Teachers, unions, wooing
The Waco Tribune's David Doerr and Dan Genz write about the political wooing of teachers this year.
How many extra voters can teacher's unions push to the polls? Will they all vote as a bloc? If they don't vote as a bloc, then the influence of any extra voters will be diluted.
Nonetheless, politicians are courting educators because they hold the key to many thousands of votes, said Thomas Myers, a Baylor University associate professor of political science.
"The strength of teachers is in numbers," he said. "Every county, every city has a number of teachers in it. So if your strategy is to go after blocs, that's a fairly big bloc."
The four teachers groups are poised to make a statement in the 2006 elections, said Harvey Kronberg, editor of "The Quorum Report," an online newsletter on Texas politics.
"They all are really fanning the flames to get their people to vote and to communicate that public education and teachers are under assault," he said. "This may be insider myopia, but I think it's going to resonate this time."
Kronberg said opinion polls show a surprising number of people are aware of the failed special sessions and partly blame the problem on the Republicans in charge, including Perry.
Turnout might be higher this year, but I don't see how it will matter, except in a very close election.
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