For NEA, It Could Have Been Worse… But Not Much Worse

posted at 2:55 pm on November 5, 2010 by Mike Antonucci

Not to belabor the obvious, but a bad day for the Democrats is a bad day for the National Education Association’s political operations. NEA spent money on safe incumbents, so its overall record for 2010 won’t seem so bad, but in the candidate races all across the country where the union was heavily involved, particularly in the U.S. House of Representatives, it got shellacked.

Let’s begin with NEA’s targeted Congressional races, as reported by The Atlantic and Mother Jones. The Senate seems to be where the union did best, assuming Colorado and Washington remain Democratic. NEA also devoted significant resources to Harry Reid. On the other hand, NEA lost in Pennsylvania and Kentucky.

The House was another matter.

AZ-05: NEA loss
CO-03: NEA loss
FL-22: NEA loss
IL-17: NEA loss
NY-01: NEA win
NC-08: NEA win
OH-13: NEA win
PA-08: NEA loss
VA-05: NEA loss
TX-23: NEA loss

At the state level, key governorships and legislatures flipped to the GOP, former Arizona Education Association President Penny Kotterman was defeated in her bid to become state superintendent of public instruction, and many of the ballot initiatives on which NEA spent the most money went down to defeat.

In Massachusetts, the union helped defeat Question 3, which would have slashed the sales tax, and managed one important win in California (more on that in a minute), but lost big on an education funding initiative in Oklahoma, failed to pass a state income tax in Washington, and flushed away more than $10 million on a losing effort to increase revenue from the corporate business tax in California. The union also could not stop an Arizona initiative that requires secret ballots for union representation elections, effectively outlawing card check in the state.

In the Golden State we once again proved we live on an entirely different planet. The Wall Street Journal has already opined on the contrarian nature of the California vote. Not only did Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer win handily, but it is likely that every statewide office will be held by a Democrat, and Democrats may also have increased their already lofty numbers in the legislature.

California voters seemed to call for fiscal responsibility, passing the union-opposed Props 22 and 26. The former prohibits the state from taking local funds to help balance the budget, and the latter requires a two-thirds vote for many fees that now require only a majority vote to increase. This removed two practices the legislature routinely uses to raise revenues.

At the same time, however, the voters approved the union-backed Prop 25, which eliminates the two-thirds supermajority to pass a state budget. This entirely erases the GOP as a factor on budget issues, and certainly does not signal a move toward austerity measures in a state awash in debt and bloated government.

It’s a political cliché that what begins in California soon spreads to the rest of country. For the next two years, at least, the opposite will be true. We will see things in California that will be seen nowhere else.

Nationally, NEA’s actions will be interesting to watch. After the 1994 mid-terms, the union hooked up with the Republican Main Street Partnership in an effort to make some GOP friends. It’s hard to imagine they’ll be able to attempt something similar next year.

UPDATE: NEA’s post-election statement here, and its rather short list of victorious “education champions” here.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
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We will see things in California that will be seen nowhere else.

The experiments of each state as its own sovereign government.
So let CA sink into ruin, if that’s what its citizens want.
For those that do not, you are free to move elsewhere.
There are lots of other states that will welcome Conservative Californians into their arms.

Badger40 on November 5, 2010 at 2:57 PM

Why do they even bother keeping the word “education” in their name? They have no more to do with education than the Teamsters.

skydaddy on November 5, 2010 at 2:58 PM

The NEA is a disgrace. It is an icon of what is foul in this nation’s educational system. Plenty of cash to hand out to socialists running for office, but plenty of bake sales to pay for books and school supplies.

Hening on November 5, 2010 at 3:02 PM

The first act of the new president needs to be to revoke JFK’s executive order allowing federal employee unions.

Rebar on November 5, 2010 at 3:02 PM

skydaddy on November 5, 2010 at 2:58 PM

I agree.
They are only involved in protecting their constituents, for either bad or good.
Their magazine is vile. I read it & it disgusts me.
However, there are a lot of conservative teachers out there, we are just very quiet & slow to anger.

Badger40 on November 5, 2010 at 3:02 PM

We will see things in California that will be seen nowhere else.

Like snow in hell.

California is doomed, you would be smart to run fast and far away.

Bishop on November 5, 2010 at 3:04 PM

The first act of the new president needs to be to revoke JFK’s executive order allowing federal employee unions.

