Friday, September 17, 2010

Shameful Baltimore union

The Baltimore Teachers Union not surprisingly totally disgraces itself by endorsing an old-guard political boss rather than Bill Ferguson, ONE OF THEIR OWN MEMBERS – and they lie and smear him as well (see attached endorsement).  Here's Ferguson's reply:


From: Bill Ferguson <>
Date: Sun, Sep 12, 2010 at 12:40 AM
Subject: BTU Endorsement Letter
Cc: Laura Jones <>, Jason <>

President English:


This evening, our campaign manager (a current City Schools high school teacher) passed along the BTU's endorsement letter for Senator Della.  I am thoroughly disappointed to learn of the organization's decision, and I am even more disheartened by the letter's rationale.  


I sincerely wish the organization had given me the opportunity to interview for an endorsement prior to the decision to endorse Senator Della.  Were such an opportunity offered, I would have hoped to convey the following:


(1) My campaign is based entirely in the need to invest significantly in public education.  It is the driving purpose of my decision to run.


(2) Nearly every member of my campaign team, paid and/or volunteer, is a Baltimore City Public School teacher who is passionate about the importance of public education for our City.  


(3) To claim that our campaign is funded by "big business" is an outright falsehood.  I sincerely wish the members of the BTU had taken the time to review the publicly available campaign finance information prior to sending such a misleading letter.  Had a review taken place, the organization would have seen that we have had over 190 educators and former educators contribute to our campaign.  Over 80% of all campaign dollars have come from individuals.  The number of individuals that Senator Della has had contribute to his campaign?  5.  Yes, 5.  The rest of his money has come from special interests and PACs, most notably from the liquor distribution industry, the insurance industry, scrap metal dealers, illegal gambling machine makers, and developers.  I hope that you consider these facts and a subsequent letter to inform your important members that the information provided by the BTU was inaccurate.


(4) Senator Della has not authored an education bill since 2003.  For the past 8 years, while our school communities have suffered from lacking resources, Senator Della has sat on the sidelines.  Is this the type of representation that the BTU wants in Annapolis?  I believe our teachers, paraprofessionals, and school-based staff deserve better.


(5) Last year, Senator Della voted to shift teacher pension costs to local districts, thereby accepting a significant reduction in funding of public schools in our City.  How can the BTU support a legislator who cast such a vote?


(6) Two years ago, Senator Della voted to cap school funding growth by 1%, lower than the rate of inflation and the rate of student enrollment in Baltimore City.  How can the BTU support a legislator who cast such a vote?


Education reform is at a historic point, with greater attention being focused now than ever before in this country's history.  After working with you during the past year during collective bargaining negotiations, I would have hoped that you would have thought better of my sincere belief in the importance of investing in our teachers.  Given the rationale of your endorsement letter, I see that was not the case.


I intend to win this election on September 14th.  I am running to ensure that all children in our City have the chance to attain an excellent education.  Your endorsement of my opponent saddens me immensely, as I believe it runs wholly contradictory to advancing public school interests in our City.  I sincerely hope that you consider sending notice of these issues to your members prior to election day.


Thank you for your consideration.




Bill Ferguson



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