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*** UPDATED x1 *** “They have destroyed the decency of the state of Illinois”

Tuesday, Sep 18, 2012

* If you want to watch a way over the top rant against the teachers’ unions and House Speaker Michael Madigan, check out Jack Roeser. His comments take up the first couple of minutes of this video

* For the other side of the issue, here’s a video from the Chicago Teachers Union called “The Truth in Black & White”

* The conservative Heritage Foundation obviously has a different take on the strike than the CTU, and they explain it in this video

* And WBEZ interviewed CTU President Karen Lewis about the strike this morning

From the station

Lewis addressed criticisms that, as the union’s leader, it is her responsibility to get teachers back to work as soon as possible. Calling the CTU a “member-driven union,” Lewis said, “We do take democracy seriously, and I know that’s frustrating for people, but in the end, it’s ultimately a better way to govern a union, because then it’s not top-down leadership.”

“I think that we have encouraged healthy debate and we have encouraged analysis,” Lewis said. “It was something that was never encouraged by union leadership before and I think people misinterpret that. It’s unusual and it’s a better way to move the union.”

Lewis also said she believes teachers have made some gains, but she recogonizes that in tough times concessions have to be made.

“This is an austerity contract. This is not a contract of we can get all that we want.” […]

When asked about the injunction, Lewis said “if anything” the injunction hearing scheduled for Wednesday “will push people in the opposite direction.” and that the “imposition of will from the mayor will have a deleterious effect.”

*** UPDATE *** The CTU has a new video about their strikers’ funnier protest signs

- Posted by Rich Miller        


29 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 18, 12 @ 11:28 am:

    “No”, said Jack Roeser, “this is my ‘less is more’ take”.


  2. - too obvious - Tuesday, Sep 18, 12 @ 11:34 am:

    Who knew Roeser was still around?


  3. - John A Logan - Tuesday, Sep 18, 12 @ 11:37 am:

    The Heritage foundation ad is effective. However I assume it is a web only video that will have little impact on the conversation.


  4. - just sayin' - Tuesday, Sep 18, 12 @ 11:39 am:

    Jack Roeser is silent of course about all of the Republicans he contributes to who are just as much in bed with the teachers unions. Hypocrite.


  5. - walkinfool - Tuesday, Sep 18, 12 @ 11:41 am:

    Had to laugh at loud hearing Jack Roeser.

    He misunderstands just about everything he talked about. A lot of gobbledeygook.

    But he did bring in demon Madigan — he’s on the Brady bus.


  6. - CircularFiringSquad - Tuesday, Sep 18, 12 @ 11:43 am:

    Wow WhackyJack is getting whackier all the time and his caregiver/cohost not aging so well
    Funniest line was WhackyJack asking others to give money to his hand picked candidate. Maybe he could get the cash back from Michele for Illinois


  7. - cermak_rd - Tuesday, Sep 18, 12 @ 11:46 am:

    I did notice that about CORE even before they won the leadership race last year. They really, seriously, believe in collaboration and coming to a consensus.


  8. - jericho - Tuesday, Sep 18, 12 @ 11:49 am:

    They destroyed what? The decency of Illinois? wow, that’s a contradiction of terms. There is no decency in the state of Illinois. Who are you kidding? From having two governors in jail, to the pensions, to this. The state is a national joke.


  9. - cermak_rd - Tuesday, Sep 18, 12 @ 11:49 am:

    When did IL ever have decency anyway?


  10. - Plutocrat03 - Tuesday, Sep 18, 12 @ 11:51 am:

    Lewis seems to be backpedaling like crazy on the radio this AM.

    Perhaps Zorn has it right. It was easy to stoke the fires of discontent, but much harder to sell the reality of what is possible.

    It would be great if we really knew what was going on behind closed doors. e.g. if it is true there are 150 schools at half capacity, the consolidation must occur ASAP. If the student body is shrinking, you cannot freeze the workforce at yesterday’s levels.


  11. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Sep 18, 12 @ 11:56 am:

    Jack Roeser giving a lecture on decency is pretty rich. Is this the same Jack Roeser who took to the airwaves to question Mark Kirk’s sexuality?


  12. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 18, 12 @ 12:04 pm:

    You’re right 47th. He probably should have been questioning his ethics and decency instead.


  13. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Sep 18, 12 @ 12:27 pm:

    @Plutocrat03 -

    Lewis stoked the fires of discontent?!?

    I find this charge, repeated by the Tribune, laughable.

    It was the Mayor, Stand for Children, and the Tribune editorial board who piled up the wood, poured on the gasoline, and lit the match.

    Lewis’ comments merely reflected what teachers were already thinking, after a months-long barrage of attacks.


  14. - train111 - Tuesday, Sep 18, 12 @ 12:29 pm:

    Dear Jack Roeser

    I have been consistently going throught the A-1 reports by various legislative candidates here in Illinois. I’ve happenned to notice that you have dropped several large contributions–up to and including $10,000–on several candidates–many of whom don’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of winning and several who you are the only significant contributor.
    Seeing that you like to drop money so easily, I’ve been wanting to ask that you drop some my way. Mrs Train recently ended a 15 month stint of unemployment and funds are still quite tight at the Train111 household. I know that I don’t agree with you very much politically, but seeing how willing you are to toss big bucks at lost causes, I was hoping you could toss a few my way. Heck, I’m a lot less of a ‘lost cause’ than many of the candidates that you contribute to.

