Sections:

Article

Marilyn's Merdy Mess... The UPC ends itself with the dirtiest campaign in the history of the Chicago Teachers Union

By the end of the day on June 11, 2010, the Chicago Teachers Union will have survived the nastiest election campaign in its history. Having been the recipient of some of the nastiness in one campaign (1988) and having documented most of the elections since 1980, I can make that judgment. The conduct of Marilyn Stewart and her United Progressive Caucus (UPC) — actually, the remnants of the UPC, which was once a proud, disciplined and credible entity — in the 2010 CTU election have been unprecedented and embarrassing to anyone who loves our unions and who has devoted time and energy to the Chicago Teachers Union.

If it hadn't been so ugly, it would have been funny. And if it hadn't been so expensive, it would have been droll. The cost of the various UPC mailings has been between $100,000 and $150,000, as reports will eventually show. Calculating in the amount of staff time that Marilyn Stewart dragooned into her election campaign, she's easily spent more than a quarter million dollars to get re-elected. Word from the Merchandise Mart has been that it's been all election most of the time for the past month. Stewart's May 21 defeat (and a 35 percent showing for a two-term incumbent is definitely a defeat, not the "victory" a union-paid Stewart-touting press release claimed) further energized Stewart's forces — to utilize even more of the union's resources on Stewart's behalf, while continuing to neglect the membership. So what else is new?

What's new is that it has been so blatant, and so outrageously corrupt. Past administrations either acted carefully when campaigning on union's time and dime. This one has proudly gone where no administration dared go before. All out for Marilyn's reelection.

All along, Stewart's supporters have been slandering any and all perceived or real opponents, creating an "Enemies List" of Nixonian proportions. No sooner had Stewart won her second term than she began purging the people who brought her into power. Enemy Number One was Vice President Ted Dallas. Then Treasurer Linda Porter. This type of purge was once typical of totalitarian regimes, and now was front and center in the Chicago Teachers Union in a comic opera way — but with serious implications. But Stewart's Enemies List didn't end with members of her own "United Progressive Caucus." All along it included vicious attacks on her opponents in the House of Delegates (with Deborah Lynch receiving the brunt of it for a long time) and then a longer list. Month after month, Stewart's supporters distributed sometimes ridiculous, sometimes seriously slanderous attacks on real and perceived "enemies." Who can forget "Quoroum Man" — a Stewart attack on a delegate who had the temerity to call for a quorum when Stewart had drive out so many House members that there was no legitimate reason to continue a meeting. Or Stewart's abysmal attack on veteran delegate Pam Touras, who had the temerity to run for an executive board seat representing elementary teachers.

The assaults were not only on their victims, month after month, but on the whole process of democratic unionism. Stewart had jeering sections launched on command in the House of Delegates, and at least four off-duty Chicago police ready to pounce on anyone who objected to her rules and rule.

Trouble is, when the election is over, most of the members of the CTU are going to have to reunify. At least CORE and CORE's allies have behaved like adults in the fact of some of the silliest schoolyard bully provocations in CTU history.

Here at Substance, we are going to archive and publish as complete a record of what UPC did in 2010 as possible. Remember, the nastiness began long before the May and June voting. Almost as soon as he helped reelect Marilyn Stewart in 2007, Vice President Ted Dallas was facing a ruthless, undemocratic, and unprecedented purge trial (which has, by the way, cost CTU hundreds of thousands of dollars). No sooner was Marilyn Stewart finished ousting (sort of) Dallas then she tried the same trick against Linda Porter, the elected Treasurer. Porter resisted, and Stewart was warned not to risk another debacle like the Dallas thing.

Ironically, at every step of the Stewart mess since 2007, the people who currently form the coalition of support around CORE and Karen Lewis were joining in support of union democracy, first in the case of Ted Dallas, and since in a dozen other ways.

Well, there is too much to do today (June 10, 2010) and tomorrow (June 11, 2010) to spend time writing history as it takes place. So I'll add just one thing to this and then get back to other work. We will have time to archive and share every bit of the UPC's attempt to destroy the Chicago Teachers Union in the weeks and months ahead. Right now, the main agenda item is to prevent Marilyn Stewart from continuing to do the boss's work, a project she has done so well up to now.

On the morning of June 10, 2010, CSDU sent around the following. I'm sure we'll have more soon.

Don’t be Fooled by Outrageous Campaign Rhetoric!

