May 2, 2009

More on REA's endorsement ... who really made it?

Yesterday, we reported that the Racine Educational Association -- which says it represents some 1,600 teachers and other educators at RUSD -- had endorsed Bob Turner for mayor.

Today we have some additional information: A teacher sent us a copy of the document -- click to enlarge -- given to all members; it's not exactly a ballot seeking to determine who members support; it's more a ... well, read it yourself and decide.

Be sure to notice that only one candidate's name is on the piece, and members must take action to have a negative opinion registered. We have no idea how many negative "votes" may have been returned to the REA.

As another REA member wrote us -- this one anonymously:
1. Dickert was not interviewed by REA
2. Dickert was not offered an interview by REA
3. None of Dickert’s positions were shared with teachers
4. Turner’s labor record was the basis for REA’s decision
5. Schools and education were not part of REA’s decision
6. Turner was the only name on the ballot for teachers to select an endorsee
Members were told to "return this ballot" to their building representatives, and those reps were told to deliver them to the REA by 5 p.m. on Monday, April 27. The note reminded: "Please keep in mind we CANNOT use RUSD school mail to return the ballots."

The ballot also notes it was: Produced and paid for by the Racine Education Association's Political Action Committee, Lisa Postles. Chair; Jay Newell, Treasurer; 1201 West Blvd, Racine, Wl 53405; Phone: 632-6181

The whole document is available as a .pdf file HERE.


  1. The members of this union are teachers. These teachers are supposed to be teaching our children to think, learn preparing them for their future. Why do they organize only to manipulate? My parents and grandparents were union members and so was I in my first job. I am now employed by a family owned small business. My point is I understand both sides. The unions had their place in history, but they've outlived their usefulness. The use their strength and power irresponsibly and behave like thugs and mafia members. This is another example of such behavior.

  2. disgusted with Racine politics5/02/2009 3:52 PM

    There seems to be a lot of shenanigans going on with the Turner campaign. (And NO I am not part of the Dickert campaign). I had someone knock on my door the other day from a woman who said she was from "Advancing Wisconsin" and she said she was educating voters on the candidates for mayor. However, the only literature she was handing out was for Bob Turner. She had nothing for John Dickert.

    Also, the former Alderman Robert Morrison is running around trying to spread rumours about John Dickert. Why wouldn't Morrison instead be campaiging by promoting the positives in his candidate rather than badmouth his opponent?

    Shame shame shame on you Robert Morrison. You are a better person than that.

  3. There is still a role for unions in this country, including teachers' unions, but this is another example of the top-down management style of the REA that turns citizenry against teachers around here.

  4. This isn't the only union who did this. Ask the letter carriers union about a similar situation. This kind of problem is why our current union brothers and sisters don't feel protected, instead their votes are being manipulated and/or are up for sale...the same can be said about the future of Racine.

  5. Thanks Pete for uncovering this. I hope the voters of Racine are able to see through this manipulation. I hope they see through it so well that Turner is never elected to serve any other public office in his life.

  6. Urban Pioneer5/02/2009 5:36 PM

    Let's see the Dickert people are whining because the John didn't get the Union endorsement..Please!! If it was Dickert vs. anyone else He would've got the same treatment. Here's a thought u want to stick it to the Unions, (since they've been doing this cr*p for years to all of us), Write in Jody..and let's take the city away from all of these Unions. It's not to late to save our City!

  7. Go Jody.
    However IMHO Dickert is Mr Burns + Little Becker

  8. I too feel that unions have become like thugs. We the tax payers get a shake down. They have outlived their usefulness, I agree. They are head and shoulders above the general population in reguards to pay and benefits. Yet each year they need more. We cannot continue to run the school system or any system this way. The way it is set up we all need union jobs and well who will be left to pay?

  9. Dickert and Becker have not been friends in years. Becker lost many friends shortly after he was elected because of the way he changed while in office and the way he kicked the people who helped him get elected to the curb. Dickert was one of them. I was another. I can speak with personal knowledge. It's annoying to see people writing over and over again how those two are supposedly the best of friends, when in reality it's just not true.

  10. First, thanks to the whistleblower!!! With people like this, we'd never get the dirty little secrets. Secondly, I HOPE that this becomes public!!!!!!

  11. I'd like to know what Bob Turner has to say about this too! Does he support what happened? Does he think this is acceptable?

