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Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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July 22, 2008 9:59 AM

Teachers back Reichert

Posted by David Postman

Congressman Dave Reichert has won important endorsements from the national and state teachers' unions. The usually-Democratic leaning National Education Association and Washington Education Association announced yesterday that they are backing the two-term Republican's re-election.

The NEA gave Reichert an "A" on their Congressional report card. Washington's Democratic delegation all got "A"s as well. But the other two Republicans fared poorly. Rep. Doc Hastings got an "F" and Cathy McMorris Rodgers got a "D".

The NEA has found very few Republicans to back this year. According to, the union has donated $749,150 to federal candidates this year. Democrats got 91 percent of that.

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Posted by John

10:15 AM, Jul 22, 2008

When will they put their money into his re-election?

Posted by Winston Smith

10:32 AM, Jul 22, 2008

In other news, wholesalers report that shipments of ice skates and hockey equipment to sporting goods dealers in Hell are at an all time high.

Posted by fadasdasd

10:42 AM, Jul 22, 2008

^ wierdo

Posted by JimD

10:50 AM, Jul 22, 2008


But it is ironic, isn't it?
I wonder how the anti-teacher crowd will approach this "our enemies' enemy is our friend" dilemma...

Posted by Bothsides

11:51 AM, Jul 22, 2008

91%, GEE what a big surprise, after all, people like our governor give them all big raises and keep their union machine intact, why, they should hate that......

For Reichert, I don't know if I'd be ecstatic about the endorsement or not, but who else would they endorse, there's no one else running.........

Posted by Jim Guthrie

11:56 AM, Jul 22, 2008

Actually JimD, I believe it'll be more interesting to see the reactions of the Far Left - which make up a good chunk of Burners' supporters- at being 'betrayed' by one of their longest-running and staunchest allies.

Posted by Daniel K

12:21 PM, Jul 22, 2008

I'm waiting for Turbine to ask, "How much is Postman getting for his support of Burner?"

But actually, with the entire Washington Democratic delegation getting A's, one can assume Burner would have too, so the differentiator is these groups undoubtedly are hoping they can get Reichert on their side and "pick up" a Republican supporter, much as many groups, like the Sierra Club, tend to do when they think they can.

I wonder how closely they're familiar with Reichert's actually voting record though, where he's a reliable Republican vote when his leadership needs him to be?

Posted by bruce

1:09 PM, Jul 22, 2008

Hello here I just got hired as stae woker mime first days was mondy I nevr had a hig pay job untl now I plan to make lot of momy at mie new job as treasuer for thee statte.
I wan to thak my chris for givng me ths wondful opperrtuuiny too hep mine famly

Posted by stilwell

1:55 PM, Jul 22, 2008

Union scum.

Posted by diamondshards

12:05 AM, Jul 23, 2008

Reichert deserves this and all the many endorsements he'll get this election season. He's proven himself to be a solid representative of WA-08. His opponent is an unemployed, former middle manager law school drop-out who couldn't defeat him in a year when the Dems swept into Congress with their biggest advantage in 30 years. The '08 election will be a 'been there, done that' experience. Advice to Postman: Spend your time covering the races that are actually races - governor and president.

Posted by information sorceress

6:40 AM, Jul 23, 2008

While I have great respect for my Union (proud 30 year veteran) they have this ALL WRONG. I will not be voting for Reichert and will again throw my full support behind Darcy Burner. Reichert has not been asked to vote on any large educational issues during his tenure (and hence the WEA rating) but I cannot see him bucking the Republican party line on school vouchers and NCLB.

Ms Burner will make informed decisions to support public education and the needs of all children. I would hope that she will be part of the change process on the failed NCLB policies.

Posted by Turbine

7:09 AM, Jul 23, 2008

I am really glad that all of the "Working Class" folks in the union think that Darcy can relate to thier situation. How many of you can say you don't need to work anymore at 40 years of age? Could you afford to maintain an endless run for Congress and your spouse can stay at home with the five year old at your lakefront home in the country ? Does that sound like your situation? Do you think she will have a real appreciation for the impact all of the tax increases she is proposing will have on families like yours ?

Posted by JimD

9:35 AM, Jul 23, 2008

"...Do you think she will have a real appreciation for the impact all of the tax increases she is proposing will have on families like yours ?..."

What "tax increases" is she proposing..?

Posted by The Rock

9:38 AM, Jul 23, 2008

So union dues are tax deductable and campaign contributions are not.
Considering the percent of money unions spend on political contributions, aren't union dues really campaign contributions?

Many people join unions because they feel they have not choice.
Dues are extracted by force.
A good percentage of this money is used to support political causes that many union members oppose.

Could the Democrats win and honest election?
We may never know. It has never been tried.

