Davis Teachers Association Backs Off Endorsements

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Back in September, it appeared that the Davis Teachers Association had endorsed school board candidates Joe Spector and Susan Lovenburg. However, after a series of votes, the DTA decided to back off the original endorsement and has decided not to endorse anyone in the school board race. Interestingly enough, the Vanguard became privy to this information a week and a half ago following the September 25 vote, but was asked not to report on it.

Yesterday’s Davis Enterprise however, reported on the entire dealings.

The Political Action Committee had originally unanimously endorsed Susan Lovenburg and Joe Spector. The endorsement was viewed as controversial by some of the membership. An election was held at Korematsu which confirmed the original endorsements, but they had low turnout at that meeting and Rep Council made the motion to have another election, and hold it at the school sites where there would be more representation.

At this point, a vote was taken as to whether to endorse both Susan Lovenburg and Joe spector, both names were placed together, and that was rejected by the narrowest of margins–five vote separating the yes and no votes. As a result there was yet another election, but this basically confirmed the results of the second election.

The decision has been made not to endorse in the school board race, instead they have decided to focus their energy on Measure Q and contract negotiations. 98% of the membership voted to endorse Measure Q.

The Vanguard spoke by email with each of the candidates for a reaction.

Richard Harris:

“I had a number of teachers contact me and say they were upset with the entire process. Apparently they did something about it.”

Bob Schelen said that he has respect for both the teachers on the endorsement committee and the DTA, and does not believe it appropriate to comment on an internal policy matter.

That said he said:

“I would urge teachers that live in the District and those that support teachers to cast one of their two votes for me. School budgets and teacher salaries matter, I will work to give teachers the tools they need to teach our children so they can compete for 21st Century jobs.”

Susan Lovenburg also refused to add to the coverage in the Davis Enterprise, similarly suggesting that she was not privy to the inner workings of the DTA.

She did add:

“I am pleased, however, to have received the support of the California School Employees Association. They endorsed my candidacy at their meeting last Thursday.”

Joe Spector who had originally been endorsed in the process was most outspoken in his reaction:

“I fully understand how the political process of the Davis Teachers Association works, having been a contract negotiator for my union for ten of my 25 years in the DTA. While I am honored that the Political Action Committee and the Representative Council recommended me for endorsement to the general membership, I am of course disappointed that a mere 5 votes prevented the leadership recommendation from being ratified. As a member of the Davis School Board, I will continue to support the dedicated teachers and staff of the DJUSD.”

Meanwhile, speaking of endorsements, the Davis Enterprise has endorsed Susan Lovenburg and Richard Harris for school board. I have never been fully comfortable with the concept of a newspaper endorsing candidates particularly in non-partisan, local races. Indeed, the Vanguard is remaining neutral in this race and shall make no endorsement. Ironically, the Vanguard has been accused of bias while the Enterprise purports to be fair and impartial.

Frankly, the Enterprise endorsement has always been a bit suspect in my mind. In 2004, they endorsed Stephen Souza and Don Saylor for City Council. In 2005, they endorsed Yes on Measure X. In 2006, they endorsed Ruth Asmundson and Mike Levy for City Council, Jeff Reisig for District Attorney, Matt Rexroad for County Supervisor, as well as Yes on Measure K for Target.

The Vanguard will have an election edition as we get closer to the election, it will likely feature statements from all four the candidates and let the reader’s decide who they want to support.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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64 thoughts on “Davis Teachers Association Backs Off Endorsements”

  1. Anonymous

    Given that Harris was not going to be originally supported by the DTA, it’s no surprise that he has a negative slant towards the process. I am sure he would have been singing a different tune had he been given the ‘green’ light.

    I wonder if he is similarly concerned about the Enterprise’s endorsement of him?

  2. Anonymous

    Given that Harris was not going to be originally supported by the DTA, it’s no surprise that he has a negative slant towards the process. I am sure he would have been singing a different tune had he been given the ‘green’ light.

    I wonder if he is similarly concerned about the Enterprise’s endorsement of him?

  3. Anonymous

    Given that Harris was not going to be originally supported by the DTA, it’s no surprise that he has a negative slant towards the process. I am sure he would have been singing a different tune had he been given the ‘green’ light.

