Mike Thomas wonders if the teachers’ union will abandon Kendrick Meek for Charlie Crist?
The Florida Education Association – the state teachers’ union – is running an ad for Charlie Crist. It doesn’t mention the Senate race, but it’s obvious this is political payback for Charlie vetoing a merit pay bill.
Many teachers have pledged support for Charlie in his campaign.
The union better think long and hard about this. Charlie vetoed that bill, which he previously supported, purely for political reasons. Charlie is not someone you want to count in the long haul. He is your friend when you can help him.
The Democrats, on the other hand, are the long-term allies of the union. The Democrats in the Legislature fought the tenure bill tooth and nail before Charlie jumped in at the last second to steal the show.
Abandoning Meek would be particularly egregious. Meek is the man behind the class-size amendment, perhaps the most cherished union initiative in state history. Meek got it on the ballot and campaigned hard for it.
The union owes Meek a ton. If this is the way the union repays him, it does not speak well for the union. I do not see this sitting well with the state’s Democrats. I can see the leadership calling up the FEA and informing its leaders that now is the time to pick sides. And if they want to be on Charlie’s side after all Meek has done for them, then the Democrats will remember this the next time a merit pay bill comes up.