CTA: at it again

Well, the smoke and mirrors campaigners are at it again. This time they’re calling foul on the Prop. 75 proponents. In this article the president of the CTA claims “their campaign rivals broke the law by sending an e-mail to 90,000 schoolteachers at work-site computers claiming that their union is on the verge of bankruptcy.”

At first I was unsure if what they were claiming was illegal was that their opponents lied or misled. That brought scoffs of large laughter from yours truly. Lock up every member of the CTA for aiding and abetting and put every CTA official in a maximum security prision if that’s against the law.

No, what she’s claiming is illegal is that these messages were sent to the teachers work e-mail addresses.

Uh huh…

OK, I’m as big an opponent of spam as there is but this is not spam. Unsolicited mail is not the same thing as spam. If I send a message to my brother asking him if he wants to come to see me sometime, unless he asked me to e-mail him about coming to visit, that message is unsolicited. No, spam is the sending of messages indiscriminately to as many people as possible. Specifically getting the e-mail addresses of a bunch of teachers and sending them a message about their union is not spam, it’s politics.

But that’s not really what the CTA boss is trying to get them on. There is a clause in the California Education code that says you can’t misuse equipment that belongs to the school. By sending a bunch of e-mails to the teachers at their work computers, a bunch of computers were “misused”.

What a hunk of bunk. If the e-mails had been sent from a school computer, you might be able to claim that. But the schools setup these accounts so that the teachers can receive outside messages that are relevant to their job. It’s hard to argue that this e-mail is not relevant.

What the CTA is REALLY upset about is that it is targeting its members. This is really a turf war.

Furthermore, the point about bankruptcy is more viable than one would think. Here’s the scenario: The CTA is paying $50 million to stop Prop. 75. However, they don’t have this money right now. So they’re assessing the teachers $60 each for the next 3 years. That’s where the problem comes in. If 75 passes, they could be in a situation where the majority of their union members opt out of the political campaign contributions. Since that $50 million can not come from regular dues, they could conceivably have a $50 million dollar bill they can’t pay. Add this to the fact that they already have $34 million in outstanding loans and you can see why they could (and the operative word is could) be in real trouble if Prop. 75 passes. Toss in the fact that the actual statement in the e-mail is “Our current leadership is on the verge of bankrupting the CTA to fund a political agenda that many of us do not support.” and one can see why the content of the message if far from deceptive.

Need it be any more clear why the CTA is going to do whatever it takes including morgage it’s future to defeat Prop. 75? They will lie; they will deceive; they will call foul over minor or false things; they will distract; they will demonize; they will smear; they will scream at the top of their lungs; they will do WHATEVER it takes.

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