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Thu July 3, 2014
Quinn Gets Teacher Union Nod
Unions were upset with Governor Pat Quinn for his role in Illinois' pension overhaul. But that didn't stop the state's largest teachers' union from endorsing him.
The Illinois Education Association hasn't even had a year to get over the legislative equivalent of a knife-in-the-back.
Though the IEA endorsed Quinn in the 2010 governor's race, he both advocated for, and signed, the law that reduces public school teachers' pensions.
Even so, the union's directors unanimously chose him over Republican challenger Bruce Rauner.
That means Quinn will be propped up with campaign contributions. But IEA spokesman Charles McBarron says given Rauner's fundraising advantage, the real perk of the endorsement is the strength of the union's 130,000 members.
"So the most important contribution our member can make, and will make, will come in terms of boots on the ground, in terms of knocking on doors, in terms of doing phone banking, in terms of talking to their friends and relatives about the need to elect Pat Quinn, a true supporter of education," he said.
Rauner has criticized Quinn overseeing cuts in state education funding.
So where did he go wrong with the IEA?
Though he has since dropped the line, in the primary Rauner continually talked about thwarting the power of "government union bosses." He's also a big supporter of charter schools.