Following our report on her support of a controversial ballot measure, Los Angeles Democrat Gloria Romero asked The State Worker to expand on why she drew fire from teachers' unions when she served in the state Assembly and Senate.
The former Senate majority leader's request came after we reported that Romero supports Proposition 32, the campaign contributions reform initiative on the November ballot.
Our Monday post noted that the former state Senate Majority Leader has championed charter schools, which drew fire from teachers' unions. But Romero wanted to be sure that State Worker blog readers understand that organized labor's opposition to her runs deeper.
In a follow-up email to our Monday telephone conversation, Romero said this:
The ire of the teachers union was less about charter schools than it was about my support for President Obama's Race to the Top program. This entailed dropping the firewall which had existed, making us unable to link teacher performance with student outcomes. ... While I supported quality charters, the real fight was over RTTT and the Obama and (U.S.) Secretary (of Education Arne) Duncan's embrace of higher accountability ...
Romero's endorsement of the measure was notable, since she is the first prominent Democrat to endorse Prop. 32.
Labor organizations don't like the initiative for its ban on union and corporate payroll deductions as a means to fund political efforts, since that's the unions' chief means of raising political funds.
Corporations play in politics with donations from executives and money from company funds. Prop. 32 wouldn't affect those means of funding political efforts.
The measure also would prohibit unions and corporations from contributing directly to campaigns, although they could continue funding independent expenditures.