Posted by JimD

10:42 AM, Jul 23, 2008

Union political contributions are made with the democratic consensus of the membership.
There's no expectation that every member will agree with that decision - or the decision of healthcare provider, or the decision of retirement investment, or the specific issue details the union bargains for... etc.
This same principle applies to all institutional political contributions.
I may not approve of the contributions made by Proctor And Gamble I pay for when I buy their household and personal grooming products.
I guess if it bothered me enough, I'd find another product to buy instead.
Similarly, a union employee is free to find employment more conditional to their political beliefs if they want.
No one's forcing them to be a union teacher.

The whole concept of majority consensus democracy HAS to rely on the reality that not everyone's going to agree on every issue.
But that shouldn't stop unions - or any other organization - from pooling their collective resources to support the majority's political interest.
If or when the organizations violates the will of that majority, they get voted out and replaced.
That's how our democracy works.

Posted by Turbine

10:59 AM, Jul 23, 2008

Remove Bush Tax Cuts is a tax increase. Fully fund Head start and other early childhood development is a tax increase. Higher teacher pay and lower class sizes is a tax increase. Increased Social Security benefits is a tax increase . Higher capital gains tax is a tax increase. Removal of the upper limits on Federal income tax withholding is a tax increase. You should really ask her about all of the rest of her "investment " plans.

Posted by jamesb

11:13 AM, Jul 23, 2008

How would you propose we pay back the money we are borrowing for the war Turbine? How would you propose we pay for the needed repairs to the nationís infrastructure?

Posted by JimD

4:02 PM, Jul 23, 2008

Who cares?
We just keep charging it on our Chnese credit card and insist that paying it back is a "tax increase".
My God, could this absurd definition of "tax increase" be more of an affront to the conservative ethic of fiscal responsibility?
How did these deliquent perverts take over the republican party?

Posted by Turbine

5:55 PM, Jul 23, 2008

You don't need to worry about repaying your debt if you are dead. Ask the folks in the world trade center if they would have paid the debt .

Posted by Bothsides

6:13 PM, Jul 23, 2008

JimD your analogy is flawed, you can go buy a different product from someone else other than proctor and gamle, you have a CHOICE. I was a union member, I had NO CHOICE, the company I worked for required it. They collected mandatory dues, it is illegal to take those "dues" and pay them to a political cause. It is not illegal to form a political action committee on behalf of the union and seek voluntary payments. You only agree with this because the unions support Democrats, if they were supporting Republicans you would be screaming about it.

Posted by JimD

7:38 PM, Jul 23, 2008

Bothsides wrote:
"... I was a union member, I had NO CHOICE, the company I worked for required it...."

What do you mean you "had no choice"?
You could go work somewhere else.
Just like I could purchase somewhere else.
No one said the choice came without consequences.

You might have had to take a pay cut in a non-union shop, or maybe develop new skill if the only opportunities available to your expertise involved union membership.

Proctor & Gambel's competition may not make the same product I refuse to buy from them.
I might have to settle for something else, drive way out of my way to a less convenient store, or not buy it at all.

But the choice is quite equivalent.

What you're saying is, YOU wanted to have your cake and eat it too - the union wage package without paying the union dues that made it so.
Please - tell me why DIDN'T you quit and go take a non-union job doing something else?
Was it because you didn't want to give-up the better union scale and benefit package?

Posted by Bothsides

8:14 AM, Jul 24, 2008


You miss the point, of course I enjoyed the union benefits, and no I didn't go get another job, why should I, why would I. What I objected to was not paying union dues, I had no problem with that, I objected that they used a portion of my dues to support political activity, which is against the law! My dues were supposed to be used to negotiate and enforce the collective bargaining agreement I was under, not for electing people to office. For that, we had an optional non-partisan action committee we could "voluntarily" donate too. Several years a go the WEA was found guilty of the above scenario and had to halt that activity, and rightly so.

Posted by JimD

9:10 AM, Jul 24, 2008

Okay - point taken.
You're against paying union dues that are illegally used to finance a political campaign.
I certainly don't support any illegal activity or improper political fundraising either.
And the courts have established some general remedies to that grievance (pardon the pun) for unions in general..
I don't recall the precedent case, but I do remember a point at which it became illegal for any union to do as you described.
But hasn't that remedy solved the problem, or at least greatly reduced it, now that it's illegal to take mandatory union dues and donate them to a political cause the member does not support - as you describe?

So....what is your charge against the WEA?
That "...several years a go the WEA was found guilty of the above scenario and had to halt that activity..."?
Are you suggesting they're involved in illegal behavior on behalf of Gregoire that hasn't been uncovered yet?

Posted by John

10:15 AM, Jul 24, 2008


"Are you suggesting they're involved in illegal behavior on behalf of Gregoire that hasn't been uncovered yet?"

How did you know I'm researching that?

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