RSS Feed for This PostCurrent Article

Killer SuperPac Ads * Open Thread

Here’s a number from CNN’s Erin Burnett on OutFront: Super Pacs have spent $35 million already in just four primary states.



The Restore Our Future Super Pac ad Reagan (FL): Video: YouTube

– From across the pond, in the article “Romney Super Pac’s damning ad: ‘Gingrich is no Ronald Reagan’,” part of a series titled “Series: Campaign ad watch 2012,” published January 26, 2012 in the UK’s The Guardian.

It is especially fascinating for those of us in the other 49 states (i.e., not in Florida) to see these ads. Would you like a quickie lesson in how Super Pacs — as well as all other forms of campaign fundraising — work? AND (!) do you want to find out how two opposing candidates have forged an anti-Pac pact to make their contest by and for the people, devoid of any big-bucks, slick, devastating ads. Well, here you go:

NOW. Here is the story of two candidates who have atypically agreed to disallow Super Pac ads from “polluting” their campaign, leaving it entirely up to voting constituents to pony up the financial support that both will need, badly, in order to prevail:

Comment: I am really torn about this race. Because I like both candidates.

I was thrilled when moderate Republican Scott Brown, despite all the odds against him as he traveled the state in a beat-up pick-up, became a sensation and defeated the snobbish Martha Coakley who acted as if her victory was a God-given right, just because she was a Democrat and just because she was going to inhabit the Senate seat of the recently-deceased Teddy Kennedy. Surely, Martha assumed, all the Massachusetts voters who’d reelected Teddy for decades, would never, ever vote for a — what? — a Republican? Are you kidding me?, she asked … oh hell, she probably didn’t even ask herself that question because her victory was 110% assured.

Out of the blue, Scott Brown began to win hearts and minds across the state of Massachusetts. Even the national media reported on the grassroots movement towards Brown. Which is how, over 3,000 miles away, I heard about Brown and began following the race — because all of a sudden it really WAS a race. The handsome man — who worked as a model to help pay for school — was no intellectual slouch either. He “received a Bachelors of Arts in History, cum laude from Tufts University in 1981 and a Juris Doctor from Boston College Law School in 1985,” reports Wikipedia.

Then the unthinkable happened, and Scott Brown actually won in January 2010. It was a shock that Teddy’s hallowed Senate seat could be “stolen” by a Republican.

There were also national implications. Brown’s victory signaled that voters were fed up with President Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Leader Harry Reid’s partisanship and failures to do anything to help the economy recover and to aid the growing number of unemployed. Obama was handed a DREAM scenario with Democratic majorities in Congress, and he still didn’t get anything accomplished, so voters started switching to the Republican party in a somewhat desperate hope.

Elizabeth Warren is a highly appealing candidate, particularly with her expertise in consumer rights and her gift for explaining complex financial issues in a way that anyone can understand.

If I were a Massachusetts voter, I might have a tough time deciding for whom to vote. But I’d probably vote for Brown, given his careful attention to ensuring that his Senate votes reflect the needs and views of his Massachusetts constituents, as well as Brown’s long record of legislative work in the Massachusetts state House and Senate. Elizabeth Warren has none of these experiences in her distinguished background.

Well, this has veered off topic, but it is worth repeating that it is impressive that Brown and Warren have agreed to refuse the funding by Super Pacs.

YOUR TURN.

  • http://twitter.com/jbjdjbjd jbjd


    Petitioners’ original complaint, supported by all of the materials they produced to make their case, is that SoS Kemp should not have allowed the name of Barack Obama on the GA D Presidential preference primary ballot because under GA law, only the names of candidates who are qualified for office may be printed on the ballot; AND President Obama is Constitutionally unqualified for the job. That was a fatal mistake. Instead – and I am borrowing this from my work on those citizen complaints of election fraud to state A’sG, in the sidebar – they should have argued this.

    The SoS allowed the name of Barack Obama on the ballot using bad rules. That is, he carried out his ministerial duty to oversee elections by using rules that allowed onto the ballot the name of a candidate for whom even the D’s refuse to provide documentary evidence available in the public record; is Constitutionally qualified for the job. Under the Nature of Proceedings, above, this would place the burden of proof back on Petitioner; the standard, a preponderance of the evidence (>50%). And that’s a good thing. If the burden remained on the SoS, he would argue, the rules are fine, and no one could demonstrate they haven’t worked to keep an unqualified candidate off the ballot. (Remember, nothing Petitioners argued could ever establish Obama is not a NBC.)