Rebar on November 5, 2010 at 3:02 PM

Oh, how I wish.

Count to 10 on November 5, 2010 at 3:05 PM

Question for Libs: If you care about children, especially the less fortunate, how can you, in good conscience, support the NEA?

visions on November 5, 2010 at 3:06 PM

The problem is (speaking as a life long resident of Washington State here) it’s not just the conservative parts that flee CA, it’s the morons that screwed it all up in the first place… then they screwed up my state.

WitchDoctor on November 5, 2010 at 3:06 PM

lost big on an education funding initiative in Oklahoma,

Yup. ‘No’ got 81 % of the vote.

Bobbertsan on November 5, 2010 at 3:10 PM

“National Education Association”

I might be pushing this a bit, but in context, I am calling that an oxymoron.

percysunshine on November 5, 2010 at 3:11 PM

National Education Association my foot!

More like NATIONAL INDOCTRINATION AUTHORITY!

pilamaye on November 5, 2010 at 3:11 PM

I recall the day I withdrew my membership in the NEA. It was in August, 1987 when the “shop steward” brought me my membership renewal application and chirped that I had forgotten to sign the card. I told her that I had not forgotten to sign it and that I was tired of my dues going to support liberal political causes. The look on her face was priceless.

That organization is responsible for the failure of the American education system today and any teacher with half a mind (that could be the problem) ought to be able to see it.

sdd on November 5, 2010 at 3:14 PM

It’s a different kind of economics they teach

Kini on November 5, 2010 at 3:17 PM

I’m a California public school teacher, and I’m betting that these so-called “wins” will improve my lot not a whit, and the prospect of improving the lot of students in this state is even more unlikely.

Bob's Kid on November 5, 2010 at 3:20 PM

The GOP needs to heed Dick Morris’s advice on state bankruptcies. His suggestion would shield the residents of states like CA and IL from the extreme pain default would inflict. Most pain would be directed and the union and their members.

WashJeff on November 5, 2010 at 3:23 PM

I’m a California public school teacher, and I’m betting that these so-called “wins” will improve my lot not a whit, and the prospect of improving the lot of students in this state is even more unlikely.

Bob’s Kid on November 5, 2010 at 3:20 PM

No kidding … because a union is never about it’s members to begin with, or in the NEA’s case, the kids.

It’s about keeping the money flowing in for union bosses and their cronies.

I’ve always wondered why union members aren’t bothered by the millions unions spend to get democrats elected … their millions.

darwin on November 5, 2010 at 3:28 PM

I’ve always wondered why union members aren’t bothered by the millions unions spend to get democrats elected … their millions.

darwin on November 5, 2010 at 3:28 PM

Cause that union gets them 3% annual wage increases while eveyone else is getting pay cuts.

WashJeff on November 5, 2010 at 3:33 PM

NEA,Propaganda Wing,and Teacher Union Political Thuggery,
just google Christie and NY Teachers Union!!

canopfor on November 5, 2010 at 3:33 PM

Union funds should only be used for contract negotiations and pensions all the other uses should be barred.

tim c on November 5, 2010 at 3:34 PM

The problem is (speaking as a life long resident of Washington State here) it’s not just the conservative parts that flee CA, it’s the morons that screwed it all up in the first place… then they screwed up my state.

WitchDoctor on November 5, 2010 at 3:06 PM

Hear, hear. This was a nice, moderate/independent state at one time. We actually elected a Republican governor three times in a row (Dan Evans) when I was a young sprout.

East of the mountains it’s still very conservative. It’s just the Puget Sound metroplex that’s become so hard left. “Gentry liberals,” as I’ve heard them called. Lots of them are California and East Coast replants.

theotherone on November 5, 2010 at 3:35 PM

Cause that union gets them 3% annual wage increases while eveyone else is getting pay cuts.

WashJeff on November 5, 2010 at 3:33 PM

Good point … however, in NJ, that is going to put 1200 union members out of a job. Just like socialism, unionism is unsustainable.

darwin on November 5, 2010 at 3:36 PM

Unions are nothing more than legal organized protection mobs.

Jvette on November 5, 2010 at 3:37 PM

unionism is unsustainable.

darwin on November 5, 2010 at 3:36 PM

and that is a good point. Their wages and pensions will eventually crash into reality.

