Rotten to Its Core
I was an “Apple Ballot” voter. I believed “the teachers” chose the candidates on that ballot. I believed politics was not involved. Raise your hand if you, too, were an “Apple Ballot” voter. While your hand is in the air, promise to NEVER again vote the “Apple Ballot.”
Now raise your hand if you know the dirty little secrets hidden in the “Apple Ballot.”
For those of you with your hands in your laps, here’s what the Frederick County Teachers Association doesn’t want you to know.
A Political Action Committee (PAC) puts that ballot together. In and of themselves, PACs aren’t too concerning, but in a race that is supposed to be bipartisan, a Political Action Committee is a bad thing. Each has a political agenda and will rarely, if ever, present both sides of an issue fairly; it’s not to their benefit.
The Apple agenda is a means to the union’s ends. Its selections aren’t those candidates who are best for the students; they are who’s best for the union.
The following 13 people decide who goes on the “Apple Ballot:” Missy Dirks, Patty Madert, Casey Day-Kells, Jonathan Araujo, Charlie Berry, Toni Border, Tina Brako, Jessica Fitzwater, Justin Heid, Ann Kulcheski, Kevin Mints, Adam Umak and Gary Brennan. The common theme is most, if not all of them, are Democrats. Again, not concerning in politics, but in education, you aren’t supposed to be partisan.
Those 13 are the Board of Directors of the Frederick County Teachers Association. These people decide who is worthy of “consideration” to be on the ballot, meaning, if these 13 don’t like you, the teachers don’t even get to vote on you. Almost always their picks are Democrats. Occasionally you get a “Republican in Name Only” (RINO), i.e., Rich Vallaster; or a Republican who is good at baloney, i.e., Billy Shreve.
Brad Young, who is probably the most universally appealing candidate in the current race for the Frederick County Board of Education, and a current school board member, wasn’t put up for a vote by the teachers. He was a union pick his first election, but once they saw he was his own man, they disavowed him. He is not a choice for our teachers even though he’s the most knowledgeable and respectful member of the board.
I’m offended that the public has for decades been manipulated into believing two things: “all” the teachers vote for who goes on the “Apple Ballot;” and they are choosing from “all” available candidates. That’s not what happens.
Unions love manipulating the public. Let’s take Thurmont Middle School, Language Arts teacher, Adam Umak. He sits on the Frederick County Teachers Association board and is one of the “chosen” who gets to decide for his fellow teachers who they are “allowed” (expected) to vote for. He might be a great guy and teacher, but in keeping with the separation of education and politicking, he’s stepped way over the line.
It was recently discovered that Mr. Umak’s Frederick County Public Schools directory listing had a link on it that took his students to his personal web site.
This web site is chock full of anti-Republican rhetoric. Mr. Umak’s students were (before Frederick County Public Schools officials made him remove the link), forced to go to that site to get class and course information. They were manipulated into having to read his political bias and rabid dislike of Republicans and especially current County Commissioner Kirby Delauter.
Per the terms of the teacher contract, politicking is not allowed on school property. Mr. Umak knows this, but disregards it.
Voters need to be aware that this is the mindset that chooses who is on the “Apple Ballot.” Most of them are biased, liberally ideological and rabidly anti-conservative. If that’s how you vote, that’s fine.
However, moderate and conservative voters need to know this is how the “Apple Ballot” works: 13 very political and liberally charged individuals decide who is worthy of the ballot. Those pre-chosen candidates are then put before the teachers to vote on. No one knows how many votes are cast on this preferred list by teachers. Many teachers don’t vote because they don’t like their candidates pre-selected for them.
It doesn’t really matter, because in the end, if the “Chosen” don’t like the teacher choices, they can override those and insert whomever they want. Oligarchy in action.
On Election Day, remember the Apple is rotten, throw it away.