    But with the burden of proof shifted to them, Petitioners could have made their case merely by issuing subpoenas for all of those officials involved in signing the 2008 Certification of Nomination from the DNC Services Corporation swearing the then nominee Obama was “duly nominated,” that is, vetted for Constitutional eligibility under the DNC Charter; and submitting this to the GA SoS in 2008 to get his name printed on the ballot. Again, the blueprint for this argument and the evidence which Petitioners could have submitted into the record to support this argument; is laid out in those citizen complaints.

    Do you suppose any of the D witnesses would have shown up?  Again, under the Administrative Procedure rule regarding default (above), if a default issued, this means, the ALJ has the authority to ignore any input from these witnesses. But this absence would actually speak volumes. It would demonstrate for everyone to see what we – I -have been saying all along: everyone else is willing to explain why Barack Obama is a NBC but the official members of the D party. Not when it comes to answering the question for voters and constituents – see the evidence compiled in the citizen complaints to state A’sG – and not  when it comes to explaining his eligibility to an official judicial or administrative body.  No reasonable person could be expected to trust the word of people who refuse to back up their word with their presence at this proceeding.

    The Case Official representing the Respondent SoS could only argue back, ‘We did what we always do; accept the representation of the candidate’s (presumptive) qualification, from the Party.’

    IT WAS A GOOD TIME; IT WAS THE BEST TIME; IT WAS A PARTY

    • Anonymous

      jbjd,

      Now would you tell us in everyday, non-legalese, what you just told us.  I don’t consider myself stupid, but I swear that lawyers talk and write in a code meant to keep us from really knowing what happened.

      • http://twitter.com/jbjdjbjd jbjd

        I am so sorry. I just assumed everyone had followed the ballot challenge in GA. Interestingly, even diehard Obama sites like Dr. Conspiracy and fogbow have been following this. I have written 3 articles since Tuesday about this. And yes, the articles do get technical, because people who have followed this event are getting technical. And while I believe the people bringing this ballot challenge in GA ‘blew it’ I am hoping that the press attention they attracted will at least inspire more people to become the citizen activists required.

        DLC, FYI, on this very NoQuarter blog, in August 2008, I posted for the first time my 3:00 AM epiphany for people upset the man they believe is Constitutionally ineligible to be President might end up in the WH: file a challenge to keep the (presumed) nominee off state ballots, in those states with laws that only allow the state to print the names on the ballot of those candidates qualified for the job.

        • Anonymous

          jbjd,

          I do know you’ve been posting about this for a long time.  I appreciate it.  NQ is about the only blog I follow, as I am busy with some teaching, kids, animals, working on a family history project now for my mom’s family — you get the picture.

          I just couldn’t understand exactly what they did wrong.  Was it something about not giving a subpoena to the people in the DNC who asked he be put on the ballot?  I had been waiting for the news, but hadn’t heard anything.  And, of course, I’d have to get out my magnifying glass to find anything about it in my local newspaper. 

    • Anonymous

      jbjd,

      Now would you tell us in everyday, non-legalese, what you just told us.  I don’t consider myself stupid, but I swear that lawyers talk and write in a code meant to keep us from really knowing what happened.

  • Anonymous

    Democrats have seized on Republicans as the party of unlimited secret money.

    The only problem: so are Democrats.

    But this year, Democrats are playing the same game. Obama’s team has blessed a network of super PACs
    trying to raise the same seven-figure checks as Romney’s. And Obama’s
    allies have gone even further than Romney’s, setting up nonprofit groups
    that do not disclose their donors at all.

    In fact, top Democrats
    are so ardent about the need to raise unlimited — and sometimes secret —
    cash this year that some operatives aren’t pleased about the recent
    attacks, grumbling that it makes it a whole lot tougher to get wealthy
    liberals to fork over mega-checks when the politicians who’d benefit are ripping Republicans for taking the same types of contributions.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0112/72104.html#ixzz1klgGpRvt

  • Anonymous

    Canada manages to have an election that takes about 8 weeks and no voter fraud. Money for the campaign is regulated like this.

