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A strange take on the UFT’s Mayoral non-endorsement

February 24, 2010 am28 8:49 am

Over at Gotham Schools, a commenter wrote:

Maybe UFT support would not have been enough to elect Thompson, but the neutrality of our leaders in a time of crisis deserves punishment … in the form of a Dump Mulgrew Movement.

And in that same comments section, the discussion continues in a similar vein:

When you think about the UFT tactic of endorsing mayoral control but not Bloomberg’s opponent, and you examine the rationale that it might break down contract negotiations, it’s absurd.

and more, similar comments from a handful of writers.

What’s remarkable, though, is that the writers are supporters and leaders of ICE, the caucus so radical that it, in fact, sat out the Mayoral election.

A movement to dump Mulgrew, because he sat out the mayoral election? to replace him with a caucus that sat out the mayoral election?

New Action is the only caucus to have endorsed Thompson. And we are running (cross-endorsing) Mulgrew at the top of our ticket, despite the mistake.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. February 24, 2010 am28 9:46 am 9:46 am

    Wow. Fusion political mechanisms have invaded union politics! Reminds me of the jokes at the Timmons v. Twin Cities Area New Party hearing (where the New Party was arguing that an anti-fusion in Minnesota was unconstitutional):

    Mr. Slowes: I think voter confusion is an interest, Your Honor, and that’s a side point of it…

    Justice Ginsburg: Yes, but are we supposed to erase from our mind that there is at least one state that has had a lot of experience with fusion candidates, … So whatever one might speculate about the lack of intelligence of the voters, we do have the State of New York, where this has gone on without huge confusion…

    Justice Scalia: New Yorkers are smarter, I think. That’s probably the answer.

    Mr. Slowes: I think that I have to be careful, if I’m going back to Minnesota, about making that argument, Your Honor.

  2. February 25, 2010 am28 7:52 am 7:52 am

    I believe one of the above comments is mine, Your implication that I sat out the mayoral race is unexamined and baseless. I had a banner for Avella up for months on my blog. I also wrote about him.

    After Avella’s loss, when I personally urged a member of UFT leadership to endorse Thompson. I was told it was a bad idea, as the UFT could only sway 5% of the vote.

    Your conclusion that I, or anyone, is part of a movement to dump Mulgrew simply for sitting out the mayoral election is simplistic and preposterous. In fact, even the brief quote you post refers to another factor, to wit, mayoral control.

    There are many others, as you well know.

  3. February 25, 2010 am28 7:55 am 7:55 am

    …including the contract, which I now see I also mentioned. Jeez, Jonathan. I’m not that simple-minded.

  4. February 25, 2010 am28 8:18 am 8:18 am

    You may have done lots of interesting stuff (I recall reading your posts in support of Avella), but your caucus sat out the election, which is what I wrote.

  5. February 25, 2010 am28 8:24 am 8:24 am

    I don’t care about that. I care about you attributing this to me. Unless I state otherwise, I speak only for myself.

  6. February 25, 2010 am28 8:39 am 8:39 am

    I attributed to you nothing beyond being a supporter of your caucus. And I attributed to your caucus their position not to endorse Thompson.

    And I never discussed what you, personally, did in the mayor’s race.

  7. February 25, 2010 pm28 6:40 pm 6:40 pm

    In fact, you implied that I somehow bought into the quote you associated with mine–the Dump Mulgrew movement based entirely on the lack of endorsement in the mayoral race. That is a premise of this post, and you mention it directly. My comment was not a reaction to that, nor was it in a “similar vein.” And frankly, while I have no idea who made the other comment, it’s not much of a stretch to infer that the commenter probably has other issues with Mulgrew, or would not have said such a thing at all.

    Of course I don’t really know what that commenter thinks. Here’s the thing–you don’t really know what I think either. I do, and you’ve most certainly mischaracterized it.

  8. February 25, 2010 pm28 8:31 pm 8:31 pm

    You criticize the UFT for not endorsing Thompson.
    You support a caucus that did not support endorsing Thompson.

    However, your opposition to the leadership is not based solely on its failure to endorse Thompson.

    I think I got that right. Didn’t mean to imply more than the first two, and hope that the third statement is sufficiently clarifying.


  9. February 25, 2010 pm28 10:43 pm 10:43 pm

    Here’s another thing you got wrong. I now know who the commenter is, and I now know the commenter is far from a leader of ICE. Perhaps he is a supporter. I don’t know. I’ve never met him.

    I was never consulted on whether or not to support Thompson and played no part in any ICE decision, if indeed there was one. I have no role in forming any official ICE policy, though their positions generally appeal to me. I am not upset in the least that ICE did not support Thompson, and I am not upset by your saying so either.

    The only thing I really admired about Thompson was that he was not Bloomberg. After a long and bizarre silence, he supported mayoral control, which to me is tantamount to dictatorship, and had convoluted notions as to how it should be implemented. I opposed mayoral control, unequivocally.

    There is, frankly, a huge difference between a union caucus endorsement and a UFT endorsement. If my source was correct in stating the UFT could have moved five points, it could have been pivotal and decisive. If the UFT had not stabbed Thompson in the back, he would not have turned on us and publicly declared we should not get the only favorable pattern I recall in twenty-five years of teaching. The man is no prize, and has shallow convictions. In fact, the best thing I can say about him, again, is he is not Michael Bloomberg.

    I don’t live in New York City, but if I did I would have voted for Thompson–but only to vote against Bloomberg, who is the Great Satan, in my hunble opinion. Perhaps we share that view, at least.


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