In New York City, the United Federation of Teachers union declined to endorse a candidate for Mayor. Though, a group within the UFT, called ICE, has made an interesting endorsement: They ask members to vote for anybody on the ballot, except incumbent Mayor Bloomberg. Because there are 8 candidates on the ballot — including 5 running solely on a third party line — that endorsement should help the numbers for third parties.
An article about the endorsement appeared in City Hall News (see link below). It is interesting that the article left out the list of other candidates. The other candidates on the ballot are:
William C. Thompson (Dem., Working Families), Stephen Christopher (Conservative), Francisca “Frances” Villar (Party for Socialism and Liberation), Dan Fein (Socialist Workers), Billy Talen (Green), Jimmy McMillan (Rent is Too High), Joseph Dobrian (Libertarian).
(excerpt from) City Hall News
Despite UFT Neutrality, Splinter Group Instructs Members To Oppose Bloomberg
By Andrew J. Hawkins
This year, the powerful United Federation of Teachers skipped endorsing in the mayor’s race.
But a small, dissident faction within the union has decided to break ranks, calling the UFT’s silence a sell-out.
So who did the group of rabble-rousers lift up their voices for?
“The decision to sit out the contest between Michael Bloomberg and his opponents speeds us to the brink of more disasters,” the dissident group, Independent Community of Educators (ICE), said in a statement, adding however, “It is difficult to offer [Democrat Bill] Thompson unqualified support when he has thrown support to mayoral control and supports much of the underlying corporate agenda for education.”
Their advice? Vote for anyone on the ballot. Anyone not named Michael Bloomberg, that is…
Observers interpreted the UFT’s decision to stay out of the race as a calculated move to shield the union during its ongoing contract negotiations with the city or as an effort to remain neutral in deference to the entreaties of the campaign…
Other ICE members explain their decision to say something stems from a larger discontent among city teachers with the Bloomberg administration.
“Even though the union is neutral, the average teacher is against [Bloomberg],” said Norman Scott, a retired teacher, education blogger and member of ICE. “Most teachers are saying, ‘What choice do we have? Bloomberg’s probably going to win, and if we oppose him we might not get our contract.’”…