Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Will the UFT Support Bill Thompson?

Many anti-Bloomberg teachers who are also skeptical of the UFT are assuming the UFT will stay neutral in a race dominated by Bloomberg money. I don't agree. I can't see Bill Thompson, who has a clear field for the Democratic nomination, running without some level of enouragement and support from the UFT.

The UFT has had a very long relationship with Thompson going back to his father and he has been their preferred candidate for mayor for many years. That is one of the reasons they supported mayoral control, expecting Thompson to be mayor one day. I've written about this relationship over the years. So it is hard to imagine them not endorsing him. Whether they will actually throw resources in is another question. If there is any sign he could win they will as they can control him whereas with Bloomberg he controls them.

Related:
Thompson's speech at the IS 278 rally in Marine Park, where he got a rousing reception from a mostly white audience. Will they remember in November?

More on Thompson and the UFT
Weingarten and Thompson Embarrassed

4 comments:

  1. Sorry, Norm, but I gotta disagree with you on this one.

    There is no chance whatsoever that the UFT will give anything more than perfunctory support for Thompson, despite their relationship.

    Randi has already demonstrated that she, like almost everyone else, is in the Oligarch's pocket: witness her dive on term limits, her politically premature backstabbing of parents (who naively thought they could rely on her)on mayoral control, and her cheerleading at the dog-and-pony show press conferences lauding the phony statewide test scores.

    And then there's my recent favorite, her obsequious comments quoted in the Daily News "Lovefest" article from last week: "What we've seen in the last seven years is a cohesion (!) and stability (!!!) and resources that we did not have beforehand, and a lot of that was because Mayor Bloomberg said, "I'm taking responsibility... And that is something that shouldn't go unaddressed today, AND I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR THAT(!!!!!!!).

    Thank him? Thank him? As folks say in Appalachia, I wouldn't piss on him if his heart was on fire.

    Sorry, Bill, but the UFT's going to pull a Pataki on you. Remember Carl McCall?

    The only good thing that may possibly come out of this is the chance of a non-concessionary contract - which Bloomberg has already used to buy off the other municipal unions- before the election (but don't get too excited, the attacks and school closings will accelerate nonetheless) in order to guarantee UFT cooperation.

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  2. Michael, I start from the position of who the UFT would like to see be the mayor, Thompson or Bloomberg. I add the idea that even if there were no Bloomberg, the UFT would back Thompson over any other candidate. For instance, Weiner would have been undermined to favor Thompson no matter what the members wanted.

    Now given the realities, the points you make are sensible. Now remember not to fall into the trap of believing what she says is reality, so her praise of Bloomberg is the same smoke and mirrors as everything else she does. The UFT throws up a hundred signals in all directions. We all agree they want mayoral control and in fact they want it without checks and balances and are paying lip service to that too because they ultimately feel they can put in their guy as mayor and control the whole shebang.

    And who is their main guy they have been banking on for 10 years? Bill Thompson. Take the long view of setting him up for 2013 and view what the UFT does in that light.

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  3. Norm,

    What makes you think Bloomberg won't go for term #4 in 2013?

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  4. Yes, Randi will back Thompson as a smoke screen to placate the ani-Bloomberg crowd..which is most of us..and knowing full well that he will lose the election to Bloomberg. Politics as usual. She will publicly support Thompson, and privately Bloomberg. Behind the scenes she will probably speak to her political friends to make sure Bloomy gets along with Klein. What else is new?

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