I’m playing the blame game. No beer summit for me.

Alexi Giannoulias and Mark Kirk sat down to share a beer at Billy Goat’s yesterday. How nice. Looks like Kirk was drinking a Bud Light. Figures.

All those attack ads the last two months. Just campaigning. No hard feelings.

Easy for Alexi. The rest of us have to deal with his inability to win a Senate race in a Blue state that is two to one Democratic. Good work, Alexi.

Let’s talk about the IEA for minute.

The IEA has endorsed Mark Kirk for every election he’s run in, except this last general election. He won IEA endorsement as congressman in the 10th Congressional district in Illinois. Let’s not forget that the IEA endorsed Mark Kirk in the Republican primary for Senate.

The first candidate to be congratulated on Wednesday morning on the IEA web site was Mark Kirk.

I think this might be called a mixed message to members. Or maybe not so mixed.

The IEA endorsed Republican Judy Barr Topinka for Comptroller. Topinka’s final campaign promise was to reform the state retirement system, arguing we should consider turning it into a 401(k).

Check out Phil Kadner’s column in the Southtown today.

David Miller believes state Democratic Party leaders and unions failed him Tuesday. Miller is a dentist, a state representative since 2001 and a resident of Lynwood.

On Tuesday, he was badly defeated in his campaign for state comptroller by Republican Judy Baar Topinka (52.9 percent to 40.6 percent of the vote).

“I think African-American political leaders are going to have to take a look at these races and ask what happened,” Miller said, referring to his defeat and that of Matteson resident Robin Kelly, who’s also black and was beaten by a Republican in the state treasurer’s race.

The IEA’s endorsement was especially puzzling because Miller was the leading advocate in the House of a bill to raise the state income tax by 2 percentage points to increase school spending.

“I don’t understand that endorsement (of Topinka) and am still waiting for someone to explain it to me,” Miller said.

And then maybe they can explain it to me. And our members.

Judy Barr Topinka? Were they serious?

In Park Ridge, the IEA again endorsed Republican Rosemary Mulligan for State Representative. Mulligan voted to fundamentally change TRS for all new teachers hired after January 1st, reducing benefits. She also opposes HB 174, the signature fair school funding bill.

This is the same IEA leadership that signed off on legislation that took away local collective bargaining rights. The legislation requires every local contract to link teacher performance reviews to student test scores.

It is the same IEA leadership that was on the losing side at the national convention when the NEA voted to condemn Race to the Top.

This is the same IEA leadership that praised Michelle Rhee as a “change agent” when she first began her campaign against DC teachers and their union.

It is the same leadership that has yet to show support for hotel workers who are in a bargaining dispute with Hyatt Hotels. Our state convention is planned for the Hyatt Regency in March in spite of the fact that Unite Here, the union representing the hotel workers, has asked Ken Swanson to pull it from the Hyatt.

“Which side are you on,” goes the old labor union song. “Which side are you on?”

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