Are you out of your freakin' mind?!?!
Christie presented his major accomplishment as breaking the back of public-sector unions with government employees while simultaneously wooing private-sector unions.
“We have the endorsement of 24 building-trade unions,” he said. “We have an opportunity as a political party to drive a wedge in the union movement, and the laboratory where that’s happening right now is in my state.”Now, I know some of you, my fellow teachers, have had problems with your union, be it the NJEA or AFT-NJ. Maybe it's at the local level; maybe you don't like the tactics and/or strategies of the state-level unions. That's perfectly legitimate; lord knows I've had my beefs on occasion as well.
Of course, you have every right, if not a duty, to get involved with your local, your county organization, and the state-level unions if you want to see changes. Run for your local's board; that's how Karen Lewis took over the Chicago Teachers Union and became the most dynamic labor leader in America.
But if you think any problems you might have with your union will be solved by electing Chris Christie, you are out of your damn mind. Here he is, admitting that his goal is to break apart the public and private sector unions. Why? Because he knows that splitting us will guarantee lower wages, fewer benefits, and less workplace protection for all.
And there is one union that he has targeted over and over again for special ire - the NJEA:
“The teachers union in our state collects $140 million a year in dues. … It’s a $140 million political slush fund for them to use however they wish in mandatory dues,” he said. “That’s who we’re up against. So we decided very early that we had to fix the pension and benefit problem, at least move toward fixing it. And the only way to do it was to take them on directly.That is a lie - Chris Christie, as he has shown many times before, is a lying liar. The dues the NJEA collects cannot, by law, be used for political contributions; NJEA has a PAC that uses voluntary contributions to fund campaigns.
Furthermore, the notion that Christie has moved toward "fixing" the pension and benefits problem is, at best, a gross exaggeration. After breaking his promise to us during the last campaign (look at the top of this blog and never forget), Christie just this past spring said he refuses to guarantee he'll make the promised pension payments he swore he'd make when he slashed our pensions and health care. He never "saved" our pensions, just like he never "reined in health care costs." Chris Christie's record is just one broken promise and one lie after another.
And yet he revels in stupidity like this:
“My philosophy on this can be best described this way: When you come to a new school yard and you’re the new kid in school — like you are when you’re the governor and you come to Trenton for the first time — and you walk onto the schoolyard and you see a bunch of people lying on the ground bloody and beaten up, and you see one person standing there with their arms folded across their chest staring at you. That’s the bully,” he added. “In New Jersey, that bully is the New Jersey Education Association.”
Christie said his approval rating fell into the low 40s after the teachers’ union spent $20 million on ads attacking him but popped to 56 points after he began “making the case” during 35 town hall meetings.
“You got two choices as governor: You either sidle up next to ’em [and] whisper sweet nothings in their ear and try to hope they just don’t punch you. Or the second alternative is: You punch them first!” [emphasis mine]Let me ask you something, my fellow teacher who is contemplating voting for this jerk: if one of your students talked about another in school like this, wouldn't you have to file an HIB report?
But this is the level of class we've come to expect over the last four years:
I know talk radio tells you this is "refreshing" and "candid," but it's really "obnoxious" and "embarrassing." Just like when Christie compared you - no, not your union, but you - to a drug dealer.
Folks, I understand you might want to base your vote on something other than Chris Christie's jihad against the teaching profession. I know some of you have very sincere beliefs on topics like abortion. I'm not going to try to dissuade you from voting your conscience: I am, however, going to point out that if you pull the lever for Chris Christie, you are letting him take money out of your own pocket: money you need to feed and house and educate your own family.
You're also guaranteeing that your school will not get the funding it needs to educate your students. You've already given plenty back: your health care costs have skyrocketed, your raises are barely keeping pace with the cost of living, and your pension has been cut. You made it easier to fire bad teachers, but you're also working now under an evaluation system that still hasn't been fully worked out and promises to be a mess. You've sacrificed more than enough for your students, while the extremely wealthy people who fund Chris Christie's campaign have given up nothing.
For the sake of your family, your students, and yourself: no teacher in New Jersey can possibly consider voting for Chris Christie this fall!
You really want four more years of this?!