Witness the power and influence the union can wield during May elections.
The MEA's website (found here) brags about local school election victories -- apparently satisfied the union will reap its rewards during future contract negotiations -- yet ignores the full impact of union interests trumping those of students and taxpayers.
The MEA will often funnel money into elections (as shown here), but they usually do so quietly. More often they attempt to influence behind the scenes, with the union providing "soft" backing during elections.
The claims they make are nothing short of outrageous. Look at how they connect the dots: Electing pro-union candidates equates to a pro-education mood? Electing pro-union candidates equates to support of "quality of life"? Where was the ballot question on "unstable funding" that voters reportedly recognized?
In Warren, they claim to have unseated an incumbent. Check out the vote results here. 78,042 registered voters. 7,443 bothered to show up. That's 9.53%. Rest assured that a good portion of them are MEA members, family of MEA members, etc.
In Durand, the famed epicenter of the "wake-up call... for the working class", had some 800 votes cast. I tried to lookup the vote totals, but I'm not even sure where Durand is located! I found Durand votes in Genesee County (found here), where a whopping 7.90% of the registered voters cast ballots.
These local board members live in anonymity, yet collectively control one-third of your state budget -- some $13 billion dollars -- as well as billions in local property taxes and billions in federal tax grants.
You don't think it's happening in your district? Think again.
Election results: Schools win at the polls
Will Lansing get the message?
May 6, 2010 - Voters statewide sent a strong message at the polls this week, approving taxes to pay for education and public safety, electing union-backed candidates, and unseating scores of school board incumbents.
“It’s about quality of life,” said Jim Ward, a media specialist at Forest Hills Northern High School. “The voters are supportive of activities that they define as quality of life – and that’s public service and public education. This broke the whole ‘cut, cut, cut, don’t talk about taxes’ approach. We need to support essential services.”
Hopefully, legislators will get the message: Enough is enough!
Voters support their schools – and other vital public services – and recognize that unstable funding hurts students and communities.
From St. Joseph to Adrian to Bessemer, voters were in a pro-education mood Tuesday.
In Durand, a school custodian whose job was outsourced to a private company in December, won a contested school board election. Paul Mayers, a former union president who now works for the private company, is one of two union-supported candidates who won in Durand.
“I hope it’s a wake-up call,” Mayers said. “This is a victory for the working class.”
Other election victories included:
- In Warren, voters unseated incumbents in favor or Sue Jozwik, a job recruiter with MEA support, and Elaine Martin, a retired school secretary.
- The Petoskey News-Review trumpeted election results – the headline was “Big night for millages in Emmet, Charlevoix” – as voters passed several millage proposals in the area.
- Holland voters OK’d $73 million in school bonds to pay for better buildings, computers, and athletic facilities.
- In St. Johns, voters passed a $64.3 million proposal to fund high school improvements, new buses, and technology upgrades. Funding requests were also approved in Stockbridge, Portland, Bath, and Ionia County.
- In Ironwood, two of the three school board races went to candidates recommended by the MEA affiliates there.
- St. Joseph voters approved a $38 million bond issue for renovations, additions, and equipment upgrades including replacing aging computers.
Despite these positive results, much work remains to secure adequate funding for public education and other necessary services.
MEA is part of a coalition – A Better Michigan Future – that advocates a four-point priority plan to help Michigan. If you’d like to learn more about the coalition and its work, go to http://www.abettermichiganfuture.org/.
You are also encouraged to take five minutes to contact your legislators and Gov. Jennifer Granholm. Tell them to support efforts to provide adequate, stable and equitable funding for education!
And, finally, to learn more about MEA’s “Enough is enough” campaign, a strategic action plan, go to http://www.mea.org/Enough/index.html.
April 27, 2010