WASHINGTON, D.C. – For a union built on democracy, activist teachers are wondering how the American Federation of Teachers could have possibly endorsed Hillary Clinton for president without them knowing about it.
Candi Peterson, Washington (D.C.) Teachers’ Union, penned an article at Common Dreams in which several die-hard union activists appeared to be utterly befuddled by the national union’s sudden announcement.
Chicago activist Katie Osgood says, “I know many AFT members too and have not heard one person polled either.” The union claimed it polled members on their opinions.
According to the calculation of “Mr. Stevens,” only .04 percent of members were surveyed.
— Mr. Stevens (@MrSt3v3ns) July 12, 2015
New York City teacher Arthur Goldstein tells the news site, “…AFT Link says they used telephone town halls and a web-based survey, I didn’t even know existed.”
Mary Ahern calls the endorsement “B.S.”
Phil Soreneson tweeted to AFT president Rhonda “Randi” Weingarten, “glad I’m NEA, u don’t speak for me, u just made teachers’ look politically inept. Thanks for nothing,” according to Common Dreams.
Others were equally incensed:
— lacetothetop (@lacetothetop) July 11, 2015
While others say Hillary’s endorsement will actually have a boomerang effect:
— Tara Molloy-Grocki (@tmgrocki) July 12, 2015
The union’s move comes as Sanders is surging in the polls in key states and drawing huge crowds.
The AFT’s national endorsement is also likely a plan to negate any local teachers union endorsements.
The union of Sanders’ home state — an affiliate of the larger National Education Association — has already endorsed the Vermont senator.
“We are not used to getting involved in presidential primaries particularly early,” Vermont-NEA spokesman Darren Allen tells the Burlington Free Press.
“It shouldn’t be a surprise that this union is heartily behind Bernie’s message.”
“We’ve never had Bernie running for president,” adds Martha Allen, state union president.