There is a saying among lawyers that if both the facts and the law are against you, the correct strategy is to jump up and down and bang on the table. Facing a public that is increasingly skeptical of her failed education status quo, it seems Randi Weingarten has adopted that model. But her latest attacks, on former CNN journalist turned education reform advocate Campbell Brown, have exposed a level of contemptibility previously unthinkable, turning the American Federation of Teachers into peddlers of pathetic sexist attacks.
The union campaign depicts Brown, who leads a group that has filed a New York State lawsuit modeled on the Vergara v. California case that found teacher tenure laws unconstitutional, as the puppet of former D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee and Brown’s husband, GOP policy adviser Dan Senor. The implication that Brown is a puppet outraged center-left syndicated columnist Kristen Powers:
For this, she has been on the receiving end of a sexist assault by the American Federation of Teachers and opponents of education reform. AFT President Randi Weingarten took to Twitter to accuse Brown of not being balanced in her approach to school reform because “she’s married to Romney adviser Dan Senor.”
To Weingarten, women are not people with thoughts of their own. No, they’re empty vessels who do their husband’s bidding.
The campaign is run by two left-wing union front groups: the “Alliance for Quality Education” (which is a legally related entity to left-wing organizing outfit Citizen Action of New York) and New York Communities for Change (whom you might remember as the ringleaders of SEIU’s fast food strikes and as a successor organization to the discredited ACORN outfit). AFT affiliates have paid these organizations handsomely for past campaigns. The NYC teachers union paid Citizen Action $104,000 in the 2013 reporting year, with the New York State United Teachers (the AFT New York State federation) chipping in $62,100 directly to AQE. For good measure, NYSUT threw $185,000 to the Public Policy and Education Fund, another AQE-related organization. AFT affiliates paid NYCC $288,922 that year.
We doubt Brown or her supporters—who include the lawyer who argued Al Gore’s case before the Supreme Court in 2000—will be deterred by Randi’s insults or the AFT-funded front groups’ activism. Recent polling shows a majority of the public opposes teacher tenure. We suspect banging on the table and hurling insults won’t convince Americans that Randi Weingarten is a force for good in American education.