… about the Teacher’s Union right now. Let me tell you why.
Its not because after an extensive several hour grilling they didn’t endorse me. I didn’t expect one. I had a lovely time talking to them. I met with six groups of two to three teachers and at each stop I loved explaining my ideas to them in very engaging conversations. The last of them was with a couple of fellows who had to ask me why I wanted to DFT (Duluth Federation of Teachers) endorsement. I told them I’d never gotten it before, didn’t expect it this time, but that I’d love to have it as it would signal that teachers were willing to bury the hatchet somewhere else than in my head.
I did think that would be a wonderful message. But I know I’ve taken stands they didn’t like. I’ve been a tough contract negotiator. I’ve taken on two former DFT Presidents. So, of course they preferred a Second District school board member who would represent teachers rather than management. That’s David Kirby not me.
I haven’t asked Loren Martell if he got the endorsement because facing a very nice retired Duluth teacher he wouldn’t get it either. Especially after Loren keeps pointing an accusing finger at an equally Labor oriented School Administration. The DFT also got Jill Lofald elected two years ago and four years before that they elected teacher-friendly “management” in Bill Westholm and Mike Miernicki.
I understand this. I don’t bear any grudges. I’ve gotten elected three times to the School Board without Union endorsement. Its not necessary. I don’t even think the majority of teachers will feel compelled to vote for David Kirby because he got their union’s endorsement. Hell, whether David or I are elected the teachers will still have the same pot of money to draw their future salaries from. David can’t raise any more than I can. In fact, I’d argue I’d be much better for them because if anybody has the credibility as being fiscally trustworthy and believable when advocating for additional levy spending its me not David. I hope to talk our voters into giving our district more money to protect the massive investment in new buildings that Keith Dixon and his besties on the school board forced down Duluth’s throats. At most, David Kirby and the other Union submissive school board members will only jointly write a column encouraging voters to pass new levy referendums in a Duluth News Tribune that fewer and fewer voters subscribe to.
As for me? I’m a one-person, pro levy juggernaut. I’ve helped pass other levies before.
I might be expected to be frustrated that the DFT is blind but I’m used to human blindness. It’s a failing not a sin.
But what I am exceedingly disgusted with is
that these union screeners who should have recognized a gem, an incumbent gem, chose to endorse an ally of the most politically and educationally vacuous school board member I have ever served with.
I love my former student Alanna Oswald. She knows far more about this District than anyone I’ve ever served with. I described her as the best school board member I’ve ever served with in the last column I was permitted to write in the Duluth Reader before I became a candidate myself and gave up that podium.
Alanna lost the endorsement to a college prof John Schwetman. John is a nice guy. As a newbie he runs his mouth at screening committees as though his endorsement depends on shooting out twice as many words as anyone else. Its just nervousness. John is a nice guy and another patsy for the union.
He had only two selling points to sell himself. Secondly, that he is a strong union man. That’s just what the voters need representing management. Firstly, that he was the campaign chairman for both David Kirby and Rosie Loeffler-Kemp.
I’m running against Kirby. And I’ve got to say I did a double-take two years ago when I appeared at the only DFL screening committee I’ve ever come before to ask for an endorsement. I did it knowing that a tidal wave of Trump-angry women would be out to make a mark on the school board election that had nothing what-so-ever to do with President Trump. It was crass political calculation on my part. But I didn’t expect to see the chairman of the School Board on the screening committee. Not surprisingly I didn’t get the DFL endorsement despite the anti-Trump message I shouted out before a broken public address system at my last DFL convention.
I really like David. We’ve already had a couple cordial conversations as competitors. We talked about our respective Kitchen remodelings at one of the screenings. David, unlike Mike Miernicki treated me with respect while he chaired the school board I served on. Its Rosie Loeffler-Kemp that I have a harder time stomaching. If John Schwetman had my experiences with Rosie he might not tout his having been her campaign chair. My readers have only to type her name into my blog’s search engine to find that I have described a half dozen icky experiences with Rosie from her stepping in to prevent a black youth from speaking to a speaker at one of her legislative soirees to pushing people out of the way when like Pinkerton the Pig she wanted to shout “Me First,” to encouraging the Board to wage a quarter million dollar battle with my difficult ally, Art Johnston, which cost the District two years of hellish publicity. I was pretty unimpressed when she was hell-bent on censuring me until she learned my Mother had died and then postponed the censure until Christmas, two weeks later, just in time for my returning son to read about my censure in the Duluth News Tribune. Then Rosie had the gall to commend herself for her sensitivity for delaying my censure in the period of my grief. Yes, she is just the sort of person our School Board needs more of.
She is so incestuously connected to both the public employees’ unions the teachers and the Democratic Party that she scares people. I’ve heard that repeatedly. I have a hard time crediting that fear. I defy anyone to go through any of six year’s worth of School Board meetings on video and find a single example of Rosie speaking with any authority, articulation or understanding of the issues being discussed. In fact, she gets downright antsy when we have such discussions.
But John Schwetman has her back and the DFT’s endorsement. Sheesh!
Rosie got really pissed off recently when a brand new KBJR reporter was interviewing Alanna because Rosie thought it was her turn to get on camera. When she finally got her turn Rosie told the lad that Alanna wanted to be the new Superintendent. The reporter sent Alanna a flummoxed email asking Alanna if this was true because he hoped to be the one who scooped everyone on the story.
Like I said: Sheesh! And did I tell you how she fought having the rubber mulch brought in until it became obvious that parents demanded it and then suddenly it turned out that it had been Rosie all-along who had been leading the charge for new wood mulch. Sheesh!