My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Teachers' Unions Behaving Badly

Dear Friends:

My name is Wayne Rutt. Together with Paul Marrick, I have filed a complaint with the Colorado Secretary of State against the Poudre Education Association. This is the teachers union in the Fort Collins school district. The hearing is scheduled for 9:00 AM on May 2, 2005, at 1120 Lincoln Street in Denver.

As outlined in our complaint we believe that the union, directed by their president who is paid as a school district employee using tax money, conducted a political campaign for the election of Bob Bacon. Using teachers, and school resources, during the school day they campaigned at the expense of our children.

We do not believe this problem is unique to our school district. Evidence would suggest this type of election activity was happening across the state. However, what is unique is our ability to take action against this affront to our children, our election process, and the misuse of our tax money.

Our investigation has revealed evidence of campaign events being held at the schools. We have found hundreds of e-mails, which were written and sent on school computers, urging union and nonunion members to endorse and support the Bob Bacon campaign through their volunteer efforts. Organized letter writing campaigns were run out of the schools. Some teachers even complained that the campaign demands were so overwhelming it was difficult for them to focus on their teaching responsibilities. There are many other examples. In short, union campaigning was pervasive inside our schools!

Let me ask you a question. How many of you believe that the best way to treat cancer is to ignore it? This might seem like a pretty stupid question. However, if we do not seize this opportunity right here, and right now, that is exactly what we will be doing!

Consider large numbers of teachers being paid to campaign at the expense of our children, the outcome of the 2004 elections, and the upcoming elections which include the Governor’s race, and there is a lot a stake! Our complaint will establish election law in Colorado. A victory could change the landscape for all of the children in this state, and the fairness of future elections. The union’s ability to conduct political campaigns at the expense of our children, and out of our schools, would be crippled. We have the evidence! However, the state constitution dictates that we must prosecute this complaint privately. We cannot even recoup our legal expenses.

This seems like a task of Quixotic proportions, but the outcome could hve a profound influence on elections and campaigns across the state. Keep an eye on this space, and if you are in such a mind and situation, donate a little money to this cause.

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