    One
    of the most important aspects of managing
    elections lies in regulating the amount of money that candidates and
    parties
    may spend.  Unlike the United States, which limits the amounts
    which
    individuals and groups can contribute to election campaigns, the
    historical Canadian
    approach was to limit the amounts that candidates and parties can
    spend. However, Canadian federal election financing rules have
    changed considerably since 2004. New rules were brought in at the start
    of 2004 to limit any individual from contributing more than $5,000 in
    any calendar year to a party and its candidates. Corporations and trade
    unions were capped at $1,000 per calendar year. The limits on individual
    donations were subject to an inflation adjustment which stood at $5,200
    for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2006; corporate and union
    donations remained fixed at $1,000.However, Parliament passed
    new limits on political donations that came into effect on
    2007. Since then only individuals can make donations to political
    parties and their candidates; corporations and trade unions now can no
    longer dondate money
    directly to political parties or candidates. Individuals are currently
    limited to donating no more than $1,100 in total per year to any of the
    political parties, ridings associations, and individual candidates.

    • Anonymous

      Where is that Canada for President video?

      • Anonymous

        CNN – Jeanne Moos did it (making it even more hilarious, as she always does — i love her segments)  – but I looked all over CNN the other day and couldn’t find the Moos video (or even a page for Moos’s stories).  Why oh why do the news sites — e.g., CNN, Fox News Network, and MSNBC — make it so damn hard to find their best videos? Why do their search engines majorly suck, and is that why I usually get “No results found”? Why do they choose videos of the most boring segments, and fail to put up videos of the best segments?  How come I can’t make my own videos, and why did my cable service tell me there’s no way to hook up my DVR to my Mac laptop? – 

        Okay, now I’m going to stop asking questions because they just get me riled up — although I do have an ulterior motive for asking the last one. It’s a long shot, but there might be one of you who read this who will know how I can capture, crop, edit videos downloaded from my DVR to my laptop.

        DIANA! Pat Racimora, our NoQuarter cartoon artist, did a great job on that story — oh! I just found her post and she does have a video:http://www.noquarterusa.net/blog/64583/canada-for-president/

        • Anonymous

          I know–I just wrote this in response to this comment about how Canada does elections.  It made me want to vote for Canada.

        • Anonymous

          I know–I just wrote this in response to this comment about how Canada does elections.  It made me want to vote for Canada.

      • Anonymous

        CNN – Jeanne Moos did it (making it even more hilarious, as she always does — i love her segments)  – but I looked all over CNN the other day and couldn’t find the Moos video (or even a page for Moos’s stories).  Why oh why do the news sites — e.g., CNN, Fox News Network, and MSNBC — make it so damn hard to find their best videos? Why do their search engines majorly suck, and is that why I usually get “No results found”? Why do they choose videos of the most boring segments, and fail to put up videos of the best segments?  How come I can’t make my own videos, and why did my cable service tell me there’s no way to hook up my DVR to my Mac laptop? – 

        Okay, now I’m going to stop asking questions because they just get me riled up — although I do have an ulterior motive for asking the last one. It’s a long shot, but there might be one of you who read this who will know how I can capture, crop, edit videos downloaded from my DVR to my laptop.

        DIANA! Pat Racimora, our NoQuarter cartoon artist, did a great job on that story — oh! I just found her post and she does have a video:http://www.noquarterusa.net/blog/64583/canada-for-president/

    • wylrae

      Is good, but Canada doesn’t have to face our Supreme Court which feels limitations apparently of any sort violates an individual’s freedom of speech.  So basically our Supreme Court is in favor of a corrupt election system.

      I have for several years thought that maybe we need an amendment to the Constitution where Supreme Court justices are voted upon for retention every twelve to 16 years.  Maybe then we would have some accountability and get some common sense into rulings.  I as a citizen am limited to the amount of money I can donate to a candidate but a multi-millionaire can donate as much he wants to a super PAC (which ordinary citizens can donate to but more than likely don’t have enough to make a meaning difference) in support of a candidate.  Just doesn’t seem to me that this is quite fair but then I guess our elections are not supposed to be about fairness.

    • Anonymous

      I’ve been begging Canada to invade us for years.  I’m still furious with John Candy for fighting back against the Canadians.  

      Me? At the first sighting of those red coats, I’d lay down my arms (holding a rolling pin and a kitchen knife), and get on my knees, blessing them for rescuing the U.S. from itself. My first question? “Where can I sign up to become an official Canadian resident?”

      P.S. Ever go to Canada? I live nearby so have been there a lot. They are so much nicer and more polite. They’re also much more laid back. Hell, they even really celebrate holidays. One Christmas Day, ’round 11 years ago, i was in Victoria, B.C., and damned if we didn’t have the darndest time finding a restaurant that was open, let alone a newspaper published on December 25th. Canadians just don’t realize how much money they give up by spending the holiday with their families, clearly a dated practice in the U.S.

