Friday, June 22, 2012

Trib writers shine another light on Rahm's anti-union attack ads

AKPD's John Kupper
Thanks to  reporters Jeff Coen and Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah for their excellent piece in Today's Trib, "Emanuel allies press attack in teachers union battle." It confirms everything I wrote Monday about David Axelrod's old firm AKPD being the architect of the lying anti-union ad campaign now being played on local radio in Chicago.

According to the Trib report, the big money behind the attacks on Chicago teachers and their union is the group Democrats For Education Reform (DFER), run by NewYork hedge-funders Whitney Tilson and Ravenel Boykin Curry IV. The group continues to be a big player in the Obama election campaign and is the main force for school privatization, vouchers and privately-run charter schools, within the Democratic Party. They are also major supporters of Rahm's longer-school-day-with-no-pay-for-teachers initiative

More importantly, the Trib report shows that despite denials and evasions, the mayor has knowingly and unabashedly supported the anti-union campaign which is being run by his own political operatives like AKPD's John Kupper. Kupper admits his firm is on retainer with Emanuel's political organization, and state records show The Chicago Committee, one of Emanuel's campaign fundraising organizations, paid Axelrod's old firm more than $21,000 in the first quarter of 2012 for "professional services/consulting."

As for DFER:  
Officials at Democrats for Education Reform said the group's Illinois state director, Rebeca Nieves Huffman, also has not talked to Emanuel about the ads and "doesn't coordinate with him." In May the mayor was photographed with Huffman at a school reform summit in California, but Huffman spokeswoman Megan Jacobs characterized that as a chance encounter.
The two Trib reporters also shine a light on Emanuel political operative Greg Goldner (behind Rahm's use of paid protesters) and billionaire backers Penny Pritzker and Bruce Rauner.
Emanuel's emphasis on schools fits with the long-held agenda of a number of his wealthiest political supporters. They include Penny Pritzker, now a member of the Board of Education, and venture capitalist Bruce Rauner, whose wife, Diana, an early education expert, served on Emanuel's transition team.

Rauner was instrumental in bringing the reform group Stand for Children to Illinois. That organization helped pass the law setting a higher bar for a teachers' strike and also has criticized the teachers union for taking the strike authorization vote.
Good going Jeff and Noreen.


  1. With Democrats like this, who needs Republicans...

    1. Seriously, if Rahm Emmanuel, Mike Madigan, and Quinn were republicans the unions would be treating them like Scott Walker. However, because they are democrats we have a hard time believing they are union busting. As a former democrat, turned independent, voting for republicans downstate it is time to get over our love affair with democrats and realize they have been co-opted. The IEA/NEA and IFT/AFT, need to act more like CTU and call these men out for what they are "Union Busters", "Teacher Haters", "Public Ed Killers" and "Fake Democrats"! It seems like Obama is beholden to the DFER New York Hedge-Funders. PEOPLE WAKE UP!!

  2. I'm going to copy this post and send it to the DSCC and DNC instead of the campaign donation they claim is imperative to protect us from those Republicans who "held 3 votes to limit workers rights."

  3. Anon, that was the most confusing comment ever. First of all, we already are treating Emanuel (check your spelling), Madigan and Quinn like Scott Walker.

    Secondly, you're a downstate Republican claiming to be pro-union. Get real.

  4. You would think since Romney is getting the $$$ and is rising in the polls, Obama would not alienate the teacher vote. And if Axelrod thinks Randi's endorsement is enough, he does not know teachers. Obama would rather privatize education than work with teachers to make public schools great.

    I started a FB page called Teachers and Parents NOT Voting for Obama or Romney. Nothing would make me happier than to see Axelrod sweat!!

    PS For some reason I can't get my Wordpress profile to work.


  5. Schoolgal,

    The question confronting us teachers and parents isn't what were NOT going to do -- but what we ARE going to do. NOT voting for Obama or Romney doesn't do a damn thing. And I doubt that Axelrod is sweating or losing any sleep over the name of your FB page. You really don't need to encourage anyone not to vote since so few of us do.

  6. nice posting.. thanks for sharing.


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