In the 17th state rep race, if you’re going to claim teacher support, shouldn’t you actually have it?

Candance Chow, running for Illinois state rep, claims IEA and Laura Fine endorsements but doesn’t have them.

With less than two weeks to go until the Illinois primary voting day (early voting has already begun), we are deep into the silly season.

Although the City of Chicago has a well-earned reputation, don’t underestimate the ‘burbs.

North of the City, where I once taught and was President of both a union local and an IEA-Retired chapter, there is a race to replace Laura Fine as State Representative in the 17th District.

Like most of the legislators in the area, Laura is a fairly traditional Democrat. She won the IEA/IPACE endorsement every year except the one year following her vote to support pension theft. That year, our local endorsement hearing led to no endorsements for any pension thief.

Now that Daniel Biss is running for governor, his Senate seat is open and Laura Fine is running for it.

There are five candidates for Laura Fine’s now-open House seat.

Local IEA union representatives met in an IPACE endorsement hearing and voted to support Mary Rita Luecke, a former school board president and political progressive.

House Speaker and state Democratic Party Chairman Michael Madigan is assumed to be backing Jen Gong-Gershowitz.

But a mailing sent out by Candance Chow, another candidate, would suggest she is endorsed by the IEA and Laura fine.

Neither is true. She isn’t IEA endorsed nor does she have the support of Fine.

Education workers, members of the IEA, freely give their money to IPACE. No dues money is spent on political campaigns. Endorsements of state representative candidates are not made by union’s leaders in Springfield. They are made at the local level by activist teachers who frequently meet with local elected officials and know the landscape.

It does not reflect well on a candidate to claim teacher support without having it.

An IEA activist from the district told me, “IEA Legal had been notified about Chow’s antics, and I called Laura Fine’s office , because Laura has not endorsed Chow either and her picture is there (Laura endorsed  Gong-Gershowitz, the Madigan pick). Never boring in Chi-town and burbs.”


24 Replies to “In the 17th state rep race, if you’re going to claim teacher support, shouldn’t you actually have it?”

  1. In all fairness you might want to investigate and write an article on the negative and fallacious flyers that JGG is sending around the District she’s running for.
    I’m happy to send you a copy if you like.

    1. To be clear. Every election has bullshit. My specific interest here is the use of a phony claim of a union endorsement. I am not here to investigate and write about every lie in every local election. I will run out of time and die before I would be done.

  2. Fred: i have been following your blogs for many months because we share the same passion for public education. I am disappointed that you would disparage a candidate that has devoted her public service career to ensuring our kids futures. Chow is an Erickson Institute Fellow in early childhood education, she is a sitting school board member and past president/finance chair, she passed a referendum in her district with 80% of the vote,(if you know evanston you know that is unprecedented support in a town that never agrees on anything) AND she herself is a shining example of the value of a public education…..which took her from trailer park to Kellogg MBA. Chow has the skill set to dig into Illinois’s fiscal crisis while maintaining a quality public education, more so than any other candidate in this race.

    Be kind Fred, Chow is one of the good guys.

    1. There has been plenty of Chow positive messaging. The Madigan/Gong Gershowitz campaign is sending out mailers with flat out lies, saying that Chow does not support education and fabricating positions on bills like sb1947.

      Desperate times, desperate measures for the JGG campaign, it’s unfortunate that your blog is furthering Madigan’s agenda.

      1. Not sure if that is a good ouch or bad ouch.

        If you care to take a look at both sides of this story i am happy to email you the egregious madigan/gong gershowitz campaign flyers.

        We all want a great education for our kids and our teachers to be well compensated, happy teachers + happy students = bright future america

        Illinois is missing out if Chow doesn’t get to Springfield JGG brings nothing to the table on finance, funding pensions and education.

