More Political Ineptitude From the NJEA

promoted by Rosi

Cross posted from Jersey Jazzman.

Leonard Lance in the 7th District just voted against getting $268 million in federal funds for NJ schools. What’s the NJEA’s response?

Refuse to endorse his opponent – A FORMER TEACHER!

The group did decline to endorse some Democrats. In the 7th Congressional District, they made no endorsement, even though Democrat Ed Potosnak, a former science teacher at Bridgewater-Raritan Regional High School, is running against freshman Republican U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance.

“As a teacher, I never took my voting cues from them, and I leave it up to teachers of the 7th District to decide who will represent them in Congress,” Potosnak said in a statement.

NJEA spokesman Steve Wollmer said the PAC may decide to endorse more candidates later on, including in the 7th District.

“I think there may be further discussion on that one,” he said. “A lot of things come into consideration, not just whether you’re an NJEA member… Some of that gets subjective because you also have to assess a non-incumbent’s electability.”

Yes, we can’t take the risk of standing on principle against a guy who votes against the interests of teachers and is in the party of Chris Christie because… well, he might win (especially if his opponent doesn’t get our endorsement).

They did this to Linda Stender a few years ago as well when she ran against Mike Ferguson; how’d that work out for you, NJEA?

Is it too early for a drink?

Comments (21)

  1. They also refused to endorse marriage equality.  We asked, and we repeatedly called them on it, and their response was, that’s not fair, Garden State Equality – you know we played a major role in getting the domestic partnership law passed in 2004.  (HUH – like that excused the NJEA from endorsing marriage equality in 2009?)  We’re just not comfortable yet with a formal position on marriage equality, we were told.  Yes, this came during last year’s legislative battle.  And it came from a leader at the NJEA whom I met at an event with the leader’s same-sex partner – I was stunned.

  2. Babs NJSD

    That is my opinion based on personal experience and observations. A chat with a former NJEA president about a teacher who was abusive to a student in in a classroom met with a shrug of indifference. No interest in showing any sensitivity or desire to educate the “educator” was evident.

    My actual legislative experience with them was in 2006. It came 5 minutes before the Senate Judiciary hearings on our Transequality bill, I found out the NJEA was offering a “friendly amendment” to a bill that was carefully written and had been vetted by a myriad of LGBT attorneys and in place over a year. I was furious at being completely blindsided by their arrogance, they never contacted anyone involved with the legislation and because of their “strength”, the committee chair accepted the amendment.

    The amendment would in the opinion of national legal experts weaken the bill, and it took my own relationship with Senator Adler,numerous letters from national legal experts, and a NJEA lobbyist who had gone on vacation to come back, agree to back down, and we finally got the bill passed easily without the NJEA interference.

    They can be very aggressive when they want to be … I have the feeling that they lack the education and comfort levels with LGBT issues that a reasonable New Jersey person  in the 21st century might expect.

  3. notquitebluemaybecyan

    why would an education group take a stance on marriage equality?  sure, some members are LGB, but it is not an education issue.  

  4. firstamend07

    I have always believed that when a Union becomes too big AND structures itself like management, it begins to lose perspective and it loses the all important ” fire in the belly” that is the mark of a good Union.

    When you have out of touch leadership you have a bad union.

    The leadership of these two major unions is clueless. Both have been proven to be paper tigers, CWA a little more than the NJEA. Members do not even pay attention to what they have to say anymore.

    The need for strong unions is still there,but neither of these unions are very strong,at least at the top.

    When the membership get tired of getting their asses kicked then they will recognize that the real problem is their own organization.

    I hope it is not too late…..

  5. Jersey Jazzman (Post author)

    Wow, this post took a turn I never expected.

    Steven, I had no idea about this. Does the NJEA really think they don’t have GLTBQ members? ME goes directly to the question of spousal benefits, which you would think the union would care about.

    I agree that there are many socially conservative teachers out there; I do think, princetonblue, that there is an aspect of the profession that attracts somewhat conservative people.

    But if you’re going to stick your nose into the issue, as Babs retells the story, you’d better be in for the whole damn thing.

    Firstamend07, there are many of us who are more than a little pissed off at the union leadership. They have been inept and ineffective for the past year, and they had better start figuring out who their allies are if they ever want to get anything done for their membership.


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