  12. Heckler, you said:

    "I HOPE that this becomes public!!!!!!"


  13. This type of activity should hurt Robert Turner big time. No one endorses this type of politics. NO ONE.

    Merely the common sense of fairness would say otherwise.

    Curious, would the Journal Times print something like this for either side of this mayoral campaign? My guess is the JT has gone into the mode of not pissing anyone off. They can't afford it. There goes the journalistic farm.

    Hooray for Racine Post.

  14. Harding=SlumLord

  15. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  16. Everyone that hasn't already, should click on the link and immediately donate some money to the Racine Post via subscription.

    Without Pete and Dustin we wouldn't know any of this garbage going on around town. I mean, where is the Journal Times on this? Seriously, there is an actual copy of the letter posted here. It isn't like a rumor or someone just made this up!

    Dustin and Pete - Thank you both for your hard work, it is much appreciated.

  17. Harding is not a slumlord. I am disappointed in Dustin and Pete who are allowing two of the same posts. They have deleted other such posts about Dickert and Kay. Favoritism, Is not such a fantastic job when it comes to journalism.

  18. The teachers pay dues to an organization that represents their best interests. How their ballot which goes out to the membership is their business. Simple.

    When other organizations such as the secret business associations decide to endorse a candidate, do we get a copy of their ballots? No.

    When the AMA decides to write checks to candidates, do we see their ballot or voting process? No.

    When any organization which has members decides to vote on an issue, the public doesn't see their ballot? Why? Because it isn't our business, we aren't members, we don't pay dues.

    If the dues paying members have a problem with how the ballot is written up, they need to get active with the political arm of that particular association.

    If the dues paying members have a problem with the leadership, they can stand up and get voted in and do the job.

    I lean towards Dickert. While the process of the REA may not be one that I might use, I am not going to cast dirt on it. It's not our business if we aren't members.

    It is up to the membership to contact their leaders, not the press.

    Sorry, it isn't like the old days when candidates were asked to come and answer questions but someone in that membership aka association drafted that up and it had to be approved by leadership.

    The ABA and the AMA are the most powerful unions. They are the American Bar Association and the American Medical Association. They represent lawyers and physicians. Do we see how they conduct their ballots on how to charge patients extra by making a simple injection a surgical procedure? Or, do we see how the lawyers decide to write a rule to make probate a more costlier process.

  19. Anon 9:33 -- sorry, didn't see the duplication before.

  20. "Because it isn't our business"

    Oh, it most certainly is. You expect us to take this endorsement seriously? It is supposed to be representing teachers, a very critical part of the community. Organizations endorse for a reason.

    REA just got exposed for establishment hacks and is mad it went public. There are a lot of great people working as teachers and the REA just insulted every single one of them and the public they rely upon.

  21. Then, if the membership is displeased, they have rules and procedures to change the way things are run, it is as simple as that. ANy organization is as good as members who want to be active....or not.

  22. Just remember, these are of the same family of brothers and sisters that provided the rapid exit of the Chysler engine plant from Kenosha. That was a very successful outcome. Perhaps this will as well!

  23. As a member of the REA I will ask how many of these forms were turned in. I would guess the number is very small indeed. As I posted before -- many people working in the RUSD do not live in Racine or even Racine County -- so have little to no interest in what goes on in Racine.

    It would make sense for the REA to let members know totals of any votes or opinion polls.

  24. "Produced and paid for by the Racine Education Association's Political Action Committee, Lisa Postles. Chair..."

    Here is the Chairwoman's direct contact information, should anyone want to complain about this issue:

    Lisa Postles Olympia Brown Elementary School

  25. Per the earlier comment re: many RUSD staff not living in Racine, and thus,not really caring about Racine -- Does anyone know if Ms. Postles, the PAC chairperson lives in Racine? A google search shows a person of the same name living in Whitefish Bay. Is that correct? Is Ms. Postles a non-resident of both our city and our county?

  26. If you are a dues paying member of this organization and don't like the ballot, it is up to you to change it. If you aren't, what business of you do you have to get involved?

    It isn't up to us where the chair lives, good god, you think you own the teacher's organization? Or any organization for that matter?

    Seriously folks, unless you are a teacher who is a dues paying member, it isn't up to you. Each teacher knows how to invoke change through their rules and procedures. If they don't attend the meetings or get involved, it's their problem, not yours.

