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Test-driven Reform Supporter David Vitter Is Asking Teachers for Their Money for His 2016 Run for Governor

January 31, 2015

Ain’t it funny how those whose goal is to advance their own political aspirations turn to those they stepped on not even three years ago for money to support self-serving political ambitions?

So goes it with Senator David Vitter (R-LA), who has his eyes set on becoming Louisiana governor in 2016.

In the past three days, I have received three (update: four) emails from the Vitter campaign asking me for part of my frozen teacher paycheck– this from a guy who publicly stated his “outrage” at teachers who are “against education reform.”

Now that being “against” the “reform” known as Common Core might pay off for Vitter, well, that’s a different (Vitter-serving) story.

In August 2014, Vitter was for Common Core. In this July 31, 2014, C-SPAN video, Vitter makes the following comments at around the nine-minute mark:

I strongly support the Common Core standards. When you actually look at the standards, which is what Common Core is about, people who really read them–that may not be a whole, whole, whole lot– but people who actually look at them– I think they are very strong, significant, positive standards. The key is being aggressive at the state level in implementation.

Louisiana Governor Jindal had only two weeks prior come out against the very Common Core he signed Louisiana onto in May 2009. Vitter must have thought that his pro-Common Core position would ingratiate him with pro-Common Core business groups and nonprofits, thus providing him with financial support for a 2016 gubernatorial run.

His about-face attests that he likely found out otherwise– or that riding the pro-Common Core business money wave would not be enough. So much for his implying (he never says so directly) that he “read” the Common Core standards– and so much for “strongly supporting” them.

His “support” for his behind in the Louisiana governor’s mansion apparently proved “stronger.”

The first email I had from the Vitter campaign was on December 1, 2014. At the time, his campaign had not yet posted the self-promoting “Vitter for Governor 2016” logo at the top of his emails. However, it was easy enough to see through his career advancing agenda in he wrote of what he planned to do “as our next governor.”

And just as on July 31, 2014, Vitter was “strongly” pro-Common Core, in his December 1, 2014, email, he changed his “aggressive state level implementation” message to one of “listening to the public” and “fighting for local control.” (See the full text of Vitter’s December 1, 2014, email here.)

As such, he is dangling a Common Core exit in front of the public face.

However, teachers, we would do well to learn a lesson from what Vitter stated in a March 2012 email when teachers went to Baton Rouge to lobby against having their livelihoods tied to student test scores. Here is the entire email, as noted in a KATC article:

In a (sic) email release, U.S. Senator David Vitter blasts teachers for taking off school to attend committee hearings in Baton Rouge. Here is the exact verbatim from the release:

“If you want to know what’s wrong with Louisiana public education, just look at what’s going on in many Louisiana public schools today. Or rather, what’s NOT going on–namely, learning.

In East Baton Rouge, Vermillion, St. Martin, and other systems, the children are being told to stay home–no school, no learning. Why? So that their teachers can be granted a “professional development day” to lobby the legislature AGAINST education reform.

A letter to all Vermillion parish teachers made their marching orders crystal clear: “We want them [the legislators] to know that we do not agree with the [education reform] plan . . .”

As a Louisiana citizen and parent, I’m really outraged. I guess the folks behind this are making their priorities clear–forget the kids; we just care about our tenure protection and benefits.

This is exactly what’s wrong with the system. These folks steal a day of learning from the kids to lobby on the taxpayers’ dime. And what happens? They’re rewarded with a ‘professional development day’ to do it.

As taxpayers and parents, we need to push back and put the focus back on educating Louisiana’s future generations.”

The link above is to an archived copy of the KATC article. But don’t look for it on Google. On December 1, 2014, when I called David Vitter on his hypocrisy, the link went dead.

Fortunately, the Vitter campaign cannot kill archived copies of news reports. Even the 240 comments made it into archive.

Teachers, there is no reason to believe that as governor, David Vitter would support us. None. He has issued no public apology for his 2012 teacher-bashing email. Instead, he only hopes we forget and given him our money, like suckers.

If he really supported “local control” all along, like he tries to sell in his 2014-15 Common Core smooth-over, then he would have valued and supported teachers in 2012.

Note that in his December 1, 2014, campaign email, Vitter still supports high-stakes testing as the ultimate measure of “learning”– and this means that he is offering no indication that he intends to cease measuring teachers and schools based on student tests scores:

…An entrenched few in public education are trying very hard to manipulate the Common Core controversy to greatly weaken or reverse accountability measures.

That would be disastrous, turning back the clock to the failed status quo where learning in the classroom wasn’t truly measured and social promotions were common. [Emphasis added.]

Vitter is not sorry for wanting to measure teachers using student test scores, and he is not sorry regarding his 2012 remarks about teachers having time off to exercise their right to protest test-driven reform to a legislature that holds its session during the school day.

