Romney Lashes Out Against Teachers’ Unions
September 26, 2012 9:56 am
By: Matthew McDermott
Mitt Romney lashed out against teachers’ unions yesterday, stating on NBC’s Education Nation roundtable that they should not be allowed to donate to political campaigns. Romney, whose assertions are incredibly close to the proposed California Prop 32, suggests that funds from teachers’ unions create a conflict of interest as donations flow to politicians involved in negotiations over pay, class size and other issues important to teachers and students. (Nevermind the right-wing billionaires bankrolling the Romney campaign, the true insidious special interest group is teachers’ unions — right).
We simply can’t have a setting where the teachers unions are able to contribute tens of millions of dollars to the campaigns of politicians and then those politicians, when elected, stand across from them at the bargaining table, supposedly to represent the interest of the kids. I think it’s a mistake. I think we’ve got to get the money out of the teachers unions going into campaigns. It’s the wrong way for us to go.
Romney went on to praise the Obama administration’s Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, whose deeply problematic Race to the Top program has teacher evaluations weighed heavily on test scores — a merit pay system at the heart of the bitterly contested Chicago teachers’ strike.
Going on, Romney said, “I don’t mean to be terribly partisan, but I kind of am,” framing teachers’ unions contributions to democratic politicians as an “extraordinary conflict of interest.” Is Romney unaware of Rahm Emanuel’s political affiliation or the fact that the teacher-union bashing “Won’t Back Down” was screened at this year’s Democratic National convention? Unlikely. It’s a numbers game for him — the teachers’ unions, most notably the National Education Assocation and National Federation of Teachers — have given $11 million to Democrats , and $31,000 to the Obama campaign this election cycle, and literally nothing to the Romney campaign.
Romney himself, NBC host Brian Williams pointed out, received a private education in Michigan that would cost $39,000 yearly in today’s dollars.
Image from here