Teacher’s Union “Campaign of Fear” defeated in NY Senate races

NYSUT President Karen Magee

By: Mike Madigan

The New York State United Teachers union decades long reign of terror suffered a major defeat in the just completed New York Senate races. The union dumped a record $4M of member’s funds focused primarily on six Republican races. The Teacher’s union lost five of the six races that they targeted, In the one race, where their candidate won, the Democrat candidate Panepinto won only 34% of the district’s vote in the four-way race where 66% of the voters voted against the teacher’s union candidate.

The Teacher Union’s campaign featured blatant lies, ugly personal attacks on individual candidates and coercive action focused on voters by attempting to shame them into voting on Tuesday.

The Teachers Union’s tactics over the past decades have become more and more shocking and ugly as voters have apparently become desensitized. This ugly escalation, which most agree peaked in 2014,  has perhaps crossed the line resulting in either voters staying home (record low turnout in 2014) or voting against the candidate whom permitted these ugly tactics. It should be noted the defeats included three teacher’s union supported incumbent Democrat senators – significant losses since incumbents are so hard to beat.

The ugly coercive tactics used in this election by the Teachers Union is their signature tactics employed over the past several decades that result in driving good candidates from considering running, which harms our communities.

According to the Buffalo News: “Candidates and elected officials for decades have feared the teacher union’s involvement in their races”. http://www.buffalonews.com/city-region/politics/teachers-unions-millions-failed-to-tip-senate-20141108. It can be said that a majority of NY Teacher’s support these tactics regardless of what they claim privately. It is their money, much of which is voluntarily contributed, that funds these tactics.

The overwhelming 2014 defeat of the New York State United Teachers union has sent a message to their newly elected President Karen Magee that this ugly, dishonest and harmful form of campaigning is unacceptable and must be stopped.

Teachers and voters have the power to re-enforce this message. Teachers can withdraw their contributions to the union or take other actions in an attempt to restore the grossly harmed reputation of the teacher’s union. Voters as well can continue to re-enforce the message sent in 2014 by continuing to reject candidates that employ or permit such activity.


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