Since this is the fourth in a recent series of e-mails I have sent on the subject of our Party's relationship with Paul Hubbert and his teacher's union, it might be that there is need to review the earlier ones. You can find them as follows:
Meanwhile Paul Hubbert continues to make no secret of his contempt for us. In an article for his union's house organ he blasts "the extremist right wing of the Republican Party," with special emphasis on the Eagle Forum and Christian Coalition. He is especially concerned that the latter testified against an early childhood program that would take children out of their homes at a tender age and put them in the public schools, where they would be under the influence of member's of his union. He, unbelievably, cited as an objection the testimony that said "the place for young children was at home with their mother who should provide instruction on moral and other things the child needed to learn." We should have no association with any such as this who stand in clear opposition to our values. Most certainly we should not be taking any of Hubbert's payola.
Please take a moment to read an excellent article written by Jim Jackson of Huntsville. You will find his article here:
I continue to get mail from concerned Republicans, and the latest e-mails are reproduced below. But my list is incomplete and I need your help. Please send me such addresses as you can so that we can enrich this discussion with as many of us as we can. I am especially interested in members of the various county committees.
Madison County, Place 1
State Executive Committee
Excellent letter by Hugh McInnish! And the content is RIGHT ON!
I enjoy receiving your e-mails.
As an elected Republican Board of Education member, I know that the AEA and Paul Hubbert are the primary reasons for the sorrow state of education in Alabama. I hope that the Governor will realize that Hubbert, the AEA, and Hank Sanders are not his friends and will stab him in the back at every opportunity.
It looks like you stirred up a hornets nest. I note that the noisy minority writes the longest comments, but there are many more silent majority replies.
Also, unless the law has been changed recently, when a person takes a job with the Alabama school system, he/she is automatically a dues payer to the AEA. They can only get out of it by making the request during a very brief period of time during the year. That period of time is not well advertised.
Initially, I had decided not to respond in any manner to your remarks. Perhaps, after seeing the response of others, I feel a little bit like the Mel Gibson character in "The Patriot". I have already fought many hard battles, and have currently become content to deal with the more important issue of completing the job of raising my family (both biological and spiritually extended family). One sincere caution that I have is to avoid any contribution to strife. Strife is a killer to any individual, or any organization, and a political party is prime breeding ground for strife simply by its inherent nature. Consequently, I offer the following remarks and hope, if they are read by others, they are received in the spirit for which they are intended. Foremost is the interest and success of our great party, the outstanding, talented, and wonderful Alabamians who comprise both its membership and leadership, and, ultimately, its virtuous ideals.
This is not the only issue to which our party needs to conduct internal examination of its core philosophies. Some advocate that the purpose (the "only" purpose) of the party is merely to win elections for Republicans. That is a noble and admirable purpose if, indeed, those Republicans, once they get into office, implement policy and govern under Republican principles. Maybe I should clarify that and say "conservative" principles. However, if all we are going to do is simply shift the balance of power in name only, and not simultaneously shift the philosophical view of government, perhaps our party is the right place for the unprincipled that merely wish to "buy" into the party-in-control, to the detriment of that party's fundamental values. One need only look to the history of the Democrat party and its demise to see the likely effect such infiltrations will eventually yield in the Republican party.
Nearly three years ago, I watched with utter disgust as an even more fundamental issue was discussed in Shelby County. A resolution was placed before out county party which, stated simply, called for the termination of a 1-cent sales tax (one, by the way, that was about to be "sunset" by law, but one for which the special interests wanted to resuscitate in order to keep feeding the insatiable appetite of government), and furthermore called on Republican officials (all but one in Shelby County are Republicans, so we can't shift the blame to the Democrats on this one) to hold the line on any and all tax increases, regardless of the proposed reason or justification.>p> The sickening result outcome of particular incident was not that a resolution to oppose tax increases failed. To the contrary, it did pass, and in fact, the outcome was not even in doubt. The troubling aspect was that, in a Republican Executive Committee meeting in Shelby County, 17 members were recorded on record as believing we were not taxed enough and need to either retain the soon-to-be-sunset sales tax, or in the event it was not extended, immediately pass another tax to replace it, without the sunset provisions. I might add that of the 17 who opposed the resolution to hold the line/reduce taxes, all were either (1) public officials, (2) employees of government, or (3) immediate family members of public officials or employees of government.
