Friday, May 21, 2010

Chicago union election today with potentially shocking results

UPDATE: Sat, May 22: Report from Sharon Schmidt indicated that Marilyn Stewart's UCP Will make the runoff along with CORE.

"At midnight, George reported from the AAA vote count that it looks like there will be a run-off between CORE and UPC. At 5:10 a.m. we are still waiting for final results."

Now we're down to the nitty gritty. If it turns out this way - UPC vs. CORE. All the forces from the AFT, the mayor, the Board of Education, the city and state labor feds, politicians, etc will do what they can to stop CORE. More updates later.

Sources report the astounding possibility that CTU president Marilyn Stewart's caucus stands an excellent chance to not be one of the final two caucuses to make the runoff when the votes are counted tonight. This is bad news for Randi Weingarten and NYC's total dominance of the AFT, especially if CORE and Debbie Lynch's caucus make the finals.

Lynch supposedly despises Randi. Lynch was president of the CTU when Stewart's Caucus lost 9 years ago but Randi eventually stabbed her in the back to help Stewart take over. CORE is the more radical wing and if they win and join the 20 delegates from Detroit and if Randi fails in stealing the election from Nathan Saunders in DC, watch the fur fly in Seattle at the AFT convention in July. Not that there can be much of a challenge with the 800 Unity Caucus slugs conventionning on our dime, but I may be forced to pack up my trusty video camera and book a ticket to join the fun.

If Stewart gets knocked off it is also bad news for the Mayor Daley/Duncan and successor crowd because they clearly favor a sell-out union. Imagine if you will where BloomKlein would stand if an opposition ever threatened Unity. Squarely with Mulgrew. And it would be fun to see the NY Post jump on the Mulgrew bandwagon if there ever was such a threat.

Chicago is a weather vane for what is going to happen here. Stewart held a big fundraiser with a lot of politico bigwigs showing up and putting some cash on the table. They seem pretty nervous too, as do the other suck-up union leaders around the state. Read this article as Substance for more.

The Chicago union election is run by the AAA like here in NYC, but teachers can only vote today in their schools. AAA couriers come by to pick up the ballot boxes. There is no double envelope to protect the vote, but then again this is Chicago where elections are known to be stolen.

George Schmidt is at the count and will be reporting at Substance all night.

Friday, May 21, 2010, the Chicago Teachers Union will hold the election that may determine who runs the 30,000-member union for the next three years. I say "may" because according to CTU rules, a candidate has to get more than 50 percent of the vote to win. With five slates running on May 21, that is highly unlikely, if not mathematically impossible.

Substance will try to release the first vote count after the votes are tallied Friday night or Saturday, and then provide our readers with the schedule for the runoff election if one is necessary. We have devoted an enormous amount of time and space to the Chicago election because Chicago's version of corporate "school reform" — including the corporate version of "school reform unionism" practiced by the leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union under Marilyn Stewart — is the model for much of what is destroying public education in the USA today.

Thanks for tuning in,

George N. Schmidt
Editor, Substance

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