A listening post monitoring public education and teachers’ unions.

2014 Election: Not Waterloo, But Elba

Written By: Mike Antonucci - Nov• 10•14

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GOP Wave Reaches 170 Degrees West Longitude

Written By: Mike Antonucci - Nov• 10•14

Democrat Eni Faleomavaega was first elected to be American Samoa’s non-voting delegate to the U.S. Congress in 1988 and has been reelected every two years since. Until now.

Republican Aumua Amata Radewagen captured the seat last Tuesday in a nine-candidate race and will be the first woman from Samoa to serve in Congress.



Written By: Mike Antonucci - Nov• 07•14

November 2010: Scott Walker is elected governor of Wisconsin. He captures 37 percent of the union household vote.

March 2011: Walker signs Act 10, severely restricting collective bargaining for public employees.

March 10, 2011: Washington Post  – Unions and their allies say the showdown in Wisconsin has galvanized and energized a liberal base that had been in a state of deep malaise after the beating that Democrats took in last year’s elections. Walker is “winning the battle through pure, uncompromising force, but he’s losing the war,” said Democratic pollster Mark Mellman.

March 11, 2011: New York Times headline – “Democrats See Wisconsin Loss as Galvanizing” “This is one of the uglier examples of the tyranny of a temporary majority, and I think it’s going to backfire badly,” said Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland, the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association.

March 12, 2011: NEA Today headline – “‘This is the Beginning’ – Wisconsin Workers Still Galvanized” By signing his notorious budget repair bill into law on Friday, Gov. Scott Walker may have won a battle, but his political standing has taken a beating from which he most likely will not recover. Furthermore, the bill’s passage has done nothing to dampen the political activity that has engulfed Wisconsin over the past five weeks and in fact has united his opposition and even strengthened the hand of labor and working families everywhere.

March 2012: Recall of Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch is certified. “The time is now. If you aren’t mobilized and galvanized now, I don’t know when the time will be,” said Democratic Lt. Gov. nominee and president of the state firefighters union Mahlon Mitchell.

June 5, 2012: Walker defeats the recall, capturing 38 percent of the union household vote.

June 10, 2012: Wisconsin State Journal – Walker’s win means Republicans in other states will be emboldened to curtail legal union rights, but labor’s future in Wisconsin is far from dim, said Kate Bronfenbrenner, director of labor research at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. Despite the election setback, exit polls indicated 51 percent of voters favor public sector unions, and state union members appear to have been galvanized by the fight, Bronfenbrenner said.

September 22, 2014: Green Bay Press-Gazette headline – “National teachers’ union: beating Walker a top priority” AFSCME president Lee Saunders tells the Washington Post, “We have a score to settle with Scott Walker… We’ve lost 70% of our membership in the state. But let me tell you something: the members that remain are some of the most committed and dedicated members that we have all across this country.”

November 4, 2014: Walker wins reelection, capturing 34 percent of the union household vote.

November 4, 2014: Statement from Wisconsin Education Association Council president Betsy Kippers – “Today, we begin the next chapter of unionism in Wisconsin. Educators will be more engaged than ever before in shaping the future of public schools, and if state leaders turn their back on our students we’ll find different ways to advocate. We’ve shown over the last four years that we won’t back down – because children depend on us. This chapter features activism in each Wisconsin community, building on the grassroots energy that’s been planted and sown over the past four years.”


Long, Long Wait for Washington Class Size Initiative Results

Written By: Mike Antonucci - Nov• 06•14

Washington is an all vote-by-mail state, but ballots can be postmarked on Election Day and still count, so we don’t have a decision on Initiative 1351, the Washington Education Association’s class size reduction measure.

With about 59 percent of the vote counted, it couldn’t be much closer.

Last updated on 11/06/2014 8:03 AM

Measure Vote Vote %
692,394 49.59%
703,825 50.41%
Total Votes 1,396,219 100%

The geographic results so far suggest a correlation between support for the initiative and proximity to Puget Sound.


Dark Clouds Have Dark Linings

Written By: Mike Antonucci - Nov• 05•14

Everyone has an election round-up today – and I have to hand it to Alexander Russo for going full-meta and posting a round-up round-up – but I’m holding off on mine until Monday. For one thing, the leadership of the NEA was apparently abducted by aliens and held incommunicado shortly after Tom Wolf was elected governor of Pennsylvania. No word since.

The spin masters at AFT were able to escape long enough to churn out Randi Weingarten’s statement, but they were clearly confused by events in the alternate universe they were visiting (perhaps Mongo?), since Weingarten is saying that the union side actually “prevailed.”

So while I let this all congeal over the weekend, let me devote this post to highlighting those results you might not have heard about through your usual outlets.

* Despite the overwhelming endorsement of the Providence Teachers Union, twice-convicted felon Buddy Cianci lost his mayoral race.

* Mia Love, once called “a crazy person” by NEA president Lily Eskelsen Garcia, was elected to Congress in Utah, something Eskelsen failed to achieve in 1998.

* There were plenty of high profile campaigns to worry about, but the unions spent time last week on down-ballot races, too. While on a six-state GOTV blitz, Eskelsen Garcia showed up in Tucson for a fundraiser for Arizona attorney general candidate Felecia Rotellini. She lost.

* Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis won’t be running for mayor, and she surprised a lot of people by endorsing Cook County commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia for the job. Unfortunately, among the people she surprised were her own union activists, who strangely expected to at least be notified and asked for approval before such a step was taken. This, according to Substance News, sets up a contentious meeting of the CTU House of Delegates tonight.

* Finally, the Jefferson Parish school board races that attracted so much AFT money resulted in two wins, two losses and one runoff. The local teachers’ union president lost her bid for a school board seat.


Torlakson Visits His Constituents

Written By: Mike Antonucci - Nov• 04•14

The staff at the California Teachers Association building in Fairfield.


2014 Election Pre-Mortem

Written By: Mike Antonucci - Nov• 03•14

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