CORE knows that CTU members are too intelligent and educated to be misled by the inflammatory election pieces being sent by a panicking UPC. We know you won’t mistake strength and intelligence for recklessness and irresponsibility. CORE is committed to being a democratic union. We have not once mentioned a strike. Only you, the members, will make decisions of this nature. Unlike the autocratic Stewart and her ramrod UPC dominated Executive Board, any future recommendations from CORE will come democratically from the CTU Executive Board, voted on by your House of Delegates, and sent to the you, the members, by referendum for final approval. All other accusations on the UPC literature are preposterous and complete untruths. They are the last ditch effort of a dying regime. Protect your future. Tomorrow morning vote: CORE

If you no longer wish to receive email from us, click here .

Don’t be Fooled by Outrageous Campaign Rhetoric!

CORE knows that CTU members are too intelligent and educated to be misled by the inflammatory election pieces being sent by a panicking UPC. We know you won’t mistake strength and intelligence for recklessness and irresponsibility. CORE is committed to being a democratic union. We have not once mentioned a strike. Only you, the members, will make decisions of this nature. Unlike the autocratic Stewart and her ramrod UPC dominated Executive Board, any future recommendations from CORE will come democratically from the CTU Executive Board, voted on by your House of Delegates, and sent to the you, the members, by referendum for final approval. All other accusations on the UPC literature are preposterous and complete untruths. They are the last ditch effort of a dying regime. Protect your future. Tomorrow morning vote: CORE

If you no longer wish to receive email from us, click here .

THIS ESSAY WILL BE COMPLETED FOLLOWING THE JUNE 11 CTU ELECTION RUNOFF.



Comments:

June 10, 2010 at 6:46 PM

By: bob

Hope

Fear

For the last month I have tried to read everything I could about tomorrows election.

The UPC literature both official, mailings, and unofficial, bloggers all have several

ideas in common. CORE leaders are commies, and the UPC has saved the world.

In both cases fear is the underlying focus of UPC propaganda. In this day and age

Commies are all driving BMW’s and trying to sell Russia’s navy. I hope nobody takes their red baiting nonsense seriously . I think that most UPC leaders are so out of touch with reality they

Think our contract is worth the trees it took to print it out. Sadly almost all general

High schools are out of control. But local enforcement of rules only became important

Last week. If you think I am kidding go to http://chicago.everyblock.com/crime/ and

type in a schools address.

Core to me represents hope. I am old enough to remember the first strike in 1969

Walking that picket line a world shattering experience. We finally did it; I hope we do it again

tomorrow. Go CORE.

June 10, 2010 at 8:02 PM

By: John Whitfield

Rank n' File Educators

A bottom up transformation would be best, so

though it may be understood, why not rephrase that to: "any future reccomendations

will come from the rank and file educators, through the CTU executive board", etc., etc.

More bottom up power, less top down. "The people, yes ! "

June 11, 2010 at 7:50 AM

By: Vinicius

Hope AAA gets the votes TODAY and NOT Monday!!!

Hope AAA gets it right this time and gets all the boxes TODAY and Not Monday!!!

Was the problem explained fully for the errors on their part last time? Better pray for NO rain!

June 11, 2010 at 9:36 AM

By: George N. Schmidt

AAA improved pickup, routing

In order to avoid a repeat of the missing 35 ballot boxes (the May 21 election), AAA has doubled the number of couriers and reduced the number of schools on each route. AAA couriers should begin picking up boxes in late morning, and the counting is scheduled to begin by 1:00 or 1:30 at AAA at 225 N. Michigan. The "X factor" this morning is that AAA headquarters is on Michigan Ave. almost at the point where the Blackhawks parade reaches its end point. For a few hours at least, it may be slower for the AAA couriers to bring in their ballot boxes. As an official election observer (CORE), I can say that the AAA planning for this time sounds a lot better than for the May 21 event, but of course nobody will know until we see what happens when the vote count begins.

Add your own comment (all fields are necessary)

Substance readers:

You must give your first name and last name under "Name" when you post a comment at substancenews.net. We are not operating a blog and do not allow anonymous or pseudonymous comments. Our readers deserve to know who is commenting, just as they deserve to know the source of our news reports and analysis.

Please respect this, and also provide us with an accurate e-mail address.

Thank you,

The Editors of Substance

Your Name

Your Email

What's your comment about?

Your Comment

Please answer this to prove you're not a robot:

1 + 3 =