    • Anonymous

      I’ve been begging Canada to invade us for years.  I’m still furious with John Candy for fighting back against the Canadians.  

      Me? At the first sighting of those red coats, I’d lay down my arms (holding a rolling pin and a kitchen knife), and get on my knees, blessing them for rescuing the U.S. from itself. My first question? “Where can I sign up to become an official Canadian resident?”

      P.S. Ever go to Canada? I live nearby so have been there a lot. They are so much nicer and more polite. They’re also much more laid back. Hell, they even really celebrate holidays. One Christmas Day, ’round 11 years ago, i was in Victoria, B.C., and damned if we didn’t have the darndest time finding a restaurant that was open, let alone a newspaper published on December 25th. Canadians just don’t realize how much money they give up by spending the holiday with their families, clearly a dated practice in the U.S.

  • Anonymous

    The entire system just sucks…..What the hell have we turned into?

    • Scottymac54

      A really disspirited, dysfunctional version of ourselves.

  • Anonymous

    I like the Warren hypocrisy in attacking Karl Rove while the unions spend millions extorted from workers to support the Union Democrat Party. Not to mention the bundlers.

     It seems that once someone becomes a politician they automatically become a hypocrite. Or maybe she was one all along and it wasn’t as apparent as it is now.

    If I lived in Massachusetts it would be an easy choice for me.

    To me its Elizabeth Warren = rigid, ideological liberal vs Scott Brown = moderate Republican. I go for moderate, especially now that they are an endangered, and much maligned species, in both parties.

    • wylrae

      Only think I might disagree with you on is about “moderate be an endangered, and much maligned species”.  Maybe being an independent only since May 31, 2008 I don’t understand republican politican classifications.  From what I have been reading and hearing the past year or so, it is the conservative who being maligned and the moderate elevated; i.e., seems the republican establishment likes the moderate even though as I recall some poll several months or a year or so ago found most people considered themselves conservative.  The republican establishment ran McCain (who I voted for as I was even then ABO) and this cycle the republican establishment is running Romney (who I will reluctantly probably have to vote for even though I don’t think he has a chance in hell against Obama’s machine.)  So, I don’t see “moderate” as be endangered or maligned instead I see the conservatives in that position. 

      • Anonymous

        Nonsense.

        Both parties have over the last few years done their best to eliminate moderates. Democrats are nearly all “liberal” Democrats and Republicans are nearly all “conservative” Republicans. Anyone that isn’t is maligned as a DINO or a RINO. 

        The “talking point” about the establishment is getting old. The voters in the primaries are the ones that pick the candidates. If they are stupid enough to make their decisions based on talking points then they deserve the people they get.

         

        • wylrae

          Kind of odd how on this blog over the past several months, and especially the past several weeks, how many posters (and article writers) have gotten into calling people names. ”If they are stupid enough to make their decisions based on talking points then they deserve the people they get.”  So those older people who for years have relied on their regional newspapers, the radio, and the three main television networks for their information are stupid.  Naturally the fact that they are bombarded with candidate ads, Super PAC ads, and TV pundits voicing their opinions and the fact that the candidate with the most money (or money behind her/her ) are running the most, if not virtually the only, ads makes those people stupid if they believe what they are hearing.  I do not call people names that easily (maybe a holdover trait from my teaching days).

          Have to agree with you that if the voter has the resources/means to do the research and then votes a certain way he/she should not complain about being knowing after they have voted.

          Don’t know as I would accept your statement of democrats being mostly liberal and republicans mostly conservative.  During my years as a registered democrat I met many, many democrats who considered themselves either socially or fiscally conservative.  I considered myself fiscally conservative but felt government should help people when it could (more in the sense of a hand up and not a hand out).

          As far as your comment about the establishment I, and I think you may very well see that a great many other so-called republican and independent voters) am turned off by the establishment pretty much picking our candidate for us. In Romney’s case where is the money coming from for his ads and Super Pac ads?  I think you will find that a great part of it is coming from the good old boys in the back room and/or corporate board room.  I know Gingrich’s Super Pac money is coming from one individual who may in the past have been in with the back room and/or corporate board room group but in this instance is being a maverick.

          I know LJ, you and quite a few other posters here will never agree on who oujr candidate should be.  I am of the opinion that Newt is the only candidate who can shake up things in Washington D.C. and I think that that is what needs to be done.  I don’t see Romney changing much of anything, except maybe getting people back to work if he gets elected which I highly doubt happens.  I believe Obama will wipe the floor with him on the health care issue and boy how the very rich 1%er is going to be vilified.

