"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Monday, September 05, 2016

Zeph Capo Had Weingarten's Back on Clinton Endorsement

As Randi Weingarten was counting out $250,000 in union dues last year to support the Clinton Global Initiative, she was also preparing to stab teachers in the back with an early endorsement of Hillary Clinton for President.  Many union members were shocked and outraged, as reported last year by Time:
Around a dozen AFT members, including local board members and local presidents, said in interviews with TIME that they were deeply upset by the early endorsement of Clinton. They said they were broadsided by the endorsement, and many state and local presidents were not aware the AFT was preparing to endorse Clinton until it was announced on Saturday.

“Right now, Sanders is better on our issues than Hillary is,” said Morton Rosenfeld, president of an AFT local in Long Island, New York. “Our goal should be to drive Hillary closer to our position than she already is. That’s the way the politics works.”

In an interview, Weingarten defended the early endorsement of Clinton, saying that a majority of the AFT said they supported endorsing the Democratic frontrunner early in the primary process.
Some local AFT officials were not surprised at all, however.  Among them was HFT President, Zeph Capo, who went on the record to defend Weingarten's autocratic decision, even as others expressed outrage:
. . . . Union leaders “don’t realize how upset rank-and-file membership is and how positively they’re responding to Bernie Sanders’ message,” said David Newby, a former president of the AFL-CIO in Wisconsin. “Clinton’s going to have to be more specific and more hard-hitting than she’s been in the past if she’s going to slow down the rank-and-file momentum towards Bernie.”

“Many of our members have a deep dissatisfaction with both political parties, and the corporate agenda they feel that both the political parties represent,” said Mark Dimondstein, president of the American Postal Workers Union. “In our ranks there’s a lot of interest and excitement for Sanders, and it’s bubbling up.”

Support for Sanders isn’t universal, though, and Clinton has some enthusiastic supporters among both rank and file and leadership. Part of the support is based in the belief that she can defeat a Republican in a general election. Zeph Capo, president of the Houston Federation of Teachers said he admired Clinton’s decision to join the Children’s Defense Fund after graduating college and added he believed Clinton had a much better chance of winning the general election. 
 “I’ll stand by her from now until November and then forward,” he said. 
Really? Did Capo have to look back almost a half century to find something to admire about Hillary Clinton?  If he had looked just a bit further, he would have found that Cliinton was a Goldwater Girl in 1964.

Apparently, Capo had nothing to say about Clinton's present-day full-throated support of testing accountability, segregated charter schools, Common Core, test-based teacher evaluation, and the viral spread of big data and online teaching.  But then how could he?  These are initiatives supported by AFT, as well.  

1 comment:

  1. It's so disheartening to see the AFT has essentially served as a subsidiary of right-of-center John Podesta's Center for American Progress (CAP). Weingarten has proven that she only listens to the big foundations, and has no regard for rank and file educators at all, and will go to any length to push the neoliberal agenda. Obama has been awful, hands down the worst education President in history, but we'll be pining for this era once Clinton begins her long desired coup de grâce against the remaining public commons.