Let’s get this out of the way immediately: Gary Jeandron is a Republican.
According to a $435,000 advertising campaign launched by the California Faculty Association, Gary Jeandron also “supports ruthless cuts to the state’s educational institutions in order to help solve the budget crisis.” In this piece published in the California State University student newspaper about the CFA’s advertising campaign, Jeandron told the reporter, “No one from CFA talked to me.” Without bothering to ask the candidate, the union dubbed him the education anti-Christ. Maybe no one from the CFA in charge of the union’s “Flunk the Republicans” advertising campaign noticed that Gary Jeandron is also an adjunct faculty member and a member of his local school board.
I hear you sighing. The union officials went to Jeandron’s web site and got all the evidence necessary to ascertain that he would, indeed, “support ruthless cuts to the state’s educational institutions.” I had the same thought, so I visited Jeandron’s campaign site. Irritatingly, there is nothing about his campaign platform on the site. If I wanted to know what Gary Jeandron thought about making “ruthless cuts” to state education budgets, I’d have to send him an email, or get him on the phone and ask him directly.
I am wondering why officials from the CFA didn’t do just that before they launched their advertising campaign. Maybe Gary Jeandron would support cuts to education, or maybe he wouldn’t. He told the reporter from the California State University student newspaper that he does not, in fact, “plan on cutting education.” Ok. Maybe he’s just telling the folks what they want to hear, but so is the CFA by neglecting to ask Jeandron about his position on the issue before targeting him in the union’s “Flunk the Assembly Republicans” ad campaign.
And if Jeandron gets elected? Maybe he’s a forgiving soul. Lord knows most politicians have the angelic natures of saints. Maybe he won’t hold the union’s smear of him and blatant partisanship against it when the time comes to vote on money for adjuncts and education, or resolutions that further and/or protect the rights of higher education union members in California. California unions went whole hog and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars supporting the Democratic candidate for governor in the last election cycle. Ahhhrnold recently slammed higher education, including the CFT and CFA membership, with $1.3 billion in budget cuts. Those cuts cost part-time faculty union members and lecturers their jobs at many schools throughout the state.
I’m not saying California’s Governator targeted higher education because the state’s higher education unions targeted him, but it doesn’t take Wile E. Coyote to figure out that getting involved in partisan politics is a dangerous game—a game higher education unions are playing with tens of millions of dollars in union dues each year.
Lila Jacobs, education professor and president of the CFA’s Sacramento State chapter said: “We want to let the greater community know who supports higher education and who doesn’t.”
If only she really knew.