|Trump holds MAGA rally to boost Bost.|
Trump didn't disappoint his favored right-wing candidate Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, who is competing for re-election in a tight race against Dem. Brendon Kelly for Illinois' 12th Congressional seat. Even in the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue murders and against the advice of top advisors who who thought it unseemly, DT couldn't resist another MAGA rally before his adoring deplorables. So he headed down to Murphysboro to give Bost a boost.
And it was here in Southern Illinois, in a race that has big national implications as Dems try and take the House back, that Trump found himself with some strange bedfellows. Also giving Bost and the GOP a boost was the IEA. Yes, that's right, the state teachers union. Bost is one of 10 House Republicans recommended by the National Education Assoc. (NEA) for re-election. Union leaders claim Bost and the other nine are "supporters of public education" and are most likely to win.
But a closer look reveals that Bost is anything but. He is a big and open supporter of privately-run charter schools and school vouchers. Bost is also behind the state's testing madness and so-called "merit pay" for teachers based on student test scores.
I don't know much about right-centrist Democrat Kelly nor about Randy Auxier, SIU-Carbondale professor and Green Party the Green Party candidate in the race. I can only say Trump's not supporting them, nor is the IEA.
So why the IEA's support for Trump clone on ed issues? Beats the hell out of me -- and not just me. Some IEA members were also astounded. In a letter to the Southern last Thursday, the union members wrote:
“As a congressperson, Bost has been a consistent supporter of the anti-student, anti-education policies of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.”
The letter says that Bost backed DeVos’ plans to “eliminate loan forgiveness plans for students who have been defrauded by for-profit colleges; to roll back protections for students who are victims of sexual assault on campuses and services for students with disabilities; to shift money away from public education to private schools; and to eliminate programs for teacher training and college prep for economically vulnerable students.”In response, IEA Vice President Al Llorens, tried to explain away the organization’s decision.
“There are several reasons our members have chosen to support Bost, but most importantly, we support Bost because he supports us,” the statement says.There you have it. Offer the dog a bone and you can make him roll over.
New York Times poll shows a close race.