The recent election for president of the Delaware State Education Association was unusual in a couple of ways. First, DSEA is one of the few NEA state affiliates that holds a rank-and-file vote for its executive officers, and second, the election ended in a tie between incumbent vice president Karen Crouse and former president of the Red Clay Education Association Mike Matthews.
In another way, the DSEA election was very much like other union elections in that turnout was less than 20 percent. Crouse and Matthews each received 862 votes in a four-way race.
A runoff was held, turnout increased to just over 20 percent, and Matthews emerged the victor by 119 votes.
Matthews will be an unusual state union president. His politics are predictably liberal, but he leaves a long Internet trail thanks to his prolific blogging in the last decade.
He launched his personal site – Down With Absolutes! – in 2004. “It was my take on how much I hated George W. Bush and how I would do anything to ensure he wasn’t re-elected in November,” he wrote.
Matthews majored in journalism at Temple University, but discovered “though I still loved to write, I didn’t want to have to write at the whim of some editor at a mid-circulation newspaper where I’d make no money. I took a temporary position with a substitute teacher service, where I am presently employed.”
He got his Master’s in Elementary Education from Wilmington College in May 2007, but as of September 2008 “I still don’t have a teaching job!”
Matthews shut down his blog in July 2009 because “I realized I have spent far too much time on this and have reaped far too little financial gain,” he wrote. “I decided DWA would take a backseat to my job hunt.”
He left to the generally good wishes of his readers, with the notable exception of commenter “buddy,” who wrote “You’re an egotistical moron. Here’s to continued failure, a**hole.”
It’s safe to say Matthews has the last laugh on “buddy,” and we look forward to observing whether his blogging experience ends up being a help or a hindrance in the big league of Delaware politics.