    I wonder if he is similarly concerned about the Enterprise’s endorsement of him?

  4. Anonymous

    Given that Harris was not going to be originally supported by the DTA, it’s no surprise that he has a negative slant towards the process. I am sure he would have been singing a different tune had he been given the ‘green’ light.

    I wonder if he is similarly concerned about the Enterprise’s endorsement of him?

  5. Richard Livingston

    The DTA couldn’t even endorse one of its own members, Mr. Spector, a former negotiator for this very association, note I did not call it a union. The teachers should revolt against this lack of sound leadership. As a former President of DTA and a life time CTA, and NEA member I am appalled by the such spineless politics.

  6. Richard Livingston

    The DTA couldn’t even endorse one of its own members, Mr. Spector, a former negotiator for this very association, note I did not call it a union. The teachers should revolt against this lack of sound leadership. As a former President of DTA and a life time CTA, and NEA member I am appalled by the such spineless politics.

  7. Richard Livingston

    The DTA couldn’t even endorse one of its own members, Mr. Spector, a former negotiator for this very association, note I did not call it a union. The teachers should revolt against this lack of sound leadership. As a former President of DTA and a life time CTA, and NEA member I am appalled by the such spineless politics.

  8. Richard Livingston

    The DTA couldn’t even endorse one of its own members, Mr. Spector, a former negotiator for this very association, note I did not call it a union. The teachers should revolt against this lack of sound leadership. As a former President of DTA and a life time CTA, and NEA member I am appalled by the such spineless politics.

  9. Anonymous

    Actually, if you read Harris’ comments, he didn’t directly say antyhing “negative” about the process. He said that some teachers contacted him and weren’t happy about the process. At the same time, it’s still clear that he wasn’t pleased with the first outcome of the recommendation. I, for one, am very concerned about candidates like Harris and Schleen who have little true knowledge of the school district (compared to Lovenberg and Spector, for example) and look prepared to utilize the school board as their step towards higher office. Harris’ comments in the Enterprise last week (Thursday?) came across as political non-speak with no specifics and a lot of generalities. Personally, he came by my house a few weeks ago seeking support and I was very surprised at how arrogant, distant, and off-putting he was. It’s not that I expect to have my butt kissed, but at the same time, one would expect a political candidate seeking votes to be a little more accommodating and polite. Instead, he was gruff and cocky. Telling my wife that “I’m Richard Harris and you probably know me from the Enterprise. A lot of your neighbors are voting for me and you should too” isn’t exactly my idea of a way to solicit support. My two cents anyways…

  10. Anonymous

    Actually, if you read Harris’ comments, he didn’t directly say antyhing “negative” about the process. He said that some teachers contacted him and weren’t happy about the process. At the same time, it’s still clear that he wasn’t pleased with the first outcome of the recommendation. I, for one, am very concerned about candidates like Harris and Schleen who have little true knowledge of the school district (compared to Lovenberg and Spector, for example) and look prepared to utilize the school board as their step towards higher office. Harris’ comments in the Enterprise last week (Thursday?) came across as political non-speak with no specifics and a lot of generalities. Personally, he came by my house a few weeks ago seeking support and I was very surprised at how arrogant, distant, and off-putting he was. It’s not that I expect to have my butt kissed, but at the same time, one would expect a political candidate seeking votes to be a little more accommodating and polite. Instead, he was gruff and cocky. Telling my wife that “I’m Richard Harris and you probably know me from the Enterprise. A lot of your neighbors are voting for me and you should too” isn’t exactly my idea of a way to solicit support. My two cents anyways…

