Friday, September 10, 2010

State Teachers Attack Saqib Ali

The Maryland State Education Association (MSEA) has authorized the following District 39 mailer praising Senator Nancy King, one of its endorsees, and attacking challenger Saqib Ali.

The teachers are justified in endorsing King. She is a former two-term School Board Member, occupies a critical seat on the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee and has almost always supported them. (Her 2008 co-sponsorship and vote for the private-school-financing BOAST bill was a rare exception.) But Ali was a 2006 teachers’ endorsee and, to our knowledge, has never voted against public education. If he had, such a vote would surely be listed in their literature. Is Ali really an appropriate target for an attack mailer?

Furthermore, one of MSEA’s criticisms of Ali in the mailer is that he voted for slots in 2007. (They inaccurately claim that he voted for the slots referendum when he actually voted only for the implementation bill.) Ali has been taken to task for that by an anti-slots lobbyist on this blog, but MSEA is in no position to do that. Under heavy pressure from Senator King’s slate teammate, Senate President Mike “Big Daddy” Miller, MSEA decided to support slots. They still have a lengthy page on their website devoted to defending slot machines. So in this mailer, they are actually blasting Ali for voting with them.

Here is the message that the state teachers are sending politicians across the state. You can be great on our issues but we will still go negative on you. And if you give us a tough vote, we will criticize you for that in a mailer to your constituents.

What a way to deal with politicians!