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Will teachers’ union abandon Kendrick Meek for Charlie Crist?

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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.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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