Skip to comments.Teachers union calls for defeat of Bush - "Fahrenheit 9/11" showing at convention
Posted on 07/05/2004 12:52:37 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
The head of the National Education Association opened the largest school union's annual convention yesterday with a call for public school teachers and employees to mobilize politically to help defeat President Bush this fall.
"I know that if we put forth our best effort, we are going to win," Reg Weaver told a cheering audience in a 30-minute speech in which he criticized Mr. Bush and Education Secretary Rod Paige.
"Our 2.7 million members can be the 'X-factor' in this election. We and our pro-public-education allies can and will make a decisive difference," he said.
The convention votes tomorrow on the NEA's endorsement of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. The Massachusetts senator is scheduled to address the convention tomorrow.
The union is collaborating with the liberal organization MoveOn.org to coordinate nationwide political "house parties."
The parties, described as "the largest mobilization for education ever" are being organized nationwide to plan political rallies, register voters, set up meetings with congressional candidates, "and design a program to make sure your parents, teachers and community members will get to the polls in November," according to brochures distributed to 10,000 NEA delegates at the Washington Convention Center.
The union had sign-up cards for the house parties, and NEA political action committee staffers recruited delegates all day yesterday to participate and make political donations in an adjoining cafeteria.
At about 2 p.m. yesterday, screens and TV monitors throughout the convention floor flashed the names of five leading states California, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Washington whose delegates had ponied up a total of $1.57 million to date in political contributions.
The sign-up brochure described as sponsoring "partner organizations" ACORN, the Campaign for America's Future and MoveOn.org.
"We thought it was an activity that could galvanize our members to help fix and fund [the] No Child Left Behind [Act of 2001]," Mr. Weaver told The Washington Times during a convention recess.
"I'm trying to activate our members. I'm about mobilizing and stimulating our folks" so that the school union's political activism "takes center stage" for the remainder of the presidential campaign, he said.
Yesterday, union officials distributed 10,000 fliers to individual state caucuses informing them that filmmaker Michael Moore's anti-Bush film, "Fahrenheit 9/11," would be shown to delegates in the convention hall tomorrow immediately after Mr. Kerry's speech.
The announcement of the showing and the strongly anti-Bush tone of the convention brought grumbling from Republican members, who make up more than one-fourth of the union's total membership.
One such member, Sissy Jochmann from the Pennsylvania delegation, called the Moore film "vicious" and said she would publicly call for "a timeout" if union leaders and members continued "bullying us with all their anti-Bush and anti-Republican rhetoric."
Even liberal political commentator Christopher Hitchens, who was an Oxford University friend and roommate of President Clinton's during the 1970s, has described "Fahrenheit 9/11" as "a big lie and a big misrepresentation."
The film claims that terrorist Osama bin Laden's family had a close business relationship with Mr. Bush's family and that the wars to liberate Afghanistan and Iraq were motivated by greed.
Mr. Weaver defended NEA's showing of the film, which the flier said was donated by Mr. Moore so the union could raise more political funds. Delegates have been asked to contribute $20 to the NEA PAC to see the film.
"Some delegates from Wisconsin were sitting around at dinner the other night and said, 'Wouldn't it be great to have [the film] at the NEA Representative Assembly,' " Mr. Weaver said.
"People contacted members of the California delegation. The next thing I knew, we got it. It's voluntary. If people don't want to watch it, they don't have to," the union president said.
In his speech, Mr. Weaver repeated his complaint that the administration has refused to accept NEA positions and "the expertise that this organization brings to the table."
Mr. Weaver chastised the administration for "broken promises" to fully fund the No Child Left Behind law. "This administration wants to cut you off at the knees, and then blame you for not being able to walk," he said.
He attacked government spending for the military action against deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
"For what we have paid for the war in Iraq, we could have paid for 17,066,831 children to attend Head Start; provided health insurance for 51,741,858 children; hired 2,299,310 additional teachers; paid for 3,061,859 four-year scholarships to a public university," he said.
And he repeated the NEA's attack against the administration's federal school-reform program that was enacted by a bipartisan congressional majority.
