Failing in its attempt to control who contributes to his campaign, the Hartford teachers union rescinded its endorsement of Democratic Mayoral nominee Luke Bronin this week. The move smacks of a larger teachers union’s failed effort to dictate to Gov. Dannel Malloy what qualifications his education commissioner had to have. In the bigger picture, it’s yet another attempt by the unions to protect the status quo for its members even if it imperils reform that would help students.
After endorsing Bronin earlier this month, the union’s executive board met with the candidate to demand that he return campaign contributions from charter school officials and supporters. When Bronin refused to be bullied, the union took back its endorsement.
The move is nothing short of insulting on several levels. It implies Bronin can be bought by contributors. Further, it shows the Hartford Teachers Union thinks it can control a candidate by its own endorsement.
The arrogance of teachers unions in Connecticut knows no bounds. In this last legislative session, they got the General Assembly to pass a bill that would tell Malloy and future governors what qualifications their choices for education commissioner must have.
It was a naked power play. The unions didn’t like Malloy’s last choice so they wanted to show who’s boss. Malloy, showing extraordinary backbone, vetoed the bill. The legislature then found some courage and didn’t attempt to override the veto.
Now, a teachers union has failed again to extend its considerable control. Bronin, who is fair to say is a protégé of Malloy’s, refused to be told from whom he can accept contributions.
The teachers unions’ quest to protect the status quo has suffered some blows. What is best for the kids is not number one on their priority list. What’s best for the teachers is.
It was an important rebuke of the Hartford Federation of Teachers. Bronin can’t be bought by those who contribute to his campaign including charter school advocates. It also shows Bronin can’t be bullied by the unions. All of this are examples of Bronin’s substantial qualifications to lead Hartford.