WashJeff on November 5, 2010 at 3:38 PM

NEA – We Teech the Chilren

TugboatPhil on November 5, 2010 at 3:40 PM

At the same time, however, the voters approved the union-backed Prop 25, which eliminates the two-thirds supermajority to pass a state budget. This entirely erases the GOP as a factor on budget issues, and certainly does not signal a move toward austerity measures in a state awash in debt and bloated government.

Don’t forget that three of the three branches of Government are entirely controlled by Democrats; the brakes are completely off — if Governor Girlie Man can ever have been considered a brake pad.

And the NEA campaigned vigorously against Tani Cantil-Sakauye, and she won reelection to Calfornia’s Supreme Court, so there is a tiny glimmer of hope.

unclesmrgol on November 5, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Rebar on November 5, 2010 at 3:02 PM

Good, but it wouldn’t affect the teacher unions. States need to ban public unions to get rid of the NEA.

chemman on November 5, 2010 at 3:55 PM

Good, but it wouldn’t affect the teacher unions. States need to ban public unions to get rid of the NEA.

chemman on November 5, 2010 at 3:55 PM

I think I learned on Special Report last night that that’s what Daniels did in Indiana?

Shouldn’t new GOP governors being doing this nationwide in January?

BuckeyeSam on November 5, 2010 at 4:04 PM

The comments at that NEA website are a hoot. Some by supposed teachers, they seem to say “Halp us, Jon Carry! Wear stuk in Irak!

Lanceman on November 5, 2010 at 4:10 PM

Here in Indiana, voters overwelmingly passed a ballot measure that was the final piece needed to make a 1% cap on property taxes a state constitutional ammendment. That will be very hard for the NEA to ever overturn.

MikeA on November 5, 2010 at 4:18 PM

What exactly is the purpose of the NEA spending money in Federal elections? Isn’t education run by State legislatures and Governors? The only Federal purpose IS union regulation.

I hope Christie shares his “How to kick the Teacher Unions Butt” PowerPoint to all his fellow Republican Governors.

barnone on November 5, 2010 at 4:24 PM

The experiments of each state as its own sovereign government.
So let CA sink into ruin, if that’s what its citizens want.
For those that do not, you are free to move elsewhere.
There are lots of other states that will welcome Conservative Californians into their arms.

Badger40 on November 5, 2010 at 2:57 PM

On Wednesday, my wife and I starting reviewing which states we want to move to. Kalifornia is beyond salvaging at this point.

tballard on November 5, 2010 at 4:24 PM

We linked to your excellent piece last night. What wonderful news it is about the NEA’s apparent diminished power. We hope the NEA has been Alinskied and the conservatives are now the radicals to contend with:

http://www.missourieducationwatchdog.com/2010/11/have-conservatives-broken-neas-neck.html

Every time I read about Rules for Radicals on this reading list for new teachers, it just makes me more determined to be a part of the NEA’s extermination. These people have no place in teaching children.

manateespirit on November 5, 2010 at 4:32 PM

The experiments of each state as its own sovereign government.
So let CA sink into ruin, if that’s what its citizens want.
For those that do not, you are free to move elsewhere.
There are lots of other states that will welcome Conservative Californians into their arms.

Badger40 on November 5, 2010 at 2:57 PM

They need to come north to Washington to counter all the liberal Californians who moved north in the 1980′s and 1990′s.

Emmett Watson was right; we should have put up barbed wire and border guards all along the Columbia back in the 80′s!

California is the poster state for the maxim: socialism works great, as long as you are spending other people’s money.

Bubba Redneck on November 5, 2010 at 4:32 PM

The GOP needs to heed Dick Morris’s advice on state bankruptcies. His suggestion would shield the residents of states like CA and IL from the extreme pain default would inflict. Most pain would be directed and the union and their members.

WashJeff on November 5, 2010 at 3:23 PM

I missed that, but yes we need to work up a roadmap for a state bankruptcy. In January the Republicans need to put together some kind of investigation to see if it can be done constitutionally.

For starters, as with any bankruptcy all union contracts should be voided. Just putting a plan in place will be a bucket of ice water in the face of irresponsible state governments, even if it never gets used.

slickwillie2001 on November 5, 2010 at 4:45 PM

If we do not do away with the NEA and countless other org’s trading our children’s education for their own “perks”, China will take over more than the monetary fund! O’Bumbler seems dead set to sell “our” economy to them at all costs! No big deal if it sends us into 3rd world status!

