I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Thursday, March 8, 2012

What does this tell us about Bob "Hoover" Ingle?

I haven't checked in with Chris Christie's favorite suck-up in a while:

Guess who spent the most money lobbying in 2011. The New Jersey Education Association, according to the New Jersey Election law Enforcement Commission. It spent $11.3 million, mostly on communications. The union represents 195,501 active and retired school employees in New Jersey. In 2010 it  spent $6.6 million on communications. The NJEA’s 2011 spending is more than $10 million more than the number-two on the list, Verizon New Jersey at $1.2 million.
If the point were to get Christie to stop they wasted their money. This extraordinary expense and lack of success should show the dues-paying teachers union members something about union management. If it doesn’t, they shouldn’t be trusted with educating kids.
Christie said the teachers who pay $730 in dues should be outraged. The money, he said, could better be used to enhance retirement or pay for medical co-pays or something that does good for teachers. He also said he doubts the $11.3 million is all of the money spent, it was just the amount they reported.
Of course Christie wants union dues to be used for teachers' pensions or health insurance: he's the one who led the charge to force us to pay more for both, while simultaneously avoiding full pension payments for seven years and doing jack squat to rein in heath care costs. He'd rather take these costs out of the hides of teachers than demand the state's millionaires pony up their fair share (not a surprise, considering millionaires are the ones who funded his campaign).

This is precisely why the NJEA bought advertisements. They couldn't rely on getting their message out through the press, because the press is populated by Christie suck-ups like Bob "Hoover" Ingle.

Think about it: can you name any members of the New Jersey press corps who suck up to the NJEA the way Hoover sucks up to the guv? I sure can't; the only pundit I can think of who challenges Christie's orthodoxy on education "reform" is Bob Braun, and he's hardly a champion of the teachers union the way Hoover is a champion of Chris Christie.

The problem, Hoover, is that the NJEA has to get its message to cut through a sea of pro-Christie and anti-union propaganda: like, for example, your columns and blog (Christie is responsible for the millionaires tax expiring, Bob - it's a fact). So, yes, I'm outraged that the NJEA has to spend this money, but I'm not angry at them; I'm angry at you.

If you were a real journalist and were willing to present the other side of the argument, they wouldn't have to buy airtime. And if every pundit followed this ethic - or, at the very least, we had a few pro-union voices in the corporate media - we'd have a real, balanced debate about all of this, and the union would get to have its say.

But that's not the world we live in, is it, Hoover? This blog post is proof positive of that. You actually wrote that teachers who support their union shouldn't be trusted with kids; and yet, somehow, you can't see that maybe the press has a bias against NJEA.

Too bad they can't find their own Bob Ingle to suck up to them...

The NJEA needs a pundit to suck up to them - just like I suck up to the best guv EVAH!


Anonymous said...

I was never much of a union guy and resented my dues. No longer! We have never needed our union more. I was wrong. Now, we have made mistakes but, I am more pro NJEA than ever.,


Anonymous said...

Duke- I responded to Mr. Katz yesterday that our dues are not used for the NJEA's positive ads about the facts in New Jersey's schools- that it was actually a separate voluntary fund. He wrote back;
My understanding from the union spokesperson is that both reserve funds
and current dues are used for the political advertising (not the
positive ones; the attack ads against Christie).

Can you confirm this? Honestly, it doesn't matter where they are pulling the money- it's money well spent & it's the union members money to decide how it's spent- not the governor! Money that he can't take away and has no control- that must really bother him.
Duke- as usual, you are right on the mark with your comments. Keep up the fight- I know I will! Thanks!

Trisha said...

Ingle blocked me from commenting. Just like Christie, he got in an insult, then threw me out so he could have the last word. Disappointing!