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Steve Lunetta: The NEA and liberal politics

Posted: September 20, 2009 9:54 p.m.
Updated: September 21, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
His calls usually come in the dead of night, around 2 a.m. His clever reasoning is that no one is awake and he can speak to me confidentially.

Never mind that the phone ringing wakes up the whole house, Trish asking me, "Who's that? Who's that?" as our big brave Labrador barks her brains out.

I've known Deep Karl for about six months now. An operative in the Obama White House, Karl often calls me to taunt, cajole and gloat over supposed Democratic victories. He assumes that I keep the conversations quiet.

Of course, I share these conversations with the editorial staff of The Signal. What they do with my summaries is their business.

His latest call was more disturbing than usual ...

DK: Lunetta, can we talk?

Me: DK? Geez, it's you again. (Honey, can you take the dog out? She's barking her brains out again.) OK, DK. What do you want to talk about this time?

DK: We really "schooled" you conservatives at the latest National Education Association (NEA) convention. Heh, heh, "schooled." Heh.

Me: Oh, you mean the NEA national convention held in early July in San Diego? No, I hadn't heard much about it. Why don't you enlighten me?

DK: You conservatives have no idea what you are dealing with. Our agenda is fully integrated into this union.

Take, for example, the 87 new business items that were put forth at the meeting.

Not a single one had anything to do with getting better teachers or improving education in the classroom.

The items were about abortion, stem cell research and gay rights.

Me: You sound almost proud that a teacher's union has nothing to do with teaching but is more interested in liberal politics.

DK: Exactly! After the majority of delegates simply rubber-stamped the recommendations, our agenda was fully ratified by one of the most powerful and richest unions in the country.

Why, most of the delegates spent their time reading, eating, doing Sudoku puzzles, and reading racy novels. We could have proposed anything and they would have approved it!

Me: Don't the members of the NEA care how their dues are spent?

DK: Amazingly, no! If you look on page 65 of the NEA's Strategic Plan and Budget book, the executive officers of the NEA (president, vice president, and secretary-treasurer) have a combined compensation package for salaries, benefits, and expenses totaling over one million dollars.

The president makes more than $274,000 alone. A couple rabble-rousers tried to make us publish this information on the NEA's Web site and magazine but we struck that down. No reason to let the truth come out!

Me: So, it sounds like your union is just another liberal tax and spend mechanism.

DK: Oh, it gets better! NEA attorney Bob Chanin was honored for his many years of service to the NEA.

In his speech to the assembled delegates, Bob outlined his many achievements, including his efforts to enlarge and empower the NEA's political base, bringing it far left of center.

He went on to taunt conservatives and listed FOX news, Rush Limbaugh and the Heritage Foundation as groups worthy of derision.

When he shouted out that they were "right-winged bastards," the audience rose to their feet in roars of laughter.

Me: Wow. Aren't there conservative teachers that would oppose this?

DK: Of course! There are over 1 million Republican teachers represented by the union but they remain silent because we've gagged them!

Let's face it, radicals that promise big pay increases and more benefits get elected to union leadership positions.

Me: What you are telling me is that the union membership elects leaders that push for ever-larger salaries and benefits regardless of whether or not it's sustainable?

DK: Now you are getting it. The $860.70 in yearly dues that teachers pay goes into ever-larger officer salaries, fancy national conventions, and, of course, large political donations to politicians that are friendly to our cause.

They, in turn, support more generous collective bargaining agreements that feed more money back into the machine. You conservatives have no way to stop us!

Me: Well, DK. Sounds like you really have us beaten. The NEA appears to exist solely to support liberal political candidates and causes. It is run by a group of agenda-driven people who care little about education.

DK: Now you are understanding. Be sure to keep our conversation confidential, Lunetta. (click)

Me: Don't worry, DK. Your secret is safe with me.

Steve Lunetta is a Santa Clarita resident. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal. "Right About Now" runs Mondays in The Signal.

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