  11. Anonymous

    Actually, if you read Harris’ comments, he didn’t directly say antyhing “negative” about the process. He said that some teachers contacted him and weren’t happy about the process. At the same time, it’s still clear that he wasn’t pleased with the first outcome of the recommendation. I, for one, am very concerned about candidates like Harris and Schleen who have little true knowledge of the school district (compared to Lovenberg and Spector, for example) and look prepared to utilize the school board as their step towards higher office. Harris’ comments in the Enterprise last week (Thursday?) came across as political non-speak with no specifics and a lot of generalities. Personally, he came by my house a few weeks ago seeking support and I was very surprised at how arrogant, distant, and off-putting he was. It’s not that I expect to have my butt kissed, but at the same time, one would expect a political candidate seeking votes to be a little more accommodating and polite. Instead, he was gruff and cocky. Telling my wife that “I’m Richard Harris and you probably know me from the Enterprise. A lot of your neighbors are voting for me and you should too” isn’t exactly my idea of a way to solicit support. My two cents anyways…

  12. Anonymous

    Actually, if you read Harris’ comments, he didn’t directly say antyhing “negative” about the process. He said that some teachers contacted him and weren’t happy about the process. At the same time, it’s still clear that he wasn’t pleased with the first outcome of the recommendation. I, for one, am very concerned about candidates like Harris and Schleen who have little true knowledge of the school district (compared to Lovenberg and Spector, for example) and look prepared to utilize the school board as their step towards higher office. Harris’ comments in the Enterprise last week (Thursday?) came across as political non-speak with no specifics and a lot of generalities. Personally, he came by my house a few weeks ago seeking support and I was very surprised at how arrogant, distant, and off-putting he was. It’s not that I expect to have my butt kissed, but at the same time, one would expect a political candidate seeking votes to be a little more accommodating and polite. Instead, he was gruff and cocky. Telling my wife that “I’m Richard Harris and you probably know me from the Enterprise. A lot of your neighbors are voting for me and you should too” isn’t exactly my idea of a way to solicit support. My two cents anyways…

  13. Anonymous

    DTA blew it big time. The purpose of an association is to support candidates who are recommended by the DTA as the ones best suited for the overall good of the association. Now we have everyone screaming “it’s all about me, I want it my way, that’s not what I want” and losing sight of what a recommendation is truly about.

    Politics is no longer about the good of the group. Now it’s all about the individual’s self interests.

    And now even DTA votes are being subject to a ‘recount’? Sheeesh. Any hanging chads to dispute too while we’re at it?

  14. Anonymous

    DTA blew it big time. The purpose of an association is to support candidates who are recommended by the DTA as the ones best suited for the overall good of the association. Now we have everyone screaming “it’s all about me, I want it my way, that’s not what I want” and losing sight of what a recommendation is truly about.

    Politics is no longer about the good of the group. Now it’s all about the individual’s self interests.

    And now even DTA votes are being subject to a ‘recount’? Sheeesh. Any hanging chads to dispute too while we’re at it?

  15. Anonymous

    DTA blew it big time. The purpose of an association is to support candidates who are recommended by the DTA as the ones best suited for the overall good of the association. Now we have everyone screaming “it’s all about me, I want it my way, that’s not what I want” and losing sight of what a recommendation is truly about.

    Politics is no longer about the good of the group. Now it’s all about the individual’s self interests.

    And now even DTA votes are being subject to a ‘recount’? Sheeesh. Any hanging chads to dispute too while we’re at it?

  16. Anonymous

    DTA blew it big time. The purpose of an association is to support candidates who are recommended by the DTA as the ones best suited for the overall good of the association. Now we have everyone screaming “it’s all about me, I want it my way, that’s not what I want” and losing sight of what a recommendation is truly about.

    Politics is no longer about the good of the group. Now it’s all about the individual’s self interests.

    And now even DTA votes are being subject to a ‘recount’? Sheeesh. Any hanging chads to dispute too while we’re at it?

  17. Anonymous

    “Indeed, the Vanguard is remaining neutral in this race and shall make no endorsement. Ironically, the Vanguard has been accused of bias while the Enterprise purports to be fair and impartial.”

    The Vanguard is unbiased? Ba-ha-hahahahaha! Ba-ha-hahahahaha!
    Ba-ha-hahahahaha! Ba-ha-hahahahaha!
    Ba-ha-hahahahaha!

  18. Anonymous

    “Indeed, the Vanguard is remaining neutral in this race and shall make no endorsement. Ironically, the Vanguard has been accused of bias while the Enterprise purports to be fair and impartial.”

