Randi's Chicago 'bum's rush' and the current Hillary controversy... AFT's rush to the altar is hurting -- not helping -- Hillary's candidacy, and it will hurt more in the future...

The Randi Railroad that pushed the "American Federation of Teachers" (AFT, but not all of us) into a very VERY early "endorsement" of the candidacy of HIllary Clinton is backfiring across the USA. If Randi wanted to organize an opposition to her leadership (and the declining power of her cronies in New York, the national office, and a dwindling number of other locations), she couldn't have figured out a more effective way. From coast to coast -- literally Massachusetts to California and out to Hawaii -- AFT locals are exploding with anger at the announcement by Randi and "our" union's national office that "we" are going to back Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party nomination for President of the United States.

Ironically, this is hurting more than helping Hillary's candidacy, and the hurt will remain. As people now and then say: "What were they thinking?!!"

As of today (July 15, 2015) Substance has heard from dozens of AFT locals, mostly K-12 and higher ed, angered by the supposed "vote" of the 45-member AFT Executive Council in favor of the Clinton deal. But nobody seems to know who on the AFT Executive Council voted how, and it's like they've all taken a monastic vow of silence on the question. As a result, one commentator (Mike Antonucci) is saying that a third of the Executive Council members voted against the Hillary deal. But AFT is not providing the members with a roll call, so how can anyone know?

Ironically, Hillary Clinton may eventually have the support of the majority of AFT members and the majority of leaders in AFT locals. But not in July 2015! And not after what amounted to a phony plebiscite (robo calls from Hart Associates; I always hang up at this point) that supposedly forms the basis for the claims that the "majority" of our union's 1.6 million members like HIllary best. (Note: that doesn't mean that "majority" would want AFT to endorse Hillary and begin spending money for Hillary now).

As I read the responses to the Hillary debacle I'm reminded that less than four months ago, Randi brushed past me heading toward the podium at the April 2015 meeting of the 800-member Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates. She delivered a a quickie speech and then rushed out, proclaiming that she hadn't been "home" in a long time and had to catch a plane. Not one minute for any questions from those of us who have been elected to represent the 30,000 (more of less) members of the third largest Pre K - 12 local in the national union Randi heads. It was adding insult to injury that night, because Randi had spent most of her day with Chicago's richest and most powerful people, realizing, we believed, that she couldn't dodge the House of Delegates and get away with it. So she rushed in, rushed out, and basically gave us what we used to call (back home in New Jersey and New York), the "bum's rush."


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