It is not like Vitter is not able to offer public apologies when he feels they will pay off. He did so in 2011, when he was caught for being involved in prostitution– for which he made TIME magazine’s Top Ten Political Sex Scandals.

Furthermore, there is no reason to believe that as governor, he would be able to drop Common Core. Vitter would have to contend with the same Chas Roemer/John White nonsense as Jindal does. A new Louisiana governor does not automatically equal a Common Core exit.

Louisiana teachers, in 2016, Vitter is not our guy.

vitter scandal

Vitter faces his prostitution scandal at a 2011 press conference. 

_______________________________________________

Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of the ed reform whistle blower, A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education.

She is also doing some fundraising related to her second book on the history, development, and promotion of Common Core, due for release in May 2015.   GoFundMe: Schneider

 

 

14 Comments
  1. I had read recently that he entertained some KKK types with lynching ropes near the congressional offices along with Marcia from TN… is that an accurate statement? or, am I off on a tangent here?

  2. cs… KKK types who brought along lynching ropes

  3. Vitter sounds like slime. Unfortunately, that means he may go far in politics. . .

  4. NShrubs permalink

    Vitter is slime. Diapers and prostitutes, and he’s still in office. Clearly he has no shame.

  5. Peggy Schwarz permalink

    Just keep telling it, Mercedes! Everyone else keep spreading the word about who David Vitter is. He does NOT have to be our next governor & if he is the best the LAGOP can offer, then Democrat, John Bel Edwards, a constant supporter of public schools, teachers, state employees & retirees, CAN WIN!

    • This is my plug for John Bel Edwards. He is super smart (#2 in his West Point class and #1 at LSU Law), pro-teacher, anti-Common Core and anti-PARCC, and he has great plans to help Louisiana. I hope Vitter, his diaper, and his prostitute go down in flames.

      • twinkie1cat permalink

        Vitter would be another embarrassment to the state. Yet another bad list for Louisiana. The morality shortage will be a problem with prostitutues in and out the back door of the mansion, but the biggest is just his total lack of professional values and opposing everything that is right and good. We can deal with his personal immorality or should I say, amorality. At least Edwin Edwards was open about his issues. Vitter tried to hide his and hypocrisy is a much worse problem than amorality or immorality. But then Republicans always try to go for the “family values” instead of the issues. And we have a lot of “value voters”.

  6. Only need $300 for the best blog birthday present for Mercedes! Please help out if you can. http://www.gofundme.com/g0ehic

  7. twinkie1cat permalink

    Of course Vitter is not our man. On top of being a Republican and a party boy he stands for the same things as Jindal did with this this little twist about Common Core. Then you have to understand that Jindal supported it until he realized that the GOP was against it. So he flipped. However, since Chas Roemer was handpicked by Jindal, he probably is not really against Common Core, just letting Chas do his dirty work for him. It is, like everything else for Jindal, including his prayer meeting sponsored by a hate group, a political move to enhance his pipedream.

    Our man is John Bel Edwards who has stood by teachers throughout the Jindal administration. And if the teachers will stand by him, perhaps with the help of the fired state employees and hard core Democrats, maybe, just maybe we can get him into office. We did it in Georgia, made Gov. Roy Barnes a one termer, the teachers and the flaggers did. Even though Sonny Perdue who came behindn him was a Republican he behaved himself although I have to say that the guy in there now is a true nut case.

  8. Bridget permalink

    I have an email response from Vitter stating that he strongly supports vouchers also. Mercedes, I would be happy to forward it to you.

  9. amerigus permalink

    MEMORY LANE: Youngsters may not know Vitter somehow miraculously survived his sex scandal – no other Senator ever admitted to hiring prostitutes and stayed in office, so he is a one-of-a-kind in US history. He was aided greatly by the fact that the DC Madam was found hung in a shed, an alleged suicide that has been totally under-investigated.

    But an other offensive moment in Vitter’s career was this exchange below, when he voted to block an amendment to a defense bill that would make rapes of American women by US contractors overseas prosecutable in the US. A woman asked him about his desire to see rape essentially legalized through employment contracts that require victims to go to corporate arbitration instead (no surprise, the arbitrators-for-hire almost never find their clients guilty).

    The amendment was eventually signed into law.

    http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2009/11/02/67340/vitter-rape-franken/

  10. La. Ed. Watcher permalink

    No, he sure isn’t for teachers, and he would also be a disaster for public workers. He’s like Jindal on steroids. Rumor is that his machivellian plan is to convene a Constitutional Convention to roll back the public employee protections for retirement – among other things. Please talk to your family and friends about why it’s important that they DO NOT vote for Vitter for Gov. If for no other reason than if they gut your retirement, you might end up on their couch in your twilight years.

    And DO NOT believe him if he promises to not mess with retirement. See Chris Christie’s campaign promises during his first gubernatorial run – he promised he would not do anything to affect public employee retirement, but that was one of the first things he did upon election.

    This election will be too important to vote for someone just because they have an R or D behind their name.

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