But that’s the problem! (Paid legislators “represent their government employers”)

I found the article in today’s Albuquerque Journal by former Rep. Barbara Perea Casey to be interesting. After discussing the supposed hardships of being in the Legislature and the court case that enabled New Mexico teachers to serve in the Legislature after they were defined as not being “state” employees, she makes some rather enlightening comments about the role of government school teachers in the Legislature. Perea Casey writes:

It is my personal opinion that legislators who are also educators are providing a distinct and unique service to the school districts that employ them. In the case of Stapleton, she continues to perform her job duties.

It is sad that some of the school board members do not realize her worth in terms of how much bad legislation she can stop, or how much influence she has in education advocacy, especially in her powerful position of majority whip. It is also unfortunate that she is not viewed as a supporter for Albuquerque Public Schools, because that is what she is.

So, government school educators serving in the Legislature are not supposed to serve their constituents (or that is an unmentioned afterthought), rather, they are naturally supposed to align themselves with the interests of their employers by stopping “bad” legislation. Presumably this means vouchers, school choice, budget cuts, and anything else that would undermine the power and financial interests of the government school monopoly.

So, not only is government education politically-sympathetic and not only do they have lobbyists, but they also have legislators who are paid by the schools (read taxpayers) to be in Santa Fe. Pretty sweet deal! Needless to say, legislators who run their own businesses or hold down private-sector jobs don’t get this perk. Government begetting bigger, less-accountable government is why former AG Hal Stratton attempted to stop the practice.