Friday, April 22, 2016

Is James Sampson The President or The Prince?

In yet another of their "news stories" the other day the Buffalo News managed to describe NYSUT as a "powerful teacher's union" once in the headline and again in the lead paragraph essentially abdicating any pretense of journalistic integrity in their feverish slant to demonize the statewide teacher's union affiliate. 

Some teachers represented by NYSUT have had occasion to be critical of NYSUT lately. Those of us airing our grievances against the practices and policies of NYSUT would be slow to agree with The News' assessment of them as especially "powerful." Our gripes will keep for another day though as we have far better fish to fry in this post. It's safe to assume we all realize the game the Buffalo News plays in describing NYSUT and/or BTF and/or Phil as "powerful." It's yet another attempt on the part of The News's ever creeping editorial miasma to befoul another "news" story with images of Phil Rumore, smoking a Cohiba while riding Putin-like, shirtless on the back of a Grizzly Bear  through the desolate streets of B-Lo like some Uzbek warlord out for a postprandial flex. You know because Phil's just so damned powerful and all...

 In beating the "powerful union" drum meme The News hopes to draw out teacher haters and others, in particular those curiously self hating types who, instead of demanding better pay from their own employers, find it more satisfying to stone anyone else whose union has negotiated for them something better than a starvation wage. If you have the stomach for The News comment section I submit "joe" as exhibit A of the latter. I guess in some small way the trick must work or The News would actually just report, well,  you know... the "news." And I seriously doubt for one second that anyone hunkered down in that airless, soulless Editorial Bunker actually believes that NYSUT or BTF actually  IS powerful as much as they believe in the Machiavellian tactic of creating a giant straw monster of your opponent that can be easily dispatched by torch when the moment is right. 

The punchline nobody at The News is finding half as funny as people did at the BTF Council of Delegates meeting last night however is that powerful NYSUT has flexed its own postprandial tris, bis and lats and in so doing Diamond Jim Sampson and DPCC Officer Patricia Elliott have been scrubbed from the Board of Ed ballot for lack of legit signatures on their petitions. In a converse flex, young Austin Harig's name will remain on the ballot as NYSUT and Co. worked diligently to help him verify his signatures. Austin's candidacy was challenged by local zillionaire developer Carl Paladino whom The News never thought to describe as "powerful" in his attempt to kick Austin an 18 year old Senior at Hutch Tech from the ballot. Odd that a guy with the money, connections and clout Paladino has accumulated over the years trying to prevent an 18 yr old student from running against him in South Buffalo doesn't conjure up any David and Goliath imagery in the fetid imaginations of The Buffalo News. 

Of course Sampson can still challenge the ruling in court or he can  run as a write in candidate as Ralph Hernandez did unsuccessfully against him last election. Nobody's sounding as optimistic about Elliott's chances but we know better than to assume she's just going to pack it in. The real victory for now is that so called the reform candidates appear to have shot themselves in the foot with sloppy prep work and NYSUT was on the scene to point it out and take the necessary action. 

Let me said loudly, unequivocally and on the record: Nice job NYSUT! 

I have heard more than a few people asking how the President of the Board of Education didn't take care of business and get his paperwork done right. My Freudian friends are quick to point out that it probably wasn't an accident at all as much as his subconscious saying enough is enough. Carl did after all demand Sampson's resignation a while back for some infraction or other. Carl told Sampson he didn't know how to lead and described a district in chaos. And in yet another classic Paladino mantrum we read this on WGRZ's website: 

As for Paladino, he gave no official comment to 2 On Your Side. When we called him he used profanity and hung up.  

You have to wonder if Diamond Jim somewhere deep down didn't decide to let the bully have his way. And what better way to stick it to a former brother in ed reform arms who's questioned your leadership and told you to quit than by stepping out of the race and handing your board seat to a AFL-CIO, NYSUT and BTF backed West Side Mom with strong ties to PUSH? If you asked me what Diamond Jim's up to I'd say the Buffalo News editors aren't the only ones carrying a dog eared copy of The Prince in their back pocket. 


  1. Hey, weren't you aware, B-Lo?

    Education reporters in the mainstream media are provided with a software template that automatically prefaces any mention of teacher unions with the compound adjective "politically powerful." There's also one that automatically inserts "obstructionist" into the stenographic copy they provide.

    You know, similar to the one that prefaces any mention of teachers with "bad," any mention of public schools with "failing," and any mention of Bill Gates with "philanthropist" and "humanitarian." That last is a real hot one.