    The Vanguard is unbiased? Ba-ha-hahahahaha! Ba-ha-hahahahaha!
    Ba-ha-hahahahaha! Ba-ha-hahahahaha!
    Ba-ha-hahahahaha!

  19. Anonymous

    “Indeed, the Vanguard is remaining neutral in this race and shall make no endorsement. Ironically, the Vanguard has been accused of bias while the Enterprise purports to be fair and impartial.”

    The Vanguard is unbiased? Ba-ha-hahahahaha! Ba-ha-hahahahaha!
    Ba-ha-hahahahaha! Ba-ha-hahahahaha!
    Ba-ha-hahahahaha!

  20. Anonymous

    “Indeed, the Vanguard is remaining neutral in this race and shall make no endorsement. Ironically, the Vanguard has been accused of bias while the Enterprise purports to be fair and impartial.”

    The Vanguard is unbiased? Ba-ha-hahahahaha! Ba-ha-hahahahaha!
    Ba-ha-hahahahaha! Ba-ha-hahahahaha!
    Ba-ha-hahahahaha!

  21. Correcting the Joker

    “The Vanguard is unbiased? Ba-ha-hahahahaha! Ba-ha-hahahahaha!
    Ba-ha-hahahahaha! Ba-ha-hahahahaha!
    Ba-ha-hahahahaha!”

    I didn’t take his statement to mean that the Vanguard is not biased, only that neither is the Enterprise, they have a definite bent as indicated by their consistent support for developer and establishment candidates.

  22. Correcting the Joker

    “The Vanguard is unbiased? Ba-ha-hahahahaha! Ba-ha-hahahahaha!
    Ba-ha-hahahahaha! Ba-ha-hahahahaha!
    Ba-ha-hahahahaha!”

    I didn’t take his statement to mean that the Vanguard is not biased, only that neither is the Enterprise, they have a definite bent as indicated by their consistent support for developer and establishment candidates.

  23. Correcting the Joker

    “The Vanguard is unbiased? Ba-ha-hahahahaha! Ba-ha-hahahahaha!
    Ba-ha-hahahahaha! Ba-ha-hahahahaha!
    Ba-ha-hahahahaha!”

    I didn’t take his statement to mean that the Vanguard is not biased, only that neither is the Enterprise, they have a definite bent as indicated by their consistent support for developer and establishment candidates.

  24. Correcting the Joker

    “The Vanguard is unbiased? Ba-ha-hahahahaha! Ba-ha-hahahahaha!
    Ba-ha-hahahahaha! Ba-ha-hahahahaha!
    Ba-ha-hahahahaha!”

    I didn’t take his statement to mean that the Vanguard is not biased, only that neither is the Enterprise, they have a definite bent as indicated by their consistent support for developer and establishment candidates.

  25. School Board Race Observer

    I don’t care for the cockiness
    and attitude of entitlement of the other two candidates. The children deserve better.

    Spector and Schelen have my vote.

  26. School Board Race Observer

    I don’t care for the cockiness
    and attitude of entitlement of the other two candidates. The children deserve better.

    Spector and Schelen have my vote.

  27. School Board Race Observer

    I don’t care for the cockiness
    and attitude of entitlement of the other two candidates. The children deserve better.

    Spector and Schelen have my vote.

  28. School Board Race Observer

    I don’t care for the cockiness
    and attitude of entitlement of the other two candidates. The children deserve better.

    Spector and Schelen have my vote.

  29. Anonymous

    The DTA political action committee and the representative council had it right the first time…..Spector and Lovenberg have the most “in-house” experience to translate into effective BOE members. The DTA leadership simply could not hold their members to the recommendation, showing a rather inept level of political leadership.

  30. Anonymous

    The DTA political action committee and the representative council had it right the first time…..Spector and Lovenberg have the most “in-house” experience to translate into effective BOE members. The DTA leadership simply could not hold their members to the recommendation, showing a rather inept level of political leadership.

  31. Anonymous

    The DTA political action committee and the representative council had it right the first time…..Spector and Lovenberg have the most “in-house” experience to translate into effective BOE members. The DTA leadership simply could not hold their members to the recommendation, showing a rather inept level of political leadership.

