Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Sandra Crandall Revisited

While going through my recent hits on Site Meter (why yes, I am incredibly vain and shallow--you got a problem with that?) I discovered that if you Google "Sandra Crandall", the I Feel Lucky hit is a post of mine from last October. That's a good thing. No, really--it is. Here's why:

One of Schwarzenegger's propositions in the November election last year was Proposition 75, which would have required public employee unions to get explicit permission from members for any money spent on political campaigns. The effect would have been to eviscerate union campaign funding; the purpose was to silence some particularly vocal critics of Schwarzenegger (and, more generally, opposition to Republican rule).

California newspapers carried a lot of stories about Proposition 75. They all quoted sources opposing and supporting the proposition. Most of them quoted teachers or CTA representatives who opposed it. Some of the stories quoted teachers who objected to their union money, and supported the proposition.

Most of those teachers were named Sandra Crandall.

Article after article after article after article quoted Crandall. They all identified her as an elementary school teacher in Fountain Valley, California.

And none of them mentioned that Crandall is on the board of directors of the National Right to Work Committee, an organization dedicated to crushing union power in the workplace as well as in politics. Sandra Crandall, in other words, is 100% Astroturf.

So I wrote about how thoroughly the press had been bamboozled about Sandra Crandall. And now that post is the number one hit when you Google Sandra Crandall. And that's a good thing because if a reporter ever bothers to look her up before quoting her, the real story will be right there where they can find it.

The point of revisiting this is not to pat myself on the back. Okay, it is a little--but it's not just that. The point is that Astroturf is what these people do, and that they're very good at it. The point is that it never hurts to be reminded of that. The point is that we need to be constantly on the lookout for this sort of thing.

By the way, the person who found me through the Google search was posting from the National Right to Work Committee. I hope they enjoyed their visit.

[That's all, folks]