California Teachers Forced to Support Unwanted Candidates
Teachers who are forced to pay dues in California are also forced into supporting candidates they may not choose to vote for, as their dues money is funnelled into 2014 political campaigns. Gloria Romero, former Democrat state senator, has the story in the Orange County Register.
The California Teachers Association boasts some 325,000 members and is widely recognized as the state’s most powerful [moneyed] political special interest. Some have even referred to CTA as the “fourth branch of government,” an allusion to its immense political prowess in getting its way – and protecting its interests.
Those interests include defending teachers accused of sexual misconduct, fighting reform of tenure laws ensuring that even the least-prepared teachers are awarded lifetime employment in as little as 18 months and suspending critical student achievement testing schedules to ensure that test results reflecting students’ dismally anemic basic proficiency skills cannot be linked to teacher evaluation, pay and promotion.
CTA President Dean Vogel stated in Silicon Valley just last year that CTA was “bipartisan,” with a membership base that’s 35 percent Republican and 65 percent Democratic – statistics cited when challenged by more conservative-leaning union members tired of paying mandatory dues spent to support candidates not of their choice.
Of the 100 legislative seats on the Nov. 4 ballot, two Republicans were recommended: 2 of 100. Not even bettors at Los Alamitos Race Course would enjoy such favorable odds on their horses.
Who are the two endorsed Republicans? One is incoming Assembly Minority Leader Kristin Olsen of Modesto, whose endorsement is most likely a “courtesy” vote. After all, the minority party in the Legislature is still important in advancing budgetary issues dealing with for school funding, including contract negotiations. Why alienate the incoming minority leader? No Republican in any of the 79 other Assembly seats is endorsed. Zero, nada, zip.
Likewise, of the 20 state Senate seats on the ballot, only one Republican is endorsed: Anthony Canella in the San Joaquin Valley’s District 12, who many consider to be the most labor-friendly Senate Republican.
Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar, said, “CTA is Sacramento’s top political spender. It’s smart on their part to have two Republicans they support so they can say they are ‘bipartisan.’”