Monday, November 2, 1998

The "board's unlikely secret allies" (the union supports anti-unionists)

From Dissent 9, 11/2/98


     Have you seen it? On Saturday (the 31st), the Register ran an article on the front page of its Metro section entitled “Board’s Unlikely Secret Allies,” which describes the faculty union leadership’s habit of helping to elect undesirable candidates—the likes of Steve Frogue, John Williams, Don Wagner, and Nancy Padberg—and refusing to discuss these actions with the rank and file.
     The case of Wagner, a member of the explicitly anti-teachers union Education Alliance, is especially interesting. As he says,

“The teachers union?…The California Teachers Association is overwhelmingly liberal. I would seriously doubt they would support a conservative Republican like me. I was generally pleased to get the support…but I think it’s strange that it’s the union.”

     The solution to the mystery is, of course, simple:

“Why is the faculty union giving money to endorse candidates who are appealing to a segment of the voter population who is opposed to unions?” said [an] Irvine Valley College professor…”It’s simple. It’s the buying and selling of board members. They will do anything to keep control of the board majority.”

     Anything indeed. According to the article, “In 1996, the union paid $40,000 to mail out” the notorious homophobic “Same Sex” flier, which got Frogue, Williams, and Fortune elected and put our chapter on the CTA shit list. (“[T]he flier was bad…It was really bad,” says CTA’s David Lebow.) It also reports that, this year, the union formed the PAC “Community Taxpayers for Dr. Andy Kish for Trustee.” After Kish dropped out of the race, a new committee was formed, the “South Orange County Taxpayers for Quality Education.” According to the article, “More than $69,000 from [the] Andy Kish PAC and another union PAC [was] transferred” to the new PAC.
     Could it be that our odious union leadership has sunk that kind of money into electing the likes of Don Wagner and Nancy Padberg?

(Click on graphic for more detail.)

     I’ve done a little research on Mr. Wagner, whom the union’s Curt McLendon [of the Old Guard], in his recent letter “to colleagues,” describes as “moderate.” Mr. McLendon must be joking. Those who are interested in understanding Mr. Wagner’s “moderation” are encouraged to examine the following:

     1. The website of “The Federalist Society” ( (Wagner is the founder and president of the Orange County chapter.) The Federalist Society is committed to “reordering priorities within the legal system to place a premium on individual liberty, traditional values, and the rule of law.” The Society’s board of trustees includes those celebrated “moderates” Robert Bork and Edwin Meese!

     2. An article entitled “Defining Control” (Register; 6/16/98), which describes Wagner’s views on “local control” of schools and the dangers of “the federal government…overreaching its powers.”

     3. A letter, appearing in the 2/19/98 Register, in which Wagner argues for school “choice.” (“Only by returning choice…to parents and taking it from the education bureaucrats can we reverse [the decline in public education]…I trust parents much more than I do the government to make the right education decisions for children.”)

     4. An article Wagner published in the Register (July 13, 1998) concerning some judges and whether minors need “parental consent” before getting an abortion. (It’s the tone of the letter rather than its thesis that is perhaps revealing.)

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