The DFT

Yesterday was a busy day on many fronts. I kept tabs on the print shop that is printing up my first fund raising letter and the shop that will mail it out. If all goes well it will hit the post office by Friday. Then I put in an order for a lawnsign with some pros who have made signs for me in the past and for Let Duluth Vote in the past. I sent them my simple graphic with orders to spiff it up. It looks sharp and while I’m not all that eager to start fussing over keeping them up after windstorms and mischief I might have them delivered in a week or so. A few might even go up before the Primary election. Liam has already found me 25 or so locations from his phone calling on my behalf.

The most serious political activity of the day however related to the promise I would have to break to the DFT (Duluth Federation of Teachers). I’d called in to say I would participate in their screening of candidates. I’ve probably screened before them ten times including both school board and legislative campaigns. I’ve filed, although not always run, for the School Board on seven previous occasions.

I was going to attend a strictly family birthday party for my grandson but the need to be at the party and not the screening was turned on its head the night before: The letter I wrote to the DFT explains just how as well as offers my reasons for the DFT to endorse me, something they have never seen fit to to previously. Of necessity I included the OP ED piece that would be appearing in the next day’s Duluth News Tribune for the screeners to consider. No one left a message with my phone after the screening so I presume I’ve once again drawn a blank from the DFT. That’s a shame, if its true, but pretty typical.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it:|

August, 28, 2013

Dear DFT screening committee,

I apologize for not being with you today. I believe I’ve attended all 7 of my previous invitations to screen for the School Board. Alas, I have never gotten the DFT endorsement.

I had informed you that I would be there but today something special for my family and unexpected developed. Tonight my daughter (a proud 1999 East Graduate) is about to be offered a proposal of marriage by her beau who asked my wife and I last night for our blessing. Even a DFT screening can’t take precedence over the proposal dinner he has arranged tonight. I’ll be snapping pictures.

I will simply mention a couple things that I think speak well of me for your endorsement.

1. I know of no school board member who visited as many classrooms as I did in the eight years I served on the School Board.

2. I am a former DFT member

3. I am forthright to a degree that has not always endeared me to some in the DFT leadership but, it is that very forthrightness which will best serve your purposes should I be elected to the School Board.

4. If the desperately needed but uncertain referendum is passed I will have been one of the primary reasons for its success. Let me explain. I have credibility based upon my correct prediction that the Red Plan would be a disaster with the voters who are still bitter that they were not given a right to vote on it. No other current leader who supported the Red Plan or remained silent during the debacle has my credibility. I have argued, and will continue to strongly argue, that it be passed and that we bend our will to reducing class sizes.

I will be mailing out a letter to several thousand contributors to Let Duluth Vote tomorrow to argue that they pass the referendum. My defeat in the primary will not encourage them to think a new school board can be trusted with a yes vote on the referendum. Only a candidate who opposed the Red Plan may be able to persuade these voters. I strongly suspect that a majority of likely voters are currently convinced that a new levy will only throw good money after the bad and vast Red Plan spending.

That’s it – my argument for your endorsement.

Please also read my Op Ed piece that I believe will be in tomorrow’s Duluth News Tribune.

Sincerely,

Harry Welty
Candidate for a the School Board, At-large