Golly, you mean StudentFirst and Michele Rhee are hostile toward teachers unions?! Who knew?
Of course, anyone who's paid attention to Rhee knows she's in the tank for the GOP, especially when it comes to state-level races:
Rhee makes a point of applauding “leaders in both parties and across the ideological spectrum” because her own political success — and the success of school reform — depends upon the bipartisan reputation she has fashioned. But 90 of the 105 candidates backed by StudentsFirst were Republicans, including Tea Party enthusiasts and staunch abortion opponents. And Rhee’s above-the-fray bona fides have come under heavy fire as progressives and teachers unions increasingly cast the school reform movement, which has become virtually synonymous with Rhee’s name, as politically conservative and corporate-funded.The notion that Michelle Rhee is bipartisan is laughable. Yes, she'll throw a bone every now and then to a Democrat if his or her election is a foregone conclusion; that's a great way to push vouchers or charters or other reformy nonsense. But the big bucks are flowing to the Republicans - especially Republicans who run races in opposition to Democratic candidates who are actually working teachers.
Students First is now a conservative, right-wing adjunct to the Republican party. Any Democratic support it gives is a cheap feint to keep suckers in the "moderate" wing of the Democratic Party on the leash, salivating at the thought of getting their chops around the tasty billionaire money Rhee has amassed to buy off legislators.
But the Dems who fall for this bait are idiots:
Rhee's initial anemic response to Newtown was a disgrace. She couldn't even muster a single word of praise for the six educators who died trying to save the beautiful children of Sandy Hook Elementary; apparently, that's OK, while pointing out those courageous educators were unions members is not. Rhee's cautious words in the face of this tragedy spoke volumes about where her loyalties lie. I guess the progressives who had deluded themselves about what StudentsFirsts's real mission is just had enough:
"They were able to talk the talk that it is bipartisan," said Kombiz Lavasany, who directs strategic campaigns for the American Federation of Teachers, a union Rhee has sparred with. "But [after things like the guns episode] … I can see how it would be harder and harder for the Democrats to work there."
I would imagine it does. Good on the folks who are walking away from Rhee's partisan, conservative political machine. Let's see if Democratic politicians also wise up and see this woman and her right-wing lobbying outfit for what it really is.
BTW: Kudos to Joy Resmovits for this reporting; more like this!