The summary of this story is the point I wish to make in concurrence with your remarks about the AEA and all that issue represents. In the Shelby County incident just described, we were not debating "divisive" (funny, how anything that comes from conservative Christians and takes a stand for principles and virtues is deemed "divisive") issues such as abortion, or school prayer, or some other like matter of "irrelevant" or "secondary" importance to the running of government, or more importantly, the implementation of all of our party's philosophy of government. No, we were not debating seemingly controversial issues. The issue of discussion was TAXES, and we could not even come to a consensus of opinion, among Republicans (???) that Americans, Alabamians, and Shelby Countians were taxed enough (most conservatives would say TOO MUCH). That was appalling, and extremely discouraging to conservatives within our party.
Since that time, I have seen other matters (particularly personal ones) that are of far greater importance, magnitude, and even eternal value take my attention from both party matters (i.e. fundraising dinners such as the one described in your letter), and even the campaign process into which I am customarily totally immersed. Perhaps those matters are indeed more important, and as we see our party begin to allow its fundamental philosophies to disintegrate, more "grass roots" conservatives will wander away, maybe not with their votes, but certainly with their zeal and enthusiasm.
These remarks are not intended to spark anything other than a healthy and realistic introspection as to what our party truly stands for, if anything other than "just electing Republicans". Quite frankly, I have seen (for a dozen years now) in Shelby County the results we can expect to from our state party's efforts if we continue to operate in such a void of ideals. Sure, we can elect Republicans (again, I cite Shelby County as the example). But when it comes down to putting those fundamental principles into the policy of government, the philosophies frequently (again, Shelby County as the example) get skewed back in the direction of Democratic status quo and not in the true reform in the "thinking" and "action" of government. Since 1988, this county has seen more than a half dozen tax increases considered, proposed, or reaching referendum stage. All of those proposals were made by governing bodies in which all, or nearly all, were "republicans".
Perhaps with the emergence of this AEA issue, it would be appropriate to make an analysis of what the heck are we doing with all of our time, ability, resources, and more importantly, what we think is the "right" way to do government, if, at the end of each election cycle we are both victorious (elect Republicans to office) and defeated (fail or refuse to change government to reflect "conservative" ideals and principles
I don't for a minute believe that the two issues (AEA philosophy and apparent lack of principles on other matters, especially seemingly fundamental issues such as taxes) are unrelated, nor is there presence coincidental.
I have received your emails through [name deleted] and am excited that you are bringing this issue up. I serve as the Chairman of the [name deleted] County Republican Party and I serve on the State Executive Committee. Please add me to your list. I support our Party coordinating our efforts to spotlight Paul Hubbert's connection to the "education crisis" we face in Alabama. We must go on the offensive against Paul Hubbert and his union. He is to the legislature what Jere Beasley was to the Supreme Court 15 years ago. And like Jere Beasley, Paul should be extracted. . . .
I have followed public education in Alabama for some time, and I have found that one of the biggest problems, probably the biggest, is the teacher's union. Paul Hubbert and Joe Reed have done a magnificent job of stacking the legislature and most of the school boards with members of his union -- almost all of whom are liberals. The education system in Alabama has become more of a job program than an education institution. The effect has been to provide job security for a lot of mediocre people whose primary interest is their salaries and benefits. The education of the children seems to be almost an afterthought.
The education system in Alabama spends more time answering to bureaucrats than it does to parents. The fight against any improvements, such as choice and competency testing, indicates their real interest.
Our only hope is for conservatives like us to highlight the damage to our children by pointing the figure at those who are perpetuating a system that is badly broken, by those who continue to demand more money that simply rewards failure and by those who will not allow the changes that are needed to develop a first class education system in Alabama.
Your call for the Alabama Republican Party to disavow itself from the AEA is right on track. Thank you for your efforts.
By the way, I have reviewed the recent report of The Alabama Public Education Unified Coalition, entitled Alabama Public Education: Standing at the Crossroads. As usual, it is simply another attempt by Paul Hubbert and his crowd to extract more money from the people of Alabama for the same old tired system built by the AEA.
I am a member of the GBYR Young Republicans. I am not a teacher, and do not know much about the politics of the AEA other than having the following opinions:
1)Taking political contributions from groups who do not agree with you is not unethical. Those groups are gambling to make sure they include themselves in the "process" -they are Americans and have the right to participate in the process. On the other hand, Republicans are not obligated to revise or edit their opinions or policy because these groups do not like what we say. We cannot be held hostage to any group because they have contributed money to us, it is a group's own responsibility for the members to hold the leadership accountable for its own contributions and actions.
We should not compromise our positions, or modify our language or public statements for any reason unless it is agreed upon by a majority of the executive committee in the interests of Alabama Republicans. I have not seen the ads, but I am appalled that an Executive Committee member would even begin to imply to Paul Hubbert -whom most Republicans vehemently disagree with on the subject of education-that our public communications regarding education would be curbed or modified if they offend him!