  27. Dustin (and maybe Pete) is a huge Dickert supporter. That is the ONLY reason this got press/printed. If this scenario were switched around, Dustin would not have reported this story. Are the readers of this site/of Racine really that stupid?? God saves us all.

  28. I read the REA ballot.

    What's wrong with it??

  29. OK, wait. So the REA endorsed Turner essentially on his experience. Turner himself never gives any specifics on anything that he has actually done and the REA basically said, well that's ok we'll just be super generic in our statement.....we don't know what he has done either, but he has been there for a long time and has a D after his name so there must be something!

    If teachers put this ballot together then I have serious reservations about the profession. Talk about slanted. You wouldn't even know that someone else was running for mayor on this thing. Dickert's name is absent. You know they did that on purpose.

    REA Ballot Grade: F or maybe I for Incomplete

    I recommend this person be sent to a remedial ballot writing class.

    REA can vote for which ever candidate they want but let's be real for a second here people. Anyone could see this ballot was totally loaded.

    Actually the REA could go paperless and just post the following statement for all of their endorsements going forward:

    We support whomever is in office and has a D after their name. After hours of research we believe that person will always be better than anyone else. In the event of two people with a D after their name, then we officially go with the one that has been around longer. You know, seniority and all.


  30. Why are the Dickert hacks so upset?

    If this ballot had Mini-Becker's name on it, it would be just fine.

    Hypocrisy at its finest.

  31. Vote Turner ! He is the best person for the job.

  32. cafe' francais5/03/2009 8:47 PM

    Me thinks that Camp Dickert is a bit worried about all of this.

    If he's as great as his supporters say (Ask them, they will tell you, trust me), they should have nothing to worry about.


    Where's their over bearing confidence now?

  33. If you have been in office for 29 need to go, you've screwed things up bad enough...Turner runs on his experience of doing nothing and providing the residents of Racine with nothing...No one Turner supporter can name anything he has done in his 29 years of office to help improve the lives of the residents of Racine...He needs to go!

  34. Seriously, it's up to the teachers to do their own thing in their own way. If they want to change how THEIR ASSOCATION does things, it's their parade. Teachers know who is running.

  35. I guess throwing names around like "mini-Becker" is the Turner's camp campaign strategy. Sadly, that's all they got? Even more sad because they are dead wrong. Dickert had a falling out with Becker not long after Becker was elected.

    For those that keep implying otherwise, they are doing so because they want others to believe it. The reality is it just isn't true. Anyone who really knew Dickert, or Becker for that matter, would know that.

  36. AS a member of REA, I am often offended by endorsements and political recommendations. They also come from the NEA. It is what unions and associations do.

    If they aren't endorsing Dickert, or anyone else, why would they include other names on the ballot? There was a space for those who choose him to write his name.

    As a human capable of thinking for myself, I don't pay much attention to the endorsements. If you rely on someone else to tell you how to vote, you shouldn't be out voting.

    Also, as for the part about not returning the ballots via RUSD mail, everyone should be glad that was included. That way, the public isn't paying an employee for something union generated.

  37. I belive 100% that if mini Becker gets in we will have a slum built in West Racine, we will have UNIT disbanded so Mini Becker's slum lord pals can destroy more areas of Racine.
    We will see more Good old boys get ahead up on where to buy property so they can get rich off having one of their own in power.
    The sad thing is Turner is not much better. However at least he is a honest man

  38. I would love to challenge any Turner supporter to name ONE thing - a bill he wrote, heck even simply supported - that he has done while in office. JUST ONE!!! I'm sure he is an honest man with good intentions, but I have been to several forums and have read all the literature, and I can't find ONE EXAMPLE of anything. I am truly an undecided voter (I'm not sure I can trust Dickert's totally polished and charismatic act.) And Jody supporters, please don't reply. She already lost me when she said all the smart and educated individuals have to leave Racine. I consider myself both of those and have lived in Racine my entire life and am more optimistic than that. The clock is ticking.

  39. All pro union until they go againsrt your guy...


  40. I am a teacher. I support Turner. I am glad he is being endorsed by our union. Unions have not outlived their usefulness.

  41. Becker is the one who created the UNIT - so if a blogger is claiming Dickert is a "mini-Becker", (which he isn't), then they should not be worried the UNIT would be disbanded.

    So much false info being tossed about - it's amazing.

    I can't help but notice how upset the Turner camp is over this article. They are out looking for blood - be careful Dustin!