Friendly Neighborhood Union Brags About Involvement In "Parent-Led" Recall

Hello, edu-friends! I’ve been patiently awaiting word from SCOTUS on the fate of the Douglas County voucher case. I had expected to hear about the court’s decision to hear/not hear the case this week. As I mentioned a while back, I’m not exactly sure how the decision to hear the case will be affected by Justice Scalia’s untimely passing, so I’ve been a little nervous these last few days. Unfortunately, a little bird told me that we’ll be waiting until at least next week for closure. Bummer.

But don’t fret. We’ll pass the time by engaging in one of my favorite activities: sharing the union’s latest escapades.

Most of you probably remember the revelation that, despite frequent claims to the contrary, the National Education Association was very much involved (to the tune of $150,000) in the recent Jefferson County recall effort. Shortly after that story broke, Jeffco United, the primary pro-recall front group, dropped any notion of appealing a judge’s earlier order to register as a political committee and disclose its donors.

Jeffco United and its spokeswoman, who also happens to be the spokeswoman for the Jefferson County Education Association (surprise!), dumped the organization’s donor information on Christmas Eve—a famous old political trick designed to ensure minimal press coverage. I don’t really blame them for that. They were probably not very interested in widespread coverage of the fact that nearly every dollar the organization raised beyond the $150,000 NEA contribution came from the Colorado Education Association and the Jefferson County Education Association.

Unfortunately for them, folks did see it. That includes the media. 9News ran a story exposing the fact that literally 99.9 percent of Jeffco United’s funding came from the teachers union. Then the Daily Caller picked the story up. Badly exposed, recall proponents watched the “parent-led” lie they perpetuated throughout the recall evaporate. They may have won the election, but the Grinch of Truth definitely put a damper on their holidays. Serves them right.

With the mask off at last, the union apparently decided that it may as well start bragging. First, JCEA released a document stating that its effort against the conservative board majority began “the moment polls closed in 2013.” Then, we heard that JCEA President John Ford and his minions traveled to Florida, where they began the process of training folks on how to undermine conservative board members in one of that state’s school districts.

Then, Mike Antonucci at Education Intelligence Agency reported that John Ford was headed south to NEA’s Leadership Summit in Dallas, Texas. His purpose? Teaching a two-part conference session on “building a comprehensive plan to win.” Check out the official session description below:

Powerful, Prepared, Proactive: Building a Comprehensive Plan to Win – PART 1

In the 2015 election, the Jefferson County Education Association in Colorado beat back the Koch brothers and other outside money and interests in their local school board election by building and working a comprehensive plan to win. In this session, participants will learn the strategies and processes involved in the successful two year plan. Participants will learn how organized people can beat organized money. (It is recommended that participants attend both Part 1 and Part 2).

John Ford

I can’t be bothered to point out the painful irony of the mighty teachers union deriding “organized money” and “outside interests.” (We’ll do that tomorrow!)

I do, however, want to underscore the fact that the union is now bragging about a two-year, union-led plan to oust conservative board members for purely political reasons despite having vehemently denied its involvement in the recall and the events leading up to it. Or, put another way, JCEA is pretty darn proud of just how effectively it managed to mislead voters. You may now grimace and/or shake your head in disgust.

I don’t feel great about the fact that an organization supposedly representing the folks who teach our children is actively engaged in teaching others how to lie, cheat, and manipulate their way to victory. I feel even worse about the fact that the clearest losers in all of this were Jeffco’s students.

But hey, at least John Ford is famous (sort of) and in perfect position to ascend the union career ladder! Priorities, my friends. Priorities. See you next time!