|View from my deck|
A call came in last night (I'm paraphrasing): "Norm, if not for your ed notes piece on the count being honest the people in my school - almost 100% NO - would be ready to storm UFT HQ over what looks like a shady vote count."
So I assured him from what I saw there was no way. "What about Unity chapter leaders doing something funny (there is such trust in the Unity machine out there)?" We went over possible scenarios and nothing really made sense - that a vast conspiracy would have been needed and someone at some time would talk.
But he didn't quite give up. "My sister's elementary school is also all NO." "Come on," I said, "maybe she is just talking to a small subset." So he called up his sister and called me back. "Nope. She said they were overwhelming NO from the get-go."
There was no active MOREista in her school. So what explains this? I just don't know.
But the point of this piece is that if Ellen and I weren't there representing MORE, there would be a hell of a lot of suspicion.
When MORE first began negotiating with Leroy Barr about observers, his first response was that one observer from each caucus would be allowed. MORE objected, demanding it be open to everyone, not just caucuses. (Info on Observing Contract Vote Count).
I urged MORE to threaten to boycott the observation with, "The UFT needs us more than we need them on this one because if we are NOT there they will be charged with stealing the vote no matter what happens."
My fellow MOREistas rejected my idea because they felt it important to have observers there -- and anyway, Leroy came back with a proposal to allow anyone who wanted to come to do so.
So how important was it for the UFT to have us there? And shouldn't they be sending Ellen and me a check for giving up 2 beautiful days?
Leroy, I'll take mine as per session. Make sure to add it to my pension.