           

          • beachnan

            Newt has never been anything but a Washington insider.  I really don’t see how you can see him any other way.  Who knows how many people he has pissed off along the way.  I don’t see him working for us, the people, as much as I see him working for himself.  Like Obama, it’s all about Newt-I did this, I did that, I fought in the trenches.  Does he ever say we? Why did  his entire staff quit when he first started to run? Could it be that the man is so arrogant, that very few people can stand him, and that if he was a nicer guy-he would have the backing of the Republican establishment?

            • wylrae

              Did I say he was not an insider?  I don’t think I did.  I see some “insiders” as mavericks capable to shaking things up which is what I think  needs to be done.  Ron Paul is also an example of such an “insider”.

              Come on, almost every politician has the “I thing”.  I think if you would take out your earplugs you would hear Newt saying we quite often.  He frequently says I started this or I organized something but then he very often follows with we had success or we were able to…

              If it comes down to likeability, we just as well cede the election to Obama. Could it be that he doesn’t have the backing of the Republican establishment because he doesn’t do or look at things in the usual, routine, conventional way that things have been done for years which often results in toes being stepped on?

              Oh well, as I have said, I will vote ABO but think that if as appears I will have to be voting for Romney I will have vogted for the loser against Obama.

               

          • Anonymous

            “Kind of odd” how everyone always assumes that older people aren’t smart enough to see through ads and “talking points” to make their decisions.

            If one little old lady in a midwestern town, that would be me, can find the “resources” to get at as much of the truth as is possible, then I would believe that almost anyone, who wants the truth, can do so.

            I call the behavior stupid because I think it is. That’s something we are all guilty of from time to time. And it is, just my opinion.

            Gingrich’s new money bag is a “maverick” who has a grudge against Mitt Romney from way back. I guess that makes him better than all the other “old boys.”

             
            The rest of your comment is simply opinion. Mine differs.

  • http://www.theindependentview.com Matthew J. Weaver

    While I’d prefer candidates directly control their ads, it is a free society and everyone should be able to say whatever they want.  More the merrier and any candidated that can’t stand the critique and opts to instead whine, shouldn’t be in the race and will find themselves ridiculed and eventually heading for the door.

    • Anonymous

      “While I’d prefer candidates directly control their ads, it is a free
      society and everyone should be able to say whatever they want.”

       What the hell is the matter with you?

    • wylrae

      Oh, real good.  So super pacs can representing a candidate (altho we know they can’t communicate with that candidate) should be able to say whatever they want.  How about maybe what they say being true instead of lies or insinuations.  No wonder this country is sinking fast; you would prefer candidates directly control their ads but it is okay for anyone to say whatever they want.  Heck even candidates don’t control their own ads which is reprehensible; i.e, in the latest debate Wolf asked Romney about his ad claiming Gingrich said Spanish is the language of the ghetto which Romney naturally rebutted that he was not aware of such ad but apparently after a fact check by Wolf’s staff Wolf informed Romney that the ad ended with Romney saying “I am Mitt Romney and I approve this ad.”  Of course Mitt say well we will look into that.  Nice, the ad probably was seen by millions saying an untruth and the responsible candidate who approved the ad is not even aware of that ad.  Yup, of course, people should be allowed to say whatever they want — and may the best candidate at lying or insinuating win.  I could probably expect such thinking from an Obama supporter but I would not have expected it from a supporter of a candidate as pure as the driven snow.  I guess the republican establishment has even sunk into the cesspool of having people misrepresent things (let’s not be PC okay, outright lie); case in point Abrahms(?) coming out saying Gingrich bad mouthed Reagan on the House floor when in fact the Congressional Record for the instance Abrahms(?) cited shows just the opposite; Gingrich praising Reagan.  Certainly the idea of changing the atmosphere in Washington D.C. and politicians attitudes in general doesn’t stand a chance with people like you espousing that the injured (or as you put it “whiner”) shouldn’t be in the race.  I will come back and throw some of this back in your face when Obama’s people do this to Romney and you are whining about it.  Get a clue!

