Because thousands of active teachers, retirees, a few bloggers and I do not believe it is in the best interests of anyone to endorse and fund the recent IL Chair of ALEC, Kirk Dillard, for governor in Illinois, don’t you dare point at me and call me names.
President Cinda Klickna and the Illinois Education Association board have endorsed Kirk Dillard in the Republican Primary election rather than billionaire Tea Party candidate Bruce Rauner. They chose, at this point, to not endorse incumbent Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn who sought, approved and signed the teacher pension cutting bill and additional anti-teacher, anti-public schools, anti-union legislation.
After some totally nontransparent decision making, Klickna and the board chose to give Dillard endorsement and money. “The lesser of two evils” argument in a field of five candidates, all of whom scapegoat teachers, makes no sense. It merely sows Fear, Uncertainty and Distrust, FUD. The bad guys do tons of that to us. We certainly don’t need to do this to each other.
The IEA showed weak leadership when they should have sought out pro-teacher candidates back when it could have been done. The effective disenfranchisement of teacher voters, by having no viable candidates to look after our interests is the reality of the situation. Our true ballot choice for governor is NONE OF THE ABOVE. Thirty-year Speaker of the House Mike Madigan will assert de facto control over what the next governor will or will not legislate.
Now, two past presidents of IEA, Bob Haisman and Ken Swanson, are name-calling and trash-talking me and others via mass emails to members whose names they have had access to from IEA rolls.
Knock it off, now!
I, personally, refuse to defend myself from name callers. I prefer to know who I am and what I have done.
In 1971 as a striking member of the Chicago Teachers’ Union, I put it all on the line – even to the point of being arrested for defending teachers’ rights. (Above is the front page photo in the Chicago Tribune of me and two others.) Years later as a member of IEA I served for years at my local school level, even to the point of presenting evidence and legally testifying at a dismissal hearing against the administrative business manager whom the board of education finally dumped.
Open dissent is healthy and requires active participation.
On the other hand, trash-talking slanderers with access to extensive IEA email lists do themselves and all teachers a disservice.
We are all in this together.
By the way, please stop giving away our money to the ex-ALEC chair. Please spend our money on local pro-teacher candidates who can win and eventually serve our interests.
Then, start educating and supporting prospective legislators for future elections.
UPDATE: Kirk Dillard pledges to cut $1 Billion from public education. Read HERE.