Saturday, January 9, 2016

CTU Endorses Good, Bad & Ugly

CTU Votes to Endorse Slate of Political Candidates
By Jim Vail

CTU endorsed House Speaker Michael Madigan

When it comes time for a union to endorse political candidates to fight for their cause, there are few options.

The politicians mostly represent the monied class who throw them lots of dollars so that can stay in office.

The unions try to do this as well, but more in the form of getting out the vote.

Except, this does not always work.

There was a weak teachers union endorsement of former Gov. Pat Quinn. The democrat lost because working people knew he was just as nasty when it came to attacking people's pensions, implementing hated education reform for more privatization and making it known to everyone who his real friend was by naming former Chicago Public Schools chief Paul Vallas his running mate.

The Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates voted Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016, to endorse a slate of candidates that included the good, the bad and the ugly.

The speaker Michael Madigan received once again the endorsement of the CTU despite the fact he has been front and center in his opposition to unions. At one point, a member of CORE, the current union leadership caucus, suggested putting a rat in front of his office. The rat stands for supporting scabs over unions.

Why is Madigan bad? He worked with the past two city mayors to make sure the school closings went ahead despite a bill supporting a moratorium, and he is a supporter of charter schools - wearing UNO Charter hats in public and taking trips paid for by the Turkish cult charter operator Concept Schools. He supports education reform and privatization.

But the CTU voted to endorse him.


Well, he for the first time perhaps in a long time came to the union  
seeking the endorsement because he's in a political battle with a right-wing multi-millionaire governor.

Madigan says he supports union rights and decent pay, while Gov. Bruce Rauner wants a right-to-work state like many of our neighbors - no union collective bargaining so workers' pay and benefits can drop and business profits go up.

The endorsement slate included Rep. Will Guzzardi who the union previously helped campaign for to unseat machine Joe Berrios daughter in an upset election. Guzzardi has defended public education and was the chief sponsor of the Op-out bill to not have to take endless standardized tests that are drowning public education.

The surprise candidate endorsed on the slate was Rep. Jaime Andrade.

CTU endorsed Rep. Jaime Andrade

I argued against Andrade's endorsement because he was a co-sponsor of a pro-charter bill, he hd Stand for Children on his website because he supports education reform that is destroying public education and he supported the odious pension bill that Madigan led earlier but was declared unconstitutional.

Roosevelt High School teacher and delegate Tim Meegan immediately spoke afterwards to say three reasons why he supported the endorsement of Andrade: 1) he supports an elected school board, 2) he answered Meegan's calls for help to fix up Roosevelt High School, including installing new floors in his classroom and 3) he took Stand for Children off his website and now supports the union.

Delegate Tim Meegan spoke in favor of endorsing machinest Rep. Jaime Andrade

According to the CTU, Andrade is also a chief sponsor of the mayoral recall bill, he returned the Stand for Children donation to charity, and "wants to be an ally."

Wants to be an ally?

Let's be real folks. He's not much different than Deb Mell, who Meegan ran against for alderman. He worked for Ald. Dick Mell, he is a faithful member of the machine and takes his marching orders from them. The current flavor now is to isolate Mayor Emanuel because he is under attack everywhere, and like any corporation, you pull the plug on anyone who makes you look bad.

It's politics 101.

My former colleague from Mexico said a politician is someone who has to eat shit and then smile and tell everyone how wonderful it tastes.


  1. I spoke against the endorsement Resolution on two counts:

    1. That we did not receive the information on who was to be endorsed until immediately before the vote. The packet describing the PAC/Leg committee's recommendation was handed out only at the beginning of Items for Action -- it's usually in the folder. I have a hard time seeing this as a coincidence, when the top endorsement was for Madigan. Delegates need to know what we're voting on before the meeting.

    2. Mike Madigan has been in charge of the House for 35 years or so. So he's responsible for: Mayoral Control, Charter Expansion, PERA (Evaluations tied to test scores), the 2nd Tier Pension he passed in 2010, SB7 which required the huge strike vote, lengthened the school day with no resources, and gutted seniority protections -- need I go on? And that's just his record on Education. Oh, and he's spent the last five years conspiring with Pat Quinn over the best way to try to cut our pension.

    But now that Rauner is in office, he poses as a defender of unions. Now, mind you, the CTU has endorsed Madigan, and given him LOTS of money before -- Madigan got a big contribution from CTU even as he was attacking our pension.

    The union leadership presents this as a cost of business -- that we need to "have a seat at the table." I understand we have to meet with the guy -- but giving him an endorsement and money publicly paints someone who's clearly our enemy as our friend.

    He's not our friend. And there is an alternative. The CTU's election campaign showed that CTU, alone, has the means to field candidates independently -- including a plausible candidate for mayor. Several of the aldermanic candidates, including myself, professed the belief that the working class needs its own party, independent of the Democrats, who represent the interests of the corporations. And some of those candidates did very well -- up to and including winning an aldermanic seat.

    When I spoke against the Madigan endorsement, I heard a lot of supporters in the House. Few Iif any) of those supporters joined me in voting against the endorsement. But I hope there are people who can see that we need to break away from the Democratic Party.

    It's not just "theoretical" -- our own union started putting this idea into practice by running teachers for mayor and alderman. And it has been done in many other countries.

  2. A correction -- Mayoral Control was passed during the 2 years in the 90's when Madigan was not speaker -- Daley cut a deal with Republicans

  3. A correction -- Mayoral Control was passed during the 2 years in the 90's when Madigan was not speaker -- Daley cut a deal with Republicans