It was crystal clear yesterday that New York's teachers unions aren't just joined at the hip with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and the Democratic legislative leadership, they ARE part of the leadership.
The tragic evidence of their extraordinary power was out in the open for all to see minutes before the death knell tolled for Gov. Paterson's and Mayor Bloomberg's effort to win $700 million in federal "Race to the Top" education assistance.
Shortly before the Assembly planned to convene to at least consider the RTTT legislation, Education Committee Chairwoman Catherine Nolan (D-Queens) was huddled -- in full view of the public -- 30 feet from Silver's office with Carol Gerstl, counsel to the all-powerful United Federation of Teachers.
And who does Dicker get a quote from to show just how disgusting all this UFT lobbying in Albany is?
Why - a lobbyist, of course.
"The teachers have always been there helping incumbents that help them get elected, saying they 'do it for the children' when in fact they're pursuing their own union agenda at the expense of the children," one of the Legislature's most sophisticated lobbyists said late yesterday.
"Maybe they went too far this time with Race to the Top and charter schools. Maybe people will finally catch on," the lobbyist continued.
Can you explain to me why teachers unions aren't allowed to lobby, but other groups are?
Seriously, Fred's quoting "one of the Legislature's most sophisticated lobbyists" on why the UFT shouldn't be allowed to lobby on the charter school issue.
Might have to name an award of the day after Fred Dicker.
Atrios has the WANKER OF THE DAY award.
I think I am going to start the FRED DICKER OF THE DAY award.
Today's winners - Fred Dicker and the unnamed lobbyist with the balls to complain about other lobbyists.