Two pieces in the not always reliable mainstream press are naming the UFT and the state union NYSUT as being involved in possibly making, or attempting to make, illegal campaign contributions to state Senate candidates in the unsuccessful 2014 attempt to retake the state Senate for the Democrats.
We know the mayor is in trouble over this but what is the teacher union involvement?
From the NY Post:
The United Federation of Teachers was slapped with a subpoena last week, sources said. A former UFT political strategist, Jason Goldman, was among the de Blasio associates named in a Board of Elections memo that suggested criminality in the state Senate fundraising efforts.
A union spokesman said, "The UFT will always cooperate with any state or federal inquiries that come its way."
Then we see this in Newsday:
The Suffolk Democratic Committee returned a $100,000 union campaign contribution from the New York State United Teachers during the 2014 election because the union sought to steer the money to Democratic State Senate candidate Adrienne Esposito in possible violation of state election law, according to documents and Suffolk Democratic officials.
I think everyone who reads this should look at the sources and be a little skeptical as this may be more political to destroy the mayor than anything. The fundraising laws are very difficult to understand and are easily violated. Reality Based Educator sent me this piece from Jeff Smith in Slant that shows how Governor Andrew Cuomo is behind the whole attack. Read it please. Smith went to prison for violating similar campaign finance laws. The advice he cites from former Louisiana Governor Earl Long on how to look clean is priceless.
“Don't write anything you can phone. Don't phone anything you can talk. Don't talk anything you can whisper. Don't whisper anything you can smile. Don't smile anything you can nod. Don't nod anything you can wink.”
Long died in 1960 but his quote describes New York's "wink and nod pay to play politics" in 2016 quite well.
Since the UFT was a main player in the failed campaign to put the Senate back into Democratic control in 2014, it is no surprise that the union is being investigated. I didn't know anything about the NYSUT involvement until this morning. If anyone has further insight, we are listening as all of this should be watched closely. What is clear is that New York politics are quite dirty and the governor plays very well in the mud.