Back in July, the Maine Education Association - the 25,000-member union representing Maine's teachers and other educators (including my wife) - announced it would endorse Democrat Tom Allen in his bid to unseat two-term Republican US Senator Susan Collins. At the time, union executive director Chris Galgay said Allen's "views are closest to the hearts of educators and his record of
support for our issues is outstanding."
But this week, NEA Today, the magazine published by the National Education Association (the country's umbrella teachers' union), took a slightly different tone, suggesting the endorsement was less about Allen's views (which are fundamentally the same as Collins's - they both are graded "A" on the NEA's Legislative Report Card).
It turns out the union was more interested in Allen's party membership, according to the magazine:
"Incumbent Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican, has a fine record on public education - but so does her opponent, U.S. Rep. Tom Allen, a Democrat. The difference is that if Allen's elected, the Democratic Party has a chance to create a majority in the Senate, and that could make a big different in their effectiveness."
That's a nice way to treat a man who's really not doing well in the polls at all - tell him you don't like him for himself, but for the people he hangs with.