      2. No need. I’m busy “furthering the Madigan agenda.” Readers will see that I say nothing about Candance Chow other than she should not be using the IEA logo on her campaign material as it gives the impression that she is IEA endorsed. Chow doing this upset many of my teaching colleagues and fellow-retirees who pay into IPACE and for the other reasons I gave. For pointing that out I am called a Madigan stooge by a Chow supporter. Just as using the IEA logo on her campaign material does not reflect well upon Ms Chow, going after me as a Madigan stooge does not reflect well on you. My history with Mr. Madigan speaks for itself.

  3. Dear L,
    I am kind. I love everybody. Tell your candidate to stop sending out campaign materials claiming IEA support. Tell the story you told in your comment instead. It would probably work better anyway.

      1. Look up! Unless you think I’m dense and don’t get the intention of putting the IEA logo on her mailer.

      2. I read the flyer as Chow shares IEA, and Fine’s position on education, the Madigan/Gong-Gershowitz campaign seems to not share those positions based on the negative flyers it is sending out.

  4. I did look up, at the flyer. What I see is a picture of Ms. Chow, Representative Fine and the IEA union logo. The flyer states that these candidates all oppose cutting $830k from education. I don’t see any statement or even an innuendo that the IEA or Representative Fine endorse Chow. So no, I don’t think you’re dense but I think you wrongly assumed that Ms. Chow intended to to make folks think that she’s was endorsed by Fine and the IEA or supported by them.

    I am an Evanston resident and am familiar with the work that both Chow and Leucke did on the school board. They are both very fine women with excellent records and experience. We’d be lucky to have either one as our state representative.

    1. She doesn’t claim an endorsement but the IEA logo is sort of a non-verbal innuendo. I think it is near the line but does cross not the line. She does not say anything untrue about the union, which is rare in a political ad.

      1. It’s sort of a non-verbal innuendo? But doesn’t cross the line. And what criteria do you use for where you decide to draw a line? And this kind of playing games with lines is your endorsement?

  5. I’m working for Mary Rita Luecke for Rep. in the 17th. I think she’s an excellent candidate with top credentials for the job–and a true progressive.

  6. IMHO, (not a lawyer) – the use of an organizational logo without permission could be considered a trademark violation. When IEA sends out mailers for recommended candidates, they will be using that logo appropriately. Mary Rita Lueke, the IEA recommended candidate in this race, has the integrity to go the distance and advocate for both active and retired educators. and for our kids. Her advertising is honest to boot. Fred, thanks for the heads-up on this 17th State Rep. district race: if candidates aren’t honest BEFORE they get to Springfield, we’re really in trouble AFTER they are elected.

  7. Looking closer. I had not realized the IEA had already endorsed Ms. Chow’s opponent. In that context her ad was a bit over the line. The ad itself seemed downright benign as political ads go.
    Unfortunately for me, I am in Jeanne Ives’ district. Her extreme attacks on teachers, unions, and public pensions are the worst I have ever seen. They are WAY, WAY OVER the line. One of her attack ads also uses a union innuendo, a woman wearing a Chicago teachers union T-shirt thanking Rauner for bailing out the Chicago teacher pensions.
    Her attack ad is very offensive.

  8. It’s incredibly clear in this district who IEA and Fine have thrown their support behind. No secrets there. Candace Chow NEVER claimed to have their support. Even your own photo shows she merely says they have something in common: opposition to cutting funding to public schools – despite where there endorsements have gone. Big difference. Still you claim she claims to have their endorsement? Never ever.

    1. Hey. I totally get it. Following an IEA recommended for another candidate she puts the IEA logo on her mailer only for the purpose of clarification.

  9. Say what you want. You captioned the photo to say she claims to have their support. That’s completely false. A flat out lie. Are you in this district? The mailer didn’t confuse me. I knew where they threw their support. We got a bunch of mailers from her opponent saying so. The point in the mailer is very clearly stated ON THE MAILER that you took a photo of. It’s a rebuttal to the endorsements and lies that this candidate doesn’t back public education 100%.

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