"There is no way around it: No Child Left Behind forces us to spend money we don't have, on programs we don't need, to get results that don't matter."
Republicans have disputed the NEA's claims regarding underfunding of the Title I school program for low-income school districts, saying federal spending has increased 51 percent since Mr. Bush took office. Title I spending was $8.8 billion in the final Clinton administration budget and is $13.3 billion this year.
Paige's outrageous terrorist charge undermines goals - (But it gets better!)*** He charged the NEA with encouraging a "coalition of the whining." He called other education reform critics "nihilists" and made unflattering comparisons to French U.N. diplomats and racists. Paige impoliticly suggested last year that schools with a religious environment were preferable to public schools with diverse values.***
The public schools are little more than liberal propaganda factories.
NEA post = BARF Alert
What does this film have to do with teachers and their endorsement of John Kerry? President Bush is reportedly shown at the beginning of the film reading to children to encourage a lifetime of literacy.
Even the teacher from that classroom (who did not vote for President Bush) has seen nothing wrong with his actions on that day.
The NEA is showing propaganda to the members (some of whom have no choice but to join) to try to persuade them who to vote against in areas that have nothing to do with the stated objectives of the union.
Republicans control the government !!!!!!!!!!!
Take away the tax-exempt status of these lenin-libs.
Break up the education monopoly.
The NEA always gets a pass as something other than a union - they're given a platform as "speaking for the children." That's a bunch of hooey!- they speak for and help finance the Democratic Party. LIBERAL educators preach the Democratic Party line in class while bashing Bush and a strong U.S.
GOP bill draws teachers' anger***"This bill is telling me to shut my mouth," said Maureen Dinnen, president of the teachers union, who was visibly shaking with anger after the vote. "We voted to support candidates who were chosen based on their educational positions. "***
A primer: TEACHERS BACK GORE WITH MONEY, MUSCLE*** From their top union leaders in Washington to their 16,000 local associations and 2.5 million members in cities and towns, the teachers are involved in every aspect of the 2000 presidential race.***
Students to be rewarded for teachers rally******Montgomery County schools are encouraging students to earn community-service credits by participating in a teachers rally for education funding Feb. 9 in Annapolis. (Homework was set aside, buses were provided and extra credit given. This was previously done for the Million Mom March)***
NEA challenged on political outlays - Teacher's union fields "army of campaign workers"***The NEA has avoided millions of dollars in federal and D.C. income taxes every year for political activities that are not tax-exempt, says the Landmark Legal Foundation, a Herndon-based public-interest group that has asked the IRS to investigate and recoup the money.
The NEA's Washington headquarters spends more than $47 million yearly to field a national advocacy staff called UniServ, whose 1,800 directors help screen and select political candidates for endorsement and campaign for their election.
State and local NEA affiliates spend an additional $43 million for the UniServ network, which enables the union to select, train, and fund at least one employee in each congressional district to link all 13,000 local affiliates.***
Teachers who are supposed to teach our children to think critically, research facts, and use the scientific method are going to view a film that is a near perfect example of the results of not doing any of those things.
With few exceptions, union conventioneers are going to love this film. A majority of delegates to the Democratic National Convention are teachers. Their thinking and finances go hand in hand.
Out of those four speculative totals, I think it's that third figure that really matters to him.
I remember someone (probably Limbaugh) referring to the NEA as the National Extortion Association.
That they are in any way considered non-partisan or a public interest organization is purely due to media bias.
Well all are important to them - union members needed to fill any new "education" slot, "grow" big government and our dependence on it, "grow" the size of union membership and finance schools of education and the LIBERAL thinking union members they churn out. And the bonus is, they have a captive audience of millions of minds - year after year after year.
If you think of the film as entertainment and not as a documentary as the film is advertised, no problem.
But if the teachers accept the film as a true representation of factual history these teachers need remedial education.
50% or more of all state budgets go toward public education.
This is good Bush bashing and it will be well received.
They aren't going to critique it!
This is a union gathering not an education conference.
These are our children's "instructors"....Sad and frightening.
This Union was at one time a professional organization. It of course is now a purely political organ. Majority shareowner of the Democratic party.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.