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

Sunday, March 6, 2011

NJ Left Behind Owes a Correction

Laura Waters got it completely wrong when she said the Twitter account "stopthefreezenj" belonged to the NJEA:
Here’s [sic] some tweets from NJEA’s twitter account, “stopthefreezenj” on the Interim Report issued by the NJ Education Effectiveness Task Force.
@GovChristie crock of BS - u r working to neuter CB legislatively and by destroying PERC
Here's the "NJ Teacher Effectiveness Task Force" report on teacher evaluation. Unsubstantiated junk
the report proposes the most ill-informed toxic brew of policy recommendations that one can imagine. (retweet from Bruce Baker)
NJEA’s leaders would serve its members better if they started to do the math.

I called her out on it (and on the rest of the post), and said she owed a correction, as did a commenter on her post. In response, in her comments section, she posted a link to this:
The new Facebook page mellifluously entitled “NEW JERSEY TEACHERS UNITED AGAINST GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE'S PAY FREEZE” has this disclaimer prominently displayed: “This page is not sanctioned by the NJEA.” That’s a relief, because the page includes somewhat questionable claims such as “Christie is a disciple of Karl Rove - the chief architect of the George W. Bush administration. He is governor today because Rove picked him to run against Corzine.” Certainly it would be unseemly for a professional organization representing the fine educators of NJ to stoop to such tactics. Not so fast. Here’s a comment from one of its 31,769 fans:
When NJEA warned its members that Chris Christie would take away their pensions, health benefits, and collective bargaining rights, he accused us of lying. Now, a month into his term, he's trying to do all of these things. Let the record show who the liar was.
Who’s the fan? None other than Steve Wollmer, chief spokesman for NJEA.
So what? Wollmer is a fan, so now the page, and it's accompanying Twitter account, is the responsibility of the NJEA? That's ridiculous on its face.

This stupidity is characteristic of the attacks on the NJEA. Every thing any teacher may say is now directly tied to the union, and can be spun to make the union look bad at will.

But this is how the game is played now: the "corporate reformers" and their acolytes - and, yes, Laura, that's exactly what I'm calling you from now on - hide behind their act as wounded victims to avoid the hard questions about their plans that they have, so far, refused to answer directly. They question the union's commitment to children and assume good faith on the part of those like Christie who broke their word (see the quote at the top of this blog for the most egregious example).

Further: what "stopthefreezeNJ" wrote above has been reported by the mainstream press:
TRENTON -- Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie has tried to escape the shadow of former President George W. Bush, whose support for Christie has become a major line of attack by Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine.
But in an interview Tuesday and in congressional testimony last month, longtime Bush advisor Karl Rove said he had conversations with Christie about a possible run for governor while Christie was serving in the non-political position of U.S. attorney.
And don't try to split hairs about whether Rove picked him or he reached out to Rove. "stopthefreezeNJ" didn't buy into Christie's spin, as is his or her prerogative. It's a perfectly legitimate point to be made - even though it WASN'T made by Wollmer or anyone at the NJEA.

In any case, Laura, you still owe a correction. Until you give one, no one should take anything you have to say seriously, and I'm taking you off my blogroll.

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