2) Courting groups like the AEA leadership who obviously disagree with Republican politics and philosophy may only be helpful if we are courting the dissidents of the current AEA policy ( much like funding anti-Saddam efforts in Iraq). We are dealing with people with whom we have fundamental disagreements on social, economic, and in many cases spiritual issues, they do not understand our logic.Bypass the leadership and go for the grass-roots members who have the same values as we do.
3)I believe the educational system is corrupt. Paul Hubbert and other beaurocrats are only interested in maintaining the status quo -including protecting jobs and salaries of friends, and garnering public opinion for self-interests. I believe it is so bad that the governor should declare a state of emergency for education, freeze all raises and increases of expenditures-demand compliance with a budget, force accountability of administrators, and suspend staff returning to jobs if their area of responsibility is found out of compliance.
4) I believe the school system should be required to manage the money it is given, and it is a travesty the waste that abounds...there should be money available for basic school needs such as toilet paper and supplies, desks, and books, parents should not be required to provide these items- this is ridiculous since taxpayers are paying for our schools anyway.
5)I believe we need to lower the teacher to student ratio, so if anyone gets raises eventually, it should be teachers, not beaurocrats.Volunteers in positions of leadership over teachers would do a better job, and not require large salaries or limousines.
6) Recruit the teachers to our side by asking groups of teachers to attend our functions for free, they have been given misinformation in the interest of present AEA leadership.In fact, we could have filled that table that the AEA paid for with some of those teachers.Yes, they have been brainwashed for years and it will take time. Prove our good will-give each teacher the assurance and money that they need to make sure they have the necessities/resources for a successful school year. Teachers overwhelmingly say their own classrooms are under-financed, and they worry about having basic supplies-that is why they believe "education is underfunded" as Democrats say.
7) It is time to win the debate on education, we already won the lottery issue- we just need to reevaluate our strategy and call Paul's bluff. The other side is not that smart, they are just unethical and we seem apathetic.
I applaud your intent to put this concern about the AEA in the light and expose some issues! I do agree with much of the Eagle Forum platform, and I believe it would be a good idea to make use of such an informed and enthusiastic resource.
Many, many thanks.
great assessment of the situation. Teachers have become Gods in their own little kingdoms, much like small town mayors.
But here's something that you will like... The polling bureau of the AEA, maybe just one of them is The [name deleted] Group of Homewood, which is a liberally-based and Democrat-party supported institution. Their president, [name deleted] is a big liberal who will tell falseys to your face. He and his son recently went on a Scout campout with us to Opp, we camped in Florala at the state park. At dinner I told him I had known about his "push polling of senior citizens" during the '98, '00 and '02 elections. He quickly denied it, saying that his surveys were not like that at all. Well, when you call and target 65 and older Americans with messages that transfer the message that Republicans were going to "do away with Social Security" it scares the hell out of them. He said they did nothing like that. A lie. I know someone who used to work there and they said if ever one of their surveys ever got out they would be immediately fired and sued, threatened,etc. This is the same Group that Bill Clinton hired to do his work in '98 (The year of the largest black turnout in US history and another hot-box tactic year). That year, is the year Clinton and Don King bought several Jeep Grand Cherokees and gave to the Southern Democrat state organizations through the Voting Rights Museum, which kept anyone from complaining because then you'd be called a racist if you interfered with their "raffle". The raffle of '98 touched Jefferson County big time in '98. We almost lost our Republican Sheriff to that close vote.
Anyway, back to your argument. Yes, the AEA needs to be challenged and creating an antithesis to their monopoly would be the way to go. Many teachers would face retribution, they would need to be very secretive until it was all organized, they wouldn't be able to vocalize at work, only after or during the summer months. Let me know how this is going, I might want to help out.
Recently, my daughter had a kindegarten teacher who has been incompetent for years and when my wife organized parents to have her brought up for review (the teacher was tenured) and present the facts, it was all cutoff by the principal and the teacher was allowed to continue unhindered. My daughter suffered the trauma of not being able to read as well as the other children in other classes as well as being subjected to mental and physical abuse by the teacher, screaming loudly to the point of making the children cry, grabbing of arms, discipline that reached beyond the treatment of 5-6 year olds. She was just overboard,not to mention not doing her job. She couldn't teach the children and they suffered. Problem is this wasn't a one time thing, it had been going on for years in the best elementary school in Alabama. If this is our best, what is our worst ?