They may be commies, but they sure as hell know technology is the future, and the value of havin’ the next generation educated in it is the answer to growth!! Hell if they can’t figure it out themselves, our DemonRats are hell bent on supplyin’ it to them in the name of better trade relations, anyway!

What do “we” do?

I heard today you can take a class on “Fat Studies of the American People”! Just how many credits can ya get for that one????????

Pathetic!!!!!!

AllosaursRus on November 5, 2010 at 5:11 PM

Can we now DEMAND that the Teachers Unions pay back the BILLIONS stolen from the Food Stamps Program that they used to get democrat politicians elected?

DannoJyd on November 5, 2010 at 5:55 PM

Actually the Democrats just screwed themselves in Kalefornia, but don’t realize it yet. Yeah, they “won”. But they now OWN the state. And passing a budget on a simple majority vote reinforces that.

When the state continues it’s downward skid, the Democrats are not going to have anyone else to point at. They’re in the driver’s seat.

GarandFan on November 5, 2010 at 6:14 PM

Yep!!! I think we can all agree, anyone there, even the “trolls” who reside here, are screwed, if ya live in Kalifornica!

I mean hey, I guess every city manager or mayor, with a population over 3,000 needs a million dollar salary, right?

Isn’t that precisely what they just voted for??????????

Well, that, and makin’ sure those who don’t work, make 20 thou a year, with free food, free gamblin’, free beer, and free Cruises, is gonna be the mainstay!! We could throw in free weed, but apparently they don’t wanna piss off the Drug Dealers!!

Kalifornica is goin’ to find out what the term “Welfare State”, realllllllly means!

AllosaursRus on November 5, 2010 at 7:24 PM

The NEA is 100% about insuring no educator is ever fired and no district ever misses a desired pay or benefit increase…

They could care less about Juniors education.

JIMV on November 5, 2010 at 9:18 PM

On Wednesday, my wife and I starting reviewing which states we want to move to. Kalifornia is beyond salvaging at this point.

tballard on November 5, 2010 at 4:24 PM

We’ll take you here in ND.
My cousin from Sonoma wants to move here. She’s visiting in Feb.

They need to come north to Washington to counter all the liberal Californians who moved north in the 1980′s and 1990′s.

Bubba Redneck on November 5, 2010 at 4:32 PM

Well if they’re up to the task, go for it.
If it were me, I wouldn’t bother.
Living there, I didn’t have the resources to do anything meaningful & it was such a hardship on me to live there in the 1st place.
I’ll wager it was like that for a lot of native WA folks who have left already.
I know of many small dairy & horse farms etc who had to pull up in the Mill Creek, Bothel,Monroe, Carnation, Fall City, etc areas bcs the city folks thought farm waste was so stinky.
Only the hobby farmers have survived & those willing to spend lots of $$ to update their horse facilities so as to charge rich liberals thousands per month to board a horse they see once a year.

Badger40 on November 6, 2010 at 9:40 AM

The NEA is 100% about insuring no educator is ever fired and no district ever misses a desired pay or benefit increase…

They could care less about Juniors education.

JIMV on November 5, 2010 at 9:18 PM

As a local NDEA member in ND, we actually don’t have that much power in negotiating our contracts. Pay levels for teachers in ND are well below the national avg.
Having said that, I cannot complain about how much I’m paid anyway. Contract days are inching up every year for the same pay, but now we’re at 181 days/yr how bad is that?
I don’t agree with this nonsense that the state should be guaranteeing state employee pensions. Why are our pensions more special than anyone else?
The only beef I have ever had about $$ & teacher pay (which I’ve said on here before) is that everyone is paid =.
Well that doesn’t happen anywhere else that I’ve seen.
You get what you pay for which is why it’s hard to find science & math teachers bcs we can make more $$ in the real world.
The idea of tying test scores to pay is pretty stupid though. What a kid scores on a test is not really an accurate description on how good a teacher is.
But I understand the teacher’s union in WA holds that state education system hostage & it’s ridiculous.
If my union told me I had to strike, I’d tell them to F off.

Badger40 on November 6, 2010 at 9:46 AM