More on union endorsements and political action money. No CTU endorsement for Bernie.

FILE PHOTO: Senator Bernie Sanders speaks during a news conference on Yemen resolution

At a meeting this past week, Chicago Teachers Union delegates rejected a call to endorse Bernie Sanders.

The AFT’s Chicago affiliate will remain neutral in the March Illinois primary.

136 votes not to endorse, 121 to endorse, and 28 abstentions.

Chalkbeat reported, “Educators say the votes not to endorse were a result of a variety of concerns. Some were procedural, including questions about whether members had been adequately consulted. Others were local, including lingering tensions over the union’s endorsement of and spending on a losing 2019 mayoral candidate.”

Aside from the optics, it is hard to see how this will matter much in the upcoming primary. Activists for Sanders, Warren and others are already knocking on doors and contributing money.

But there is a bigger issue of union endorsements and use of political action money at play here.

As Chalkbeat points out, the CTU went all in to support the head of the Cook County Democratic Party in last year’s race for Chicago mayor. Voters ignored and rejected that choice by a historic margin of 50%.

At the sate level the Illinois Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Education Association were found to be conduits for teacher political action contributions that ended up in the bank account of Friends of Michael Madigan – the Speaker of the Illinois House and head of the Illinois Democratic Party – and used for lawyers and settlement costs in a sexual harassment case.

At the national level, both teacher unions have faced member push back on the manipulated back-door endorsement in 2016 of Hillary Clinton. The AFT and NEA have so far stayed away from endorsing any Democrat.

Some teacher locals like Los Angeles, have moved to endorse Sanders.

The Boston Teachers Union and the MA-AFT endorsed Warren, while the MTA, the largest union in the state and affiliated with the NEA has not voted on endorsement.

But Chicago may be more typical. Members are divided. The endorsement process and use of political action money by the teacher unions – one out of five union members in the country are in the AFT or NEA – is in disarray.

From here it seems like a case of chickens coming home to roost.


9 thoughts on “More on union endorsements and political action money. No CTU endorsement for Bernie.

  1. The media is NOT going to support Bernie or Warren. Blather like this is not helping.

    Fareed Zakaria of CNN expresses the following concerning the Democratic nominees for president:
    “The Democrats need a candidate who can energize the party’s voters and bring together its left and centrist wings,” Fareed says. “And the evidence suggests no one has been able to do that yet.”

  2. During the debate, Sanders reiterated his support for joining other developed countries, particularly in Scandinavia, in providing the public with healthcare and education that is free at the point of delivery, guaranteed paid leave, and other robust social welfare programs which are broadly popular among the American electorate and which, he said, will “bring people together.”

    “The way you bring people together is to make it clear that we’re not going to give tax breaks to billionaires and large corporations,” Sanders said. “They’re going to start paying their fair share of taxes. That’s what the American people want. And I’ll tell you something else. The way you bring people together is by ending the international disgrace of this country being the only major nation on Earth not to guarantee health care to all people as a human right.”

  3. I don’t know if you saw when you were out here. Sanders is leading the California Democrats with 30 points in favor. Next candidate was if recall at 20%. Bob

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. CA was Hillary’s margin of victory nationally in 2016. But the CA primary comes so late that it is almost irrelevant to the outcome.

  4. Fred: In Massachusetts, the Boston Teachers Union and the MA-AFT endorsed Warren. The MTA, the largest union in the state, has not voted on endorsement. MTA is an NEA affiliate and those state affiliates have not been given the green light to endorse. We need to stop saying the MA teachers have endorsed Warren.

  5. It was all ways inevitable that Capitalism would culminate with the creation of a corrupt King.

    The scheme known as Capitalism is inherently corrupt…due to it’s essential immorality.

    Capitalism is a system of losers…and big winners…Dog eat dog…Make it or break it…Haves and have nots…Ghetto schemes…broken dreams…children with empty stomachs at bedtime if Mom needed medicine to stay well enough to work two minimum wage jobs or missed the bus to the food pantry…Dad’s sitting out by the plow worried about losing the family farm as his family worries over him…Little Brother lives under a bridge in need of mental health care that won’t be available…Sis only cares about Oxycontin…1%ers fly over and remark,” Everything seems fine…up here.

    Compassion is the opposite of Capitalism…beware.

    Donald Trump is The King of Capitalism…for a “perfect” fit.

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