Sunday, October 31, 2010

Confirmed: NH-NEA didn't survey some candidates

I have just confirmed from two School District Charter Commission candidates that the NH-NEA, the Concord teachers union, never surveyed or spoke to them about an endorsement.
The union, not surprisingly, endorsed candidates all connected to the school board in some way, shape, or form. The endorsements were included in a newsletter that was postmarked Oct. 27.
However, if the NH-NEA didn't survey the candidates, how did they know who to endorse?
Let's take a look at this for a second, make some guesses, and analyze them.
1) They just guessed who to pick.
Not realistic, but possible.
2) They saw the Concord Taxpayers Association surveys and freaked out.
However, this isn't realistic either. First, the surveys were posted late in the evening of Oct. 24, with a press release sent out that night. While people did look at them that night, traffic shot up on Monday. If they saw our surveys on Monday, Oct. 25, the union would have had to drop everything, throw together a newsletter, get it printed up, and get it to the post office, and magically have them deliver it in record time. Not likely. Plus, they endorsed a candidate who didn't fill out the survey so they don't know where he stands. Based on the theory that they saw the CTA surveys, they were either just guessing on that guy or they know him outright.
3) The Concord Monitor sent the answers to the NH-NEA before publishing them.
The Monitor put together a survey and collected them on Oct. 21. However, the newspaper didn't begin publishing the answers until Oct. 27, and over a series of days after that. That would have been enough time to fax them over to the NH-NEA. On Oct. 27, the newspaper published the CTA press release about our surveys and was the only media outlet to do so. There was a boost in traffic on the CTA site that day. But that would have been too late, since the newsletter with the endorsement was postmarked the same day.
Consider the cozy relationship the editorial board has with the school board and administrators. Do they have such a cozy relationship with the union too? As bad as the Monitor can be some times, you have to think they have some journalistic integrity somewhere and wouldn't do this. It would be totally corrupt.
4) The NH-NEA got their marching orders from the school board or administrators on who to endorse.
Completely likely, considering. Think about it for a second: School Board President Kass Ardinger and School Superintendent Chris Rath collude in secret with state Senators in a back room deal to rig the Charter Commission altogether. They even got put school district attorney John Teague into a situation where he broke the law to rig the Charter Commission. What would keep them from colluding with the teachers union too to rig the Charter Commission election?


Anonymous said...

At my ward I heard a couple say to each other as they were about to vote: "Do you have the NEA cheat sheet with you?"

So their endorsements definitely swayed some otherwise uninformed voters.

Tony said...

Anon8:38: I'm not surprised by that at all. I was at Ward 5 from 7 to 10 a.m. and I saw more than a few people clutching newsprint in their hands (probably the Monitor endorsement slate). I don't have a huge problem with that - everyone is trying to influence everyone else's votes. But I worry that people aren't thinking for themselves, especially in important races like the Charter Commission. It didn't help matters that there were 27 candidates running and no forums to air out the issues.