Federation of Teachers(AFT).
    AFT is probably the most conservative labor union in
    America. It is controlled by right wing officials who
    come out of the Schactmanite Trotskyist tradition.
    Leo Casey has set himself up as one of the leaders of
    the group trying to exclude the Workers' World Party
    from the Peace Movement.

  3. Leo Casey
    United Federation of Teachers
    260 Park Avenue South
    New York, New York 10010-7272 (212-598-6869)

    Power concedes nothing without a demand.
    It never has, and it never will.
    If there is no struggle, there is no progress.
    Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation are men who
    want crops without plowing the ground. They want rain without thunder and
    lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its waters.
    -- Frederick Douglass --


  4. Really, what's the big deal? Everything in that so called "propaganda" piece about Kit Wainer and ICE/TJC is true. T-R-U-E, true!

    Speaking of Kit, a burning question that must be asked. As he was so gung-ho about being UFT president even though he lost, what the hell happened to him? Did he fall of the face of the earth? Surely, even though he lost the presidential election, he'd still be active for the good of all teachers right?

  5. Kit became disenfranchised after the election. He put a lot of effort into getting elected and wore his heart upon his sleeve for several months. He was criticized harshly.

    Kit tries to avoid the spotlight now. Actually, on many days he doesn't even come out of his house anymore. It is very sad. It is also one of the reasons why many of us in ICE and TJC are very upset with Randi Weingarten. We feel she is partially to blame for this.

  6. Is ICE doing anything to help Kit with his agoraphobic symptoms?

  7. I think the Casey post hit a nerve in Unity man.

  8. "They want the ocean without the awful roar of its waters."

    Casey wants the stream without the tinkle of the trickle.

  9. Is Leo Casey a relative of Ben Casey?

  10. Don't you think you may be a little harsh on Jeffrey? I don't know him as the person you describe. When I worked with him, and I am just a member, he was warm, kind and professional. Many including myself will miss him. Even if you have the opposite opinion, are you warm, kind and professional when you speak about others you may disagree with?
    I'm not in either caucus, but I think we should all work together for the good of the union, and stop hurting each other with these negative comments. They are destructive and unproductive in terms of reaching our goal of improving our educational environment. Maybe that's why Randi appointed me. She knew I tried to appeal to her, not attack her character. I still hope to get some things done from the inside out and will continue to do my best to help the union move in the right direction. I hope you agree that working with each other and not against each other is the way to go. Hm-m?

  11. To the most recent anonymous-Randi appointed you? Has she now become management with the power to appoint members??

  12. Well, in response to that, aren't
    members allowed on committees?
    I was appointed co-chair of a committee, and I have met with Michael to draft proposals to "possibly" use to implement in the new contract for our members.
    Michael called me initially in to work with JZ to help energize the committee before he retired.
    And we will be putting together a survey this summer to mail to all our members to hear what they have to say about their working conditions and their needs.
    I am very happy to serve my union by helping them mobilize the rank and file. Randi said to Gabe Pressman that this year she wants to "champion the committees" and hear their recommendations. Let's see if there is a follow through on this promise. The executive board has heard our cry for more movement on behalf of our members represented on this committee. I am grateful to be part of this movement.

  13. It's wonderful to see the membership so mobilized. The noise is deafening.

  14. Keep sucking up. Maybe it'll land you a job.

  15. The UFT forms committees to validate the result that the UFT wants for their purposes. The illusion of democracy is their goal. Committee's are stacked with yes votes with a sacrificial NO in the mix for PR only. If you want to help the membership this is not the avenue to take. Committee's like rally's are the UFT ploy to placate the members via media PR.

  16. Hi - Thanks for your responses. I really don't believe I am "sucking up" as you say, because I belong to neither caucus. What is difficult is that I am very outspoken and when I go "outside the box" they may "call me on it".
    They are quite controlling at times. But, we are in the midst of formulating a survey and hopefully the Secretary will agree to our unemployment proposal exempting subs from the "Reasonable Assurance Act". Michael said he'd take a look at it. I will keep you posted if they actually follow through with what was promised.
    Randi said to Gabe Pressman she wants to "champion the committees"
    and respond to their recommendations this year in order to help people like us who are in the trenches every day. I'll keep you posted as to the exciting developments on the per diem committee.


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