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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Teachers union can't decide between Crist and Meek

Isn't making a dual endorsement kind of like making no endorsement? The 140,000-member Florida Education Association today recommended Charlie Crist and Kendrick Meek for the U.S. Senate. The FEA will NOT** be pushing the full AFL-CIO to also issue a joint recommendation.

“Kendrick Meek has always been a strong backer of public education and our positions for as long as he’s been a public service. He has always supported our schools and its employees,” said FEA President Andy Ford. “We wouldn’t have the class size provisions in the Florida Constitution without Kendrick’s tireless work to get that on the ballot and to win its approval. We know Kendrick would be welcome addition to the U.S. Senate.

“Gov. Charlie Crist took bold action this year in bucking the leaders of his former political party and listening to the teachers and parents of Florida when he vetoed Senate Bill 6 and set the stage for a better Florida application in the federal Race to the Top grant,” Ford said. “S.B. 6 energized teachers and parents throughout the state and Crist’s actions showed so many Floridians that their voices count. We think an independent Charlie Crist working for Floridians would also be a great asset in the Senate.”

Mike Bender reports that Kendrick Meek gave a rousing speech to the AFL-CIO that could have sealed the endorsement for him: “No one should be able to come in at the last moment to serve his or her politics and say that, ‘I’m your friend...I don’t just want your vote, I need your full support. Members should not have to walk in to the halls when I walk through and say ‘This is one of our co-endorsed candidates.’ Co? What’s that? You’re either walking or you’re running. There’s no jogging.”

**The original post incorrectly said the FEA would push the AFL-CIO to also do joint endorsement.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:39am]


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