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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hey, teachers: you should have voted for del Valle!

Posted By on 10.24.12 at 10:00 AM

Recently, it was my pleasure to be a guest on the Ken Davis Show, which is not actually called the Ken Davis Show, as I may have mentioned one or two times before.

Instead, it's called Chicago Newsroom, even though Ken Davis is the host—an inconsistency that I intend to take up with the management of CAN TV. Any day now!

The other guest on this segment was former state senator Miguel del Valle, who ran for mayor in last year's election.

In that race, del Valle got 54,689 votes—one of which was mine. As opposed to Mayor Emanuel, who got 326,331 votes—none of which were mine.

So don't blame me!

If you're keeping track at home, Emanuel got 55.2 percent of the vote and del Valle 9.2 percent.

I don't know how many public school teachers voted for del Valle. He did not get the Chicago Teachers Union's endorsement—they stayed neutral—even though his record as a state senator on everything from charters to local school councils to high-stakes testing was far more favorable to teachers than any of the other candidates', especially Rahm's.

As I recall, the union's argument for neutrality went like this: Emanuel's going to win no matter what we do, so why needlessly piss him off?

I guess it made sense at the time. But what happens? Mayor Rahm shows his appreciation to the teachers by cutting their salary, lengthening their day, trying to take away tenure, and diverting more money to the nonunion charters.

So much for playing nice with this guy . . .

Anyway, check out the Davis show segment. As you can see, del Valle’s thoughtful, measured, articulate, and in command of the facts. As opposed to the man we elected mayor, who's generally impulsive, brash, retributive, and ignorant about basic things, like test scores in our schools.

Apparently, Chicagoans just got this thing for nasty mayors.

I was thinking about all this when I read the obituaries for Senator George McGovern, who died the other day at the age of 90.

Back in 1972, the voters overwhelmingly elected Richard Nixon over McGovern. Apparently, voters thought McGovern—a bomber pilot in World War II—was too soft to be president because he wanted to end the war in Vietnam.

"I don't think the American people had a clear picture of either Nixon or me," McGovern said in an interview with the New York Times. "I think they thought that Nixon was a strong, decisive, tough-minded guy, and that I was an idealist and antiwar guy who might not attach enough significance to the security of the country. The truth is, I was the guy with the war record, and my opposition to Vietnam was because I was interested in the nation's well-being."

That presidential election worked out about as well for the country as the last mayoral election did for CPS parents, teachers and students.

Remember, Watergate, everybody? "Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell, and Dean—it follows a pattern if you dig what I mean"—any excuse to quote Gil Scott Heron.

With President Nixon as with Mayor Rahm, the voters got what they asked for.

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