Election Results

Begin forwarded message:

  To:            CFT Local Presidents

  From:        Marty Hittelman, President

  Date:         2/6/2008

Subject:    Election Results

 The election results are in and Proposition 92 has gone down to defeat. The last result I looked at (with 96% of the precincts reporting) was YES 2,789,400 (43%) to NO 3,747,831 (57%). I think the huge deficit in the State Budget was a decisive factor in our loss. If the California Teachers Association had not joined with the California Chamber of Commerce and the anti-tax people in opposing the proposition, we might have still been able to pass the initiative.

 The fight for Proposition 92 did increase the legislature’s and the public’s awareness of the need to fund community colleges and keep fees low. It also raised awareness of the CFT. Our campaign strengthened our standing among community college employees – including those in the CTA and independent unions. We will make some long term gains based on our support.  

Many locals and individuals did a tremendous job on the campaign. We have built some capacity at the local levels for future campaigns. Carl Friedlander, Dennis Smith, Mona Field, and Dean Murakami should be thanked for leading the way on this proposition. Linda Cushing, Christine Chavez, and Celeste Brown, employed by CFT and AFT for this campaign, also deserve special mention for doing great organizing work.

 My television commercials in opposition to the Indian gambling casinos obviously did not overcome the huge amount of money the 4 tribes spent. The four propositions passed with about 56% of the vote. Again, the television ads and my editorial in the Los Angeles Times did bring the CFT into the public’s eye – hopefully in a positive way. 

Proposition 93 (which we also supported – although without any money) was defeated by a vote of 47% Yes, 53% No. I will be happy to see the Democratic leadership in the Assembly change. Fabian Nunez seems to have lost his way.

 The loss of Proposition 93 will set up the usual scramble for seats and we will likely end up choosing between two friendly Democrats in the June primary. I am already getting calls from candidates seeking our endorsement. The CFT Executive Council will begin discussing endorsement at its meeting this weekend.

 In California, Clinton ended up getting 51.8% of the vote to Obama’s 42.4%. This will likely play out into to a pretty even distribution of delegates. Nationally, the Associated Press has Obama winning 540 delegates on February 5 to Clinton’s 542 delegates. To date, the delegate count is Obama 603 and Clinton 590. Edwards still has 26 delegates.

 The Associated Press has also calculated the total delegates with pledged plus party and elected officials at Clinton 803 and Obama at 742. It will take 2,025 to secure the nomination at the convention. There are still many primaries to be held in the coming weeks and months. The nomination is still very much in doubt.

 Final thought: we don’t have to win every battle in order to win the war.  In Solidarity, Marty Hittelman

President, California Federation of Teachers