Friday, February 08, 2008

What a Way to Seek an Endorsement

Did you read the Post’s article on the Montgomery County school board candidates the other day? Did you see at-large candidate Tommy Le’s comments on the Montgomery County Education Association?

Le, by contrast, opposes the [teachers’] raises and the influence wielded by the teachers association, which he referred to as the "Montgomery County Extortion Association" during a telephone interview. He said labor support has packed the school board with people who "owe their allegiance to anything that benefits the union."
So Le is a principled objector who’s going to stand up to the “extortionists,” right? Wrong.

It turns out that Le actively sought the Teachers’ endorsement, sending in a questionnaire last December and sitting for an interview with them. In that questionnaire, Le described the current collective bargaining agreement as “a win-win situation for all concerns.” When the Teachers asked him, “Would you support honoring negotiated agreements, especially in tight fiscal times,” Le replied, “Yes.” Le also supported continued inclusion of MCEA on the schools’ Executive Leadership Team and Deputies’ Operating Budget Committee (a sure mechanism for “influence”). It was only after the Teachers endorsed Alies Muskin that Le went on the warpath.

Stranger still, Connection Newspapers reported the following during Le’s last school board run in October 2006:

Le said that he has not sought the endorsement of any organization because he does not want to be “subjected to their interests in the future.” “I want [to be able] to put the interests of the students first over the teachers’ union in case of financial crisis,” he said.
So first he doesn’t want an endorsement. Then he does. Then when he doesn’t get it, the Teachers are “extortionists.” What’s that old rule about getting out of the way of a politician who’s blowing himself up?

So here’s my idea: let’s get Kevin Gillogly to endorse him. That’ll put this campaign to bed for sure.