The election law complaint filed by two Fort Collins parents against the teachers union, a story I have covered off & on here for the past 18 months, recently featured an important appeals court decision – namely, that the Colorado Education Association (CEA) and its local affiliate the Poudre Education Association (PEA) stepped over the legal boundaries by coordinating with the campaign of state senator Bob Bacon in 2004. I wrote it up in an op-ed for the Independence Institute last week.
Personally, my favorite tidbit to share from the op-ed is one of the CEA lawyer’s main arguments in defense of his clients:
[Attorney Mark] Grueskin argued not only that CEA and PEA acted independently but also that their involvement was unreliable. He said that Bacon would have benefited had union officials and volunteers not solicited voters on his behalf.
“I think Bacon would have been better served had he put all that literature in an airplane and just dumped it out over the district someplace,” Grueskin told the three-judge Court of Appeals panel. He suggested that some PEA volunteers might have picked up their assigned literature and thrown it into the trash rather than delivering it to voters’ houses.
Unfortunately, though, the editors of the Rocky Mountain News beat me to the good headline, placing it over Peter Blake’s July 22 column: “Court rules Bacon’s election illegally greased by teachers.” (Though I would be more careful to make the distinction between teachers and the union.)
Primary source material on the court ruling is out there on the Web:
Potentially the most significant result that could occur from this decision is a curtailing of coordinated union-candidate political action in Colorado. Concerned citizens can be the eyes and ears to see whether the teachers union – or any other union – is crossing the line into illicit activity.
Previous coverage of this story at Mount Virtus:
– “Teachers Union Complaint Appeal Hearing Today” (June 28, 2006)
– “Making Common Cause Against Teachers Unions?” (Sept 7, 2005)
– “Update on Teachers Union Complaint” (May 16, 2005)
– “The Time for Truth in Education” (May 13, 2005)
– “First Hearing on Teachers Union Complaint Today” (May 2, 2005)
– “Unveiling Parents for Truth in Education” (April 22, 2005) [Editor's note: The Web site parentsfortruth.com is currently offline]
– “Teachers Union Abuses, Agenda” (March 3, 2005)
– “Trouble for the Teachers Union: The Surface Cracks” (February 23, 2005)