  32. Anonymous

    The DTA political action committee and the representative council had it right the first time…..Spector and Lovenberg have the most “in-house” experience to translate into effective BOE members. The DTA leadership simply could not hold their members to the recommendation, showing a rather inept level of political leadership.

  33. neutrality is in the eye of the beholder

    Indeed, the Vanguard is remaining neutral in this race and shall make no endorsement.

    …but will continue to prominently place ads for candidates at the top of the home page.

  34. neutrality is in the eye of th

    Indeed, the Vanguard is remaining neutral in this race and shall make no endorsement.

    …but will continue to prominently place ads for candidates at the top of the home page.

  35. neutrality is in the eye of th

    Indeed, the Vanguard is remaining neutral in this race and shall make no endorsement.

    …but will continue to prominently place ads for candidates at the top of the home page.

  36. neutrality is in the eye of th

    Indeed, the Vanguard is remaining neutral in this race and shall make no endorsement.

    …but will continue to prominently place ads for candidates at the top of the home page.

  37. School Board Race Observer

    Spector’s camp was smart to place an ad with The Vanguard. It’s no different than ads in the Emptyprise for candidates.

    As he said, it’s an ad that is paid for, so there is no lack of neutrality shown.

  38. School Board Race Observer

    Spector’s camp was smart to place an ad with The Vanguard. It’s no different than ads in the Emptyprise for candidates.

    As he said, it’s an ad that is paid for, so there is no lack of neutrality shown.

  39. School Board Race Observer

    Spector’s camp was smart to place an ad with The Vanguard. It’s no different than ads in the Emptyprise for candidates.

    As he said, it’s an ad that is paid for, so there is no lack of neutrality shown.

  40. School Board Race Observer

    Spector’s camp was smart to place an ad with The Vanguard. It’s no different than ads in the Emptyprise for candidates.

    As he said, it’s an ad that is paid for, so there is no lack of neutrality shown.

  41. Anonymous

    I am glad the Vanguard gives written support to Various candidates. They help me to decide who to vote for. Any candidate the Vanguard supports does not get my vote. The vanguard is very biased, bigoted and any other term one can think of to define a group of losers.

  42. Anonymous

    I am glad the Vanguard gives written support to Various candidates. They help me to decide who to vote for. Any candidate the Vanguard supports does not get my vote. The vanguard is very biased, bigoted and any other term one can think of to define a group of losers.

  43. Anonymous

    I am glad the Vanguard gives written support to Various candidates. They help me to decide who to vote for. Any candidate the Vanguard supports does not get my vote. The vanguard is very biased, bigoted and any other term one can think of to define a group of losers.

  44. Anonymous

    I am glad the Vanguard gives written support to Various candidates. They help me to decide who to vote for. Any candidate the Vanguard supports does not get my vote. The vanguard is very biased, bigoted and any other term one can think of to define a group of losers.

  45. Blog Administrator

    Just for clarification sake: “I am glad the Vanguard gives written support to Various candidates.”

    The Vanguard as was made clear in this article, does not endorse candidates. Nor should anyone assume that an individual who has chosen to spend their money for advertising is supported by the Vanguard–anyone in fact can advertise.

  46. Blog Administrator

    Just for clarification sake: “I am glad the Vanguard gives written support to Various candidates.”

    The Vanguard as was made clear in this article, does not endorse candidates. Nor should anyone assume that an individual who has chosen to spend their money for advertising is supported by the Vanguard–anyone in fact can advertise.

  47. Blog Administrator

    Just for clarification sake: “I am glad the Vanguard gives written support to Various candidates.”

    The Vanguard as was made clear in this article, does not endorse candidates. Nor should anyone assume that an individual who has chosen to spend their money for advertising is supported by the Vanguard–anyone in fact can advertise.

  48. Blog Administrator

    Just for clarification sake: “I am glad the Vanguard gives written support to Various candidates.”

    The Vanguard as was made clear in this article, does not endorse candidates. Nor should anyone assume that an individual who has chosen to spend their money for advertising is supported by the Vanguard–anyone in fact can advertise.

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