Unions & School Board Candidates: Conflict of Interest?

281 Care and Give2Attain both posted on our winning school board candidates and a conflict with their Robbinsdale Federation of Teachers endorsements. Give2Attain posted candidates’ campaign finance reports:

Here are the incomplete funding numbers. Apparently another reporting is due in 30 days. Also, they report for periods of time. So funds may have been there earlier or given later. Still this makes the point, special interests apparently fund the winning campaigns….

  • Patsy Green ~ $2,602 raised ($500:Women Winning, $500:Union, $200:DFL 45th)
  • Tom Walsh ~ $1832 raised (DFL 45th:$200, DFL 43rd: $500, Union:$500
  • Linda Johnson~ $1,054 raised (Union: $500, Private Couple: $200)
  • Mark Bomchill < $750 raised (Union: $500)
  • All others <$750 or not reported yet.

Is this good or bad? Is the conflict of interest sufficient enough to be concerned? If we did something similar in business, would it warrant further review?

Maybe I should offer my Supervisor $500 because he is so nice… Maybe I’ll get a bigger raise.

Here’s 281 CARE’s take:

The Robbinsdale Teachers Federation Union endorsed School Board candidates won all four seats up for election November 3, 2009.  Two questions; Is the RAS community better off with the status quo maintained? And more importantly: Is there a conflict of interest when the RTF endorses and funds school board candidates?

Let us cover the facts first.  The School Board approves all union contracts and is part of the negotiations of employees’ contracts.  The union contracts are negotiated every two years, which is the same year that School Board members are elected.  Therefore, RAS employee union contracts are being negotiated during the same period that School Board elections are taking place.

Where else can a group of employees influence who is going to be approving their contact (pay and benefits)?  The RTF union paid for advertising in the Sun Post and made contributions to their endorsed candidates.  The total amount of their influence of this election can’t be measured but is probably the LARGEST SINGLE GROUP in the RAS District.

Remember this in 2011 when the other three seats are up for election. It’s up to parents and residents to overthrow this monopoly of special interests. If the RFT cartel keeps getting their picks on the board, expect more gains for union employees and losses for student performance and safety. Andrew Richter and Richard Brynteson (without much money or endorsements) almost won the fourth seat. Moral of the story: if you truly want change, you have to support the other candidates – and get out the vote.

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One Response to “Unions & School Board Candidates: Conflict of Interest?”

  1. give2attain Says:

    Just wondering, is the opposition party going to set up a trust fund that can be used to fund alternative candidates? I’d probably donate since I like to see fair competition.

    The question is: Are those that don’t want tax increases and “high end” school offerings willing to donate to the campaign trust fund?

    Or: Are they just stingy? Thoughts?

    Probably better get the hat out soon to come up with $3000+. Maybe the GOP will give like the DFL did.

    And as always, a detailed RAS platform/vision will be required to win. (ie not “the status quo must go”)

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