    Thank you Jack! Please consider it.

    train111


  15. - overcooked - Tuesday, Sep 18, 12 @ 12:37 pm:

    Why is this rant by Roeser considered “way over the top”? It’s not over the top by his ranting standards and the money connection from the teachers to the Democrats is not wrong.


  16. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Sep 18, 12 @ 12:42 pm:

    ====Why is this rant by Roeser considered “way over the top”? ===

    I guess if you believe that teachers unions have destroyed the decency of Illinois, then I’m wrong.


  17. - gg - Tuesday, Sep 18, 12 @ 12:48 pm:

    Kudos to Karen Lewis.
    She is easy to mock because of her physical appearance. The way her jowls shake is noticeable.
    She seems to be cool, calm and on point.
    The union needs the contract language to be tight.
    The teachers are so angry at this point, nothing will satisfy them. The contract/work rules/hours/school year the teachers are accepting is really big step down in the teacher’s status.
    I am surprised at what a fine job Lewis appears to be doing selling more work and less security to her members.
    She exudes inspiration.
    I am surprised.


  18. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 18, 12 @ 1:36 pm:

    Who wants to live in Jack Roeser’s world?


  19. - Sue - Tuesday, Sep 18, 12 @ 1:43 pm:

    Having dealt with many unions over the years- what Lewis says about IFT being democratic is accurate but then whose fault is it that Lewis took her members out in the first place knowing how hard it would be to get them back- her job is not unlike herding cats- she has a lot of moderate rational types but just as many radicals- the radicals will hold out for more and unfortunately the majority will rule no matter how the vote goes- When negotiating with the Teamsters- a handshake deal with leadership is as good as a contract- with the IEA and IFT affiliates- the members run the unions and control what they do-if the vote is to continue the strike don’t look for much courage coming from Judge Flynn- he is praying this goes away more then the Mayor is


  20. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Sep 18, 12 @ 1:49 pm:

    Cuckoo, Cuckoo…
    I bet that book is a classic, too.


  21. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Sep 18, 12 @ 1:51 pm:

    === Why is this rant by Roeser considered “way over the top”? ===

    Well, here’s a couple of reasons:

    1. Over the last decade, the IEA and its local affiliates have only contributed $7.5 million to political candidates, and that’s at all levels of government. The claim that legislative candidates have received $100 million is utter fabrication.

    2. Peruse the list and you’ll see that the IEA is extremely bipartisan in its giving.

    3. Anyone who knows anything about Illinois politics knows that the notion that Mike Madigan is cozy with the IEA is laughable.


  22. - Conservative Republican - Tuesday, Sep 18, 12 @ 2:21 pm:

    RE Ms. Lewis, prior to her cushy union job, I hope she didn’t teach English or speech.


  23. - Robert the Bruce - Tuesday, Sep 18, 12 @ 3:12 pm:

    Karen Lewis seems to be the voice of reason among the attacks from the right, the mayor’s lawsuit that will antagonize her membership, and the more extreme members of the union she represents.


  24. - cermak_rd - Tuesday, Sep 18, 12 @ 3:17 pm:

    Ms. Lewis taught chemistry. She has taught at Sullivan H.S., Lane Tech (15 years) and King College Prep H.S.


  25. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, Sep 18, 12 @ 3:30 pm:

    I wonder what people would think of Karen Lewis if she were a slim, attractive woman.

    You can’t deny that her appearance does not endear her to people or her cause. Just beacause a person is obese doesn’t give others the right to ignore their intellect and humanity.


  26. - geronimo - Tuesday, Sep 18, 12 @ 3:49 pm:

    Doesn’t matter what the union leader looks like if female……if petite and pretty, they’d say she’s an airhead who doesn’t know anything. Need a big strong strapping Denzel Washington-like character, apparently, for the dim-witted to recognize a brain.


  27. - Hickory - Tuesday, Sep 18, 12 @ 4:45 pm:

    I got should be I have - A teacher should know better.


  28. - geronimo - Tuesday, Sep 18, 12 @ 5:36 pm:

    When you have Roeser and people like him, the Tribune and every other newspaper demonizing and spewing hatred at the people in charge of inspiring our children in positive ways…….do you really think you’ll get love all around from the teachers? In what other profession are bosses allowed to trash their employees yet expect top performance and a cheery attitude to boot? Only idealistic dreamers would choose to teach in the climate these days. It’s a good bet that with all that’s happening enrollment in Education colleges will be down. All sides have set up camp in the town of disrespect and defilement, apparently, and on the teachers’ part, justifiably so. Never heard of inspiration coming from disparagement. Is that how parents would like their kids to experience inspiration?


  29. - Emily Booth - Tuesday, Sep 18, 12 @ 7:47 pm:

    Lewis is running rings around Emmanuel with her executive and managerial skills. The CTU is made up primarily of college educated young to middle aged women. She knows how to speak to them. She knows how to appeal to them. She knows how to advocate for them. She knows how to exhort to them. She is impressive.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Afternoon updates
* Hospitals back removal of income tax sunsets
* The other strategy
* *** UPDATED 1x *** Quinn onboard; Rauner latches onto term limits proposal
* Because Illinois is a real battleground state
* Quinn dodges Rahm question on "Morning Joe"
* Morning Shorts
* Yesterday's blog posts

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