NYSUT’s possible endorsement of Republican candidates for State Senate has Democrats worried. Malcolm Smith, Democratic leader of the State Senate, released this statement yesterday:
Senate Democrats are not cutting education funding. The only special interest Senate Democrats care about is New York’s children and we’re going to protect them. The Senate Republicans have been as good for education in New York as Bush has been for the economy. Politician Dean Skelos and the Republican-controlled Senate have protected their special interest fundraising friends instead of taxpayers for 40 years, and now they’re spreading lies because they can’t win with the truth- that they’ve failed New York. This new lie proves it’s really time for change.
In addition to voting on endorsements for 30 Republican candidates, NYSUT board members are also considering endorsing “several Democrats” in state senate races, the Albany Times-Union reports today. “We’re continuing the conversation with leaders of both the parties in the senate,” NYSUT press officer Frank Maurizio just told me.
Voting is underway now on the endorsements, which were released electronically to 70 NYSUT board members, according to the Times-Union. NYSUT staff are reaching out to board members who are on vacation or otherwise unavailable, Maurizio said, and the union anticipates releasing results of the vote by the end of the weekend or Monday.