    • wylrae

      Oh, real good.  So super pacs can representing a candidate (altho we know they can’t communicate with that candidate) should be able to say whatever they want.  How about maybe what they say being true instead of lies or insinuations.  No wonder this country is sinking fast; you would prefer candidates directly control their ads but it is okay for anyone to say whatever they want.  Heck even candidates don’t control their own ads which is reprehensible; i.e, in the latest debate Wolf asked Romney about his ad claiming Gingrich said Spanish is the language of the ghetto which Romney naturally rebutted that he was not aware of such ad but apparently after a fact check by Wolf’s staff Wolf informed Romney that the ad ended with Romney saying “I am Mitt Romney and I approve this ad.”  Of course Mitt say well we will look into that.  Nice, the ad probably was seen by millions saying an untruth and the responsible candidate who approved the ad is not even aware of that ad.  Yup, of course, people should be allowed to say whatever they want — and may the best candidate at lying or insinuating win.  I could probably expect such thinking from an Obama supporter but I would not have expected it from a supporter of a candidate as pure as the driven snow.  I guess the republican establishment has even sunk into the cesspool of having people misrepresent things (let’s not be PC okay, outright lie); case in point Abrahms(?) coming out saying Gingrich bad mouthed Reagan on the House floor when in fact the Congressional Record for the instance Abrahms(?) cited shows just the opposite; Gingrich praising Reagan.  Certainly the idea of changing the atmosphere in Washington D.C. and politicians attitudes in general doesn’t stand a chance with people like you espousing that the injured (or as you put it “whiner”) shouldn’t be in the race.  I will come back and throw some of this back in your face when Obama’s people do this to Romney and you are whining about it.  Get a clue!

  • Anonymous

    NLRB Wants to Force Companies to Turn Over Employee Contact Info

    Why do we not here the candidates talking about this ?

    Just defund the union thug rat bastards.

    “If the National Labor Relations Board gets its way, companies could be
    forced to hand over your contact information, whether you like it or
    not, to union leaders,” Fox host Neil Cavuto said. “Union leaders having
    access to your phone number, your email address?

    “They have a right not to be harassed during a union organizing
    campaign. If a worker has given his or her employer their home phone,
    their personal email address, their cell phone, it was in the
    expectation that it wasn’t going to be given to third parties but was
    going to be used by the employer for the purposes of what it was
    intended to be given for. And in most instances that’s to contact the
    employee under emergency situations.”

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/nlrb-pushes-to-force-companies-to-turn-over-employee-contact-info/

    • Stop the Spam

      What does this have to do with SuperPacs?!

      Nothing! Please do no spam the group!

      • Anonymous

        Did you see that little thing called………OPEN THREAD ?

    • Anonymous

      It’s not just phone calls and mailers from the damn unions, they show up on your door step to “remind” you to vote.

      I am always amused at the Dems outrage over SuperPacs while loving them some union money.

      My significant other, who’s job depends on forced union membership, just nods head and votes against whoever the union is supporting.

      He is particularly outraged that the money extorted from him, here in Wisconsin, goes to try to recall Governor Scott Walker who he voted for and supports.

    • Anonymous

      I saw this when you posted it before.  It’s just very hard to hit a “like” button when you read something like this.

      I have been a “union” member for a long time, though the NEA likes to pretend it is a “professional organization.”  I get NEA calls all the time, usually supposed “surveys.”  I say they are “supposed” surveys because the questions are clearly designed to garner some statistics of some sort for the NEA agenda.

      I keep saying it:  If there had been a different way to get good insurance for legal counsel if I needed it at a teacher, I would have never agreed to join the NEA.  Thankfully, during my career, I never needed the legal counsel.  But, I saw several cases arise in our district for which the legal counsel was necessary.  For instance, a teacher during the Columbine incident was sued by parents who lost children because–get this–she was the one who tried to warn the parents and principal that the boys were thinking horrible things.  She did what she could and everyone did the “kids will be kids” routine on her and brushed her off.  So when things happened, tort lawyers got their hands on the parents and convinced them that it didn’t matter if they sued her because it would only be her insurance company paying if they won the case.  It kept her in court for years, unable to make any financial plans.  At least she had the NEA legal insurance and was not paying lawyers.  She won the case, but it was not a fun experience.

      Many teachers whose cases you never read about because they win them have been brought up on false abuse charges by unstable kids.  They get dragged through the court system and have their lives upturned.  When they win the cases, the NEA lawyers might suggest to sue back for the false charges, but having been through the courts they rarely want to go back into them.  And what person goes into teaching wanting to sue an emotionally damaged child?

      That said, I would not have joined the NEA if it hadn’t also been pushing its insurance program.  I always wonder how much less power the NEA would have if there were a better way to help teachers with that legal insurance issue.

      I will be upset if I start getting more calls and emails.  But, I can usually make sure those emails go into my junk folder, and I can always hang up the phone.

      I am so grateful that I never had to deal with a union like the SEIU however.