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Campaign Lesson–Taking “Teacher” To Task

June 18th, 2018 · 25 Comments · Analysis and Comment, Education, News and Events, State Politics

Fact-checking is standard operating procedure in campaigns. How much latitude does a candidate take burnishing a resume? Mayor Joe Ganim, running for governor, has received an assist from Superintendent of Schools Aresta Johnson rebutting Democratic-endorsed Ned Lamont’s claim he was a “teacher” at Harding High School more than a decade ago.

The Ganim campaign is trying to leverage Lamont’s veracity to undercut his credibility with voters. Ganim has mountain ranges of baggage, right, how dare he question veracity? Just because Ganim’s got baggage doesn’t mean Lamont’s a boy scout, or a “teacher.” It depends how you go after someone. On the campaign trail and in fundraising solicitations as well as his bio, Lamont has referred to himself “As a businessman and teacher …” Sometimes he refers to himself as a volunteer, sometimes not. It’s a declaration for more than a decade in runs for U.S. Senate in 2006 and governor in 2010, and now in 2018.

There’s no questioning Lamont’s financial pedigree. He’s a successful entrepreneur. The “teacher” thing, however is a place where a political lesson can be taught. The Ganim campaign kicked out this news release on Friday featuring school chief Johnson who pointed out “The credentialing process of a teacher is rigorous.” It’s not to be taken lightly. Johnson’s voice adds credibility to the campaign jab.

“To enhance his resume as someone who understands Connecticut urban cities and its schools, Ned Lamont has for over a decade falsely portrayed himself as a teacher at Harding High School when he was an occasional volunteer who worked under certified teachers. By falsely stating in campaign speeches and ads that he was a teacher when he really was a sometime volunteer, Ned Lamont has not only grossly exaggerated what he did at Harding High, but does a disservice to teachers throughout Connecticut,” said Ganim.

“In his speeches and on his campaign website, Ned Lamont should immediately stop making the false claim he taught at Harding High School,” said Ganim.

Bridgeport’s Superintendent of Schools Dr. Aresta Johnson today stated Lamont was a volunteer at Harding High, not a teacher. “We have over 600 volunteers in the Bridgeport school system. When Mr. Lamont volunteered at Harding High School, it was under the direction of the building principal as well as the classroom teacher. There were sessions facilitated by Mr. Lamont to get guest speakers but always under the direction of a certified credentialed state of Connecticut teacher. The credentialing process of a teacher is rigorous. While we have volunteers who are guides on the side they are always under the direction of a certified credentialed state of Connecticut educator.”

Hector Sanchez, who was principal at Harding High when Lamont was a volunteer, also stated Lamont was not as he has claimed a “teacher” at Harding High.

“Mr. Lamont helped bring in speakers, but as a volunteer. It wasn’t as a teacher. He wasn’t in charge of the room. There was a teacher assigned to that room.”

Will Lamont go tit for tat in the veracity department?

So far Lamont’s jabs at Ganim have been nuanced such as his visit to a New Haven wine store “Joe Ganim sent me,” Lamont joked. “I hear he’s an aficionado of great wines.” That was a reference to cases of wine Ganim accepted as part of a bribery scheme that landed him in jail.

Lamont’s political operation won’t unload on Ganim’s past unless they see him as a real threat to win the August primary. In any event that will not come until Ganim has received official word he has qualified for the ballot via his petitioning campaign.

Sometimes surrogates suffice, be it orchestrated or just someone who steps up on her own unafraid to mix it up, such as Bridgeport Board of Education member Maria Pereira who supported Ganim’s comeback for mayor in 2015, but has since soured on him. Pereira posted this comment on the Ganim for governor Facebook page.

The disservice to our “hardworking teachers” is your failure to fund the Bridgeport Public Schools by proposing three consecutive budgets with ZERO additional funds for both them and their 21,000 students you absolute hypocrite.”

Ganim recognizes Lamont has millions of dollars to unload on his past, but poking Lamont’s wealth, as he has, and now his veracity, is a risk worth taking for Ganim who enjoys the campaign chutzpah.

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25 Comments so far ↓

  • Local Eyes

    Once again, Lamont over promises and under delivers. I was a volunteer at Marin school in Bridgeport so I’m an expert on these matters.
    Lamont keeps making policy mistakes. Will Lamont ever see an election? Primary results beat any endorsement.
    Lamont’s boots quake so hard they appear as tiny blips on today’s Richter scale.
    Wait until tomorrow.

  • Ron Mackey

    So what are the Republicans going to do?

  • Maria Pereira

    The BOE has “Teach for America” recruits employed as “teachers”. Very few have achieved the rigorous teaching certification requirements of CT. They receive a five (5) week course which totals less than 100 hours and then enter our schools as “teachers”. They have up to two years to receive their CT teaching certification. Nationally, 50% of them leave “teaching” by the end of year two and over 80% of them leave “teaching” by year three. Those statistics are worse in Bridgeport.

