Thursday, June 19, 2014

Randi Influence Over NYSUT and Cuomo Endorsement? Peter Goodman vs Mercedes Schneider

Not endorsing is not the same as opposing and the majority of NYSUT local presidents oppose Cuomo.... Beth Dimino
There are some interesting posts up at Education Bloggers Network Central (bloggers plugged into the Ravitch network).

Mercedes Schneider, a Randi Weingarten critic based in Louisiana, blogged about Randi's support for anti-teacher, ed deform Conn. Gov Malloy:

AFT’s Weingarten Supports Malloy, and Likely, Cuomo

On June 16, 2014, I wrote a post in which I wondered what American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten would say on June 17 at the official AFL-CIO endorsement of the re-election of blatantly-anti-teacher, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy.
Here is what the Connecticut Mirror had to offer by way of Weingarten’s participation in endorsing an undeniably public-education-destroyer Malloy:
Randi Weingarten, national AFT president, makes a plea for Malloy.
Randi Weingarten, national AFT president, makes a plea for Malloy.
[Jim Horn at Schools Matter also has a piece on this: Given a Real Choice, Weingarten Goes With the Proven Corporate Education Stooge)].

UFT/Randi/Unity Caucus shill Peter Goodman had me in stitches with his follow-up post where he claimed Randi could not possibly influence all those independent-minded local NYSUT leaders - so independent that until this year there had never been an election in the 40 year history of NYSUT. He particularly pointed to noted left-leaning PSC leader (CUNY) Barbara Bowen, who supported the Randi/Mulgrew Revise Slate.

I point to a possible reason in the comment I left:
The NYSUT situation is complex but Peter leaves out oh so much. The root of the NYSUT contentious election was Cuomo - the incumbents said flat out they would not endorse. The so-called insurgents led by the UFT (and instigated by Randi) which holds over a third of the votes objected and claimed the incumbents should have been more amenable to dialogue with Cuomo. So let's look at this point: "To claim that Weingarten will determine the gubernatorial endorsement in New York is absurd." Randi was bad-mouthing the incumbents to people and her hand-appointed successor at the UFT, Mulgrew, joined in. Peter is right - that many local presidents were independent -- over 200 smaller locals opposed the Randi/Mulgrew takeover of NYSUT. But many are not independent. They rely on Randi and Mulgrew for "stuff." Thus Barbara Bowen gains the ability to put forth her pet resolutions at AFT conventions in exchange for supporting Randi.
Her deal has always been with Randi. So to say Randi doesn't influence things is not true.
But Mercedes may also be wrong on whether NYSUT will endorse Cuomo -- if it does the supporters of the incumbents who lost -- and are forming the first statewide opposition caucus in NYSUT would be handed a lot of ammunition for the next election. Behind the scenes the story was that Randi was worried that the incumbents in NYSUT if they had won would be able to stop a state AFL-CIO state endorsement of Cuomo which was a No-No in Randi's world of having a seat - or a tiny stool at the Democratic Party table -- the UFT/NYSUT/AFT complex is woven into the fabric of the Party. Well, mission accomplished -- AFL-CIO endorsement in the bag. So the actual NYSUT endorsement is no longer important and in fact would get so much flack raised at the Weingarten/Mulgrew crew that run NYSUT now, my guess is they will back off.
So Peter is right that NYSUT may not endorse - but due to the independence ot the locals and not to the control of Randi? That's a laugh.
My friend John G replied:
I am pretty sure there will be a NYSUT endorsement of Cuomo. As Norm alluded, the Union is fairly well insulated from its angry rank and file members and, honestly, could care less how we feel about their endorsement our about them.
Yes, John. Insulated from the rank and file, but not insulated from the insurgent Stronger Together union presidents who are forming a statewide caucus in opposition - remember - they may have lost this round but received between 33-46% of the vote in what was viewed as a slam dunk, given that the big 5 cities were arrayed against them. If the new caucus does its due diligance and some of the Big 5 are pulled in, things can get dicey next time and a Cuomo endorsement will come back to haunt them. So my guess - and from what I am hearing - is that they won't go there - just let the Working Party, AFL-CIO, et al carry the load. But Cuomo doesn't need NYSUT -- in fact I bet big blocks of teachers vote against Cuomo in a primary or go Green with Howie and Brian in the general election.

Mercedes followed up with:

Re: Will the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) Endorse Cuomo for Governor?

Let me be clear as to what I am saying about NYSUT and Cuomo:

If NYSUT "abstains" from supporting Cuomo, given their position in the AFL-CIO endorsement, they are supporting him.

If NYSUT openly votes for Cuomo, they are supporting him.

From Port Jefferson Station Teachers Assn President Beth Dimino-- a comment posted to Ed's piece:

Just to help you understand Weingarten’s influence… She was the UFT president and the aft president at the same time at the beginning of her tenure as aft president… She directly manipulated the recent NYSUT elections… At her direction the aft is paying the salary of the NYSUT transition person, Alan Lubin. Lubin was the UFT appointed Nysut EVP who retired from NYSUT because he could not get along with Iannuzzi…. Nysut says that their local presidents make the endorsement choices at their August conference but that is not entirely true… Nysut has already made endorsements and the presidents have not met yet for one and I don’t believe there is one president that supports Cuomo but NYSUT will not come out against him and has not found anyone to run against him…NYSUT also “allowed” it’s largest local, the UFT, to manipulate the WFP endorsement of Cuomo… Bowen like the other ” big five” locals were promised more perks for their locals if they threw their votes to the revive slate…. I don’t know what Bowen got, but one of Ahern’s perks was that he got a seat on the Nysut board.. Nysut may not endorse Cuomo, but they won’t oppose him either because the UFT needs a relationship with him and the current NYSUT leadership and Weingarten care more about a relationship with the UFT than they do the rest of the NYS locals because without UFT’s votes they can’t get elected… Not endorsing is not the same as opposing and the majority of NYSUT local presidents oppose Cuomo…. July is a big month for Weingarten because she’s up for reelection at the aft convention…


Anonymous said...

I think the most detrimental thing I've done to my mental health in a long time was to hit the "Follow" key for @rweingarten on Twitter. I know I need to "Unfollow" but then I wonder what nonsense I might miss if I do so.


Anonymous said...

And I believe she is behind the Florida's union endorsement of Crist over Nan Rich who has publically stated she would end testing mandates her first day in office and is fully behind public education. Crist is a Jeb Bush in disguise. Randi keeps turning her back on those who support us. So much for my COPE contributions. The woman is disgusting, and I think the majority of the rank and file that she doesn't have a hold on know it.

Anonymous said...

I am registering as a democrat just so I can vote against Cuomo in the primary. The deadline is in August...I hope other teachers do the same.

Anonymous said...

Beth is absolutely correct. Just one other thing, Weingarten's chief of staff is also on the NYSUT officer transition team.