Norm Scott notes how Andy Pallotta, the Mulgrew-supported-Executive VP at the NYSUT, hosted "a a Legislative Reception and briefing in the Observation Deck of the Erastus Corning Tower at the Empire State Plaza" for the governor and his staff.
Norm also notes how much money the DFER's and Eva Moskowitz hand out to Governor Cuomo and wonders how it is the union and the anti-union deformers so often end up on the same side of the political gift-giving.
The Port Jefferson Station Teachers Association site picks up on the Pallotta story with news of NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi pushing back against the Pallotta/Mulgrew putsch:
We told you earlier of this week of the war brewing inside of NYSUT between NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi and Executive Vice-President Andy Pallotta, who is believed to be backed by UFT President Michael Mulgrew. This morning we have a few more layers of intrigue to add. In response to things posted on the Revive NYSUT Facebook page (and subsequently removed), Iannuzzi was quoted on the Revive NYSUT Slate Lies page (Yes, there is a “Revive NYSUT” and a “Revive NYSUT Slate Lies”).
Via Revive NYSUT Lies…
BREAKING: Dick Iannuzzi responds to lies posted on Revive NYSUT
Carla McLaud, at large nysut director, called Dick directly to seek the truth regarding the NYSUT table at Cuomo’s fundraiser. Dick asked to be quoted on the misinformation being posted on Revive NYSUT.
“This is a lie. Either the writer or his source is lying. Andy authorized the table without consultation with the officers or the approval of the V/C committee. In fact, as of Friday, a request still has not been forwarded to the V/C Committee. For this reason I have frozen all contributions over $5000 to statewide parties or candidates without prior approval. This lack of judgment is why officers that provide a variety of views and insights (not 4 hand picked by one officer) is the checks and balance needed at NYSUT. This is not micro-managing, it’s good common sense. Had this come to the five officers, I am confident Maria, Lee, Kathleen and I would have opposed a $10000 contribution to Cuomo’s reelection fund.”Richard Iannuzzi, NYSUT President
PJSTA reports that PJSTA President Beth Dimino sent the following message to PJSTA members on Saturday:
For the record, the PJSTA will NOT endorse a slate of NYSUT Officers, led by Andy Pallotta, that endorse and use our vote cope money to pad Cuomo’s war chest! The PJSTA is leading the charge against this heinous act and will support individuals that oppose Pallotta and Cuomo!
Beth Dimino, President PJSTA
Finally, NYC Educator takes a look at the war within the NYSUT and asks a very good question - why would we want the geniuses at the UFT making all the decisions at the NYSUT?
What is Iannuzzi's crime? For one thing, he's decided to rule out a Cuomo endorsement. While the NYSUT revival folks complain that he made that decision, they have also said they haven't decided to make the endorsement. I can only suppose they'd like the freedom to endorse the guy who's taken all those suitcases full of cash from DFER, and Eva Moskowitz, and all the other swell folks who'd like to see working teachers treated as Walmart associates.
Many people tell me that UFT is pretty much the tail wagging the AFT dog. As we're the largest component of NYSUT, and NYSUT is the largest component of AFT, that's somewhat understandable. The fact that three UFT presidents have gone on to become AFT presidents is pretty strong evidence of our influence.
But I don't actually see how ensuring UFT rules NYSUT helps rank and file. UFT has been making huge tactical blunders for years. We supported mayoral control once, when it appeared to be an awful idea, and once again after it was clearly demonstrated to be mayoral dictatorship on the part of anti-teacher, anti-union Mike Bloomberg. We not only started a charter, but also indulged in the co-location that has proven so destructive to public schools. We supported and participated in the authorship of a law that allowed teachers to be rated by what AFT President Randi Weingarten now acknowledges to be junk science. We brokered a deal that enabled the ATR brigade, and another one that condemned them to wander school to school week to week.
How much COPE money did we spend supporting Bill Thompson four years too late, after he'd publicly endorsed withholding raises from working teachers?
Is that the sort of vision we want to expand statewide?
No, that would not be the vision we want here.
We also don't want a union leadership ready to happily give its endorsement to a governor who has repeatedly screwed teachers and government workers.
This is a governor who just told us this week there will be NO changes to APPR - his teacher evaluation system has been a mess all around the state, is causing much misery, extra testing and extra compliance work within schools, but he will brook no dissent and if you don't like it, you can go screw yourself.
Why would the union leadership at the UFT want to endorse this guy, then push for a war within the NYSUT to put into place a slate of candidates that will endorse this guy?
Why would they be handing over union money in the form of campaign donations to him, even as he sucks up so much DFER, charter school operator and deformer money too?
Do they really think endorsing him or giving him a little bite here and there in campaign donations is going to get him to modify his deformer policies?
The UFT leadership ought to be fighting the insanity of the Cuomo policies, the CCSS implementation, the Endless Testing regime, the APPR evaluation system, the inBloom data project, the tax cap that is bankrupting about a third of the districts across the state even as Cuomo layers on more and more expensive mandates.
Instead they're waging a civil war within the union to benefit Andrew Cuomo and ultimately his other benefactors - the DFER's, the charter operators, and the deformers.