    Charter $chools are allowed to hire up to 30% of their “teaching” staff without the rigorous CT state certification. They are as defined as “teachers” which I think is an insult to true teachers who have chosen teaching as their lifelong profession.

    In the end, Ned Lamont volunteered his time to help students over a decade ago when he wasn’t seeking elected office or looking for photo-ops. As a WHHS graduate, I would like to thank Ned Lamont for his volunteerism.

    Isn’t that more than Joe Ganim can ever say?

    Mayor Ganim has the audacity to run around the state and issue press releases about public education when he has done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for the 21,000 students of the BPS for three (3) consecutive years.

    Please remember, out of 169 municipalities, no mayor or first selectman contributes LESS to its public schools than Mayor Ganim. Not one.

  • Grin Ripper

    Full Disclosure: Ned and his wife have been financial supporters of TFA.

    https://connecticut.teachforamerica.org/supporters

  • Bob Walsh

    Lamont gives freely of his time to teach children learn.
    Joe Ganim charged “clients” on how to beat the system.
    But Joe claims that Lamont’s time doesn’t count because he was certified.
    Give me a break!!
    But Joe’s counts because he’s got a letter from Pardons & Parole.

  • Harvey Weintraub

    It comes down to #ANYONEBUTJOE

  • Advanced Therapy

    Many on this blog should use their energy in doing productive thing in the community and in the school system, instead of bitching and complaining. Does pointing out others flaws make you feel better.

  • Gary Tobin

    We all need you but beside that, yes it is important to point out the exaggerated statements and claims. This is how and where people that are interested in the truth start their research on candidates. Complaining and bitching are valuable data collecting sources.

  • Maria Pereira

    Advanced Therapy, many people blogging on OIB volunteer on campaigns, volunteer in their community and truly care about the well-being of Bridgeport.

    However, you are a coward hiding behind a handle which means there is a significant likelihood that you are a city employee of Bridgeport.

    You hide behind a handle while pointing your fingers at others which demonstrates your absolute lack of courage and integrity.

    • Advanced Therapy

      You Ms. Pereira should be committed to the Mental health center on Central Ave. You care so much about the Children of this City, but maybe you should look into the mirror. Charity begins at home. You can’t hold a job, haven’t done anything productive, and you’re an embarrassment to the people of this Great City. Do us all a favor take your meds and climb under a hole. You’re so negative, you find issued with everyone except your self. Remember Karma, you’re one lonely, pathetic , angry individual.

    • Advanced Therapy

      Negative!

  • Bob Walsh

    If Ned’s time in the class room doesn’t count then neither should the Second Chance Kid (Joe Ganim) until he comes clean and publicly admits to all that he stole from the citizens of Bport and not get away with “I made some mistakes”.

  • Donald Day

    Excuse you Advanced, you have no idea what any poster on OIB does for the community or the school system. Here’s what you need to do, quit hiding behind the cloak of anonymity and Inscrutability and post your mindless tribble like a man or woman. Be Gone.

    • Maria Pereira

      Exactly,Donald.

    • Advanced Therapy

      You’re a ridiculous individual, pathetic!

      • Ron Mackey

        Here we have a coward who is scare to use his own name given to him by his mother and father because he doesn’t want to embarrass them with his bullshit or he’s another Russian troll who is on OIB.

    • Advanced Therapy

      Tell me what you have done, you had a job as a firefighter. What else do you do to bring unity to the community, You Sir are always stirring up a black and white issue. How many child do you mentor in the African community, how many family’s do you feed or assist in achieving a better life. So don’t point the finger.

  • Mojo

    *** FACT CHECKING IS SOMETHING FOX-NEWS SHOULD DO MORE OF BEFORE ALWAYS AGREEING WITH “45″ON EVERYTHING HE SAYS OR CLAIMS TO BE TRUE! LIKE BLAMING THE DEMS. FOR THE POLICY THATS NEVER BEEN INPOSED BEFORE DURING THE CLINTON, BUSH OR OBAMA ADMINS. THAT SEPARATES IMMIGRANT CHILDREN FROM THERE PARENTS OR FAMILY MEMBERS, DURING WAR OR PEACE TIMES. “FACT-CHECKING” SOMETHING TRUMP & HIS SUPPORTERS SHOULD DO MORE OFFEND BEFORE RUNNING THEIR MOUTHS ON T.V OR THE RADIO. “TRUMP THE CON-MAN” WHO ALSO ACTS LIKE A SOCIOPATH AT TIMES IS MAKING A MOCKERY OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY, PAST & PRESENT. THE REPUBLICAN PARTY WHO CONTINUES TO PLAY THE DEAF, DUMB & BLIND ACT IS SLIPPING BACK INTO THE DARK PRE-CIVIL & HUMAN RIGHTS ERA. THE SO-CALLED “FAMILY PARTY” THAT IS PLAYING THE POLITICAL SEE, HEAR & SPEAK NO EVIL POLICY & LETTING “TRUMP” RUN THE ORIGINAL GOP PARTY INTO THE “DARK AGES” OF AMERICA! ***

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