IEA hires Rauner aide as communications director. IEA members should see no change as a result.

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The latest scandal in Springfield – in addition to male sexual harassment of female lobbyists and legislators, is Rauner’s hiring of a digital communications director at $125,000 a year with the money coming from the mental health budget.

Political reporter for the Springfield State Journal Register Bernard Schoenburg writes on it this morning.

But to me Schoenburg buries the lede.

The governor’s previous director of digital communications, BRIDGET SHANAHAN DAVIDSON, who is now director of media relations for the Illinois Education Association, was paid $80,000 annually and worked for the state from October 2016 to July. Her Linked In profile says she “produced social media campaigns and created content to engage followers and grow reach while successfully generating several earned media stories.” She produced Facebook Live events, managed a graphic designer, video editor and production crew, a still photographer and web redesign team – as well as managing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, “expanding engagement on all platforms.”

It said she “boosted Facebook reach to more than 2.5 million people during week-long campaign on Illinois budget crisis,” reinforced the governor’s messaging, and trained people from more than a dozen agencies on use of social media.

The Illinois Education Association – I was a member for over 30 years – had Charlie McBarron as Communications Director.

What a piece of work that guy was.

Because I was a local union president who was frequently critical of IEA leadership I was banned from his Twitter and Facebook feeds. That his business, of course. I was also banned from having the link  to my blog ever appearing on the IEA website even while he posted links to the anti-union websites of phony news sites funded by the DeVos family foundation in Michigan.

McBarron retired this year and now the IEA has found someone even worse than McBarron – the former digital communications director for Bruce Rauner.

I would predict that IEA members should see no difference as a result of the new hire.

 

 

 

3 Replies to “IEA hires Rauner aide as communications director. IEA members should see no change as a result.”

  1. I called Charlie McBarron the “non-communications” director. I had e-mailed him & called him to ask what might be considered non-threatening & normal questions from a dues-paying (& our dues pay IEA staff salaries) rank-&-file member. After NOT communicating with me, he finally e-mailed me & told me to stop calling him. In which case, I did call him (left a message) w/some interesting information (I think it was something to do w/the fact I’d mentioned earlier–that we IEA members paid his salary…or maybe because I pulled some cache & stated that I was an officer/on the board of what was considered the renegade IEA-R unit* (because, at the time, Fred was the president). This last call caused him to call me back (a message), asking me to meet him for coffee (!). That said, would he travel to the north ‘burbs or would I have to go to Springfield?!
    (I never called him back, although it might have been interesting.)

    I’m sure he’s getting a very generous pension!

  2. Someone brought this reader’s comment to my attention, so I feel compelled to respond:

    None of the claims made alleging a lack of responsiveness on my part are true.

    None. Of. Them.

    Every IEA member, active or retired, who called/emailed me during the 21 years I served the organization received a response within 24 hours, usually within a couple of hours. There were no exceptions to this policy, even when I didn’t like what the caller had to say, as the owner of this blog surely knows.

    Every call was returned and every question/request was addressed. Not every caller liked the response received, but every member who contacted me was responded to. Every member.

    Anyone who says otherwise is not telling the truth.

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