DSEA May Not Be Endorsing Sokola, But They Sure As Hell Are Paying For One Of His Ads… No Thanks To Their Leader…

The Delaware State Education Association did not endorse Delaware Senator David Sokola this year.  They always have in the past.  But that didn’t stop their President, Frederika Jenner, from helping to pay for his online ads…


So who is Delawareans First PAC?



Yup, this is the same Frederika Jenner.  The President of DSEA.  The same organization Sokola took an axe to with House Bill 399, the teacher evaluation bill.  The same Frederika Jenner that sits on the Rodel-inspired (and funded) Vision Coalition.  I’m sure she will be ticked at me over this but I truly don’t care.  She will be out in January.  Hopefully we will have new and better leadership that won’t surrender Delaware educators to the Rodel time-bomb that is just ticking away until it fully blows up Delaware public education in favor of Charterville.  But that’s right, she just wants to sit at the table with them.  But that’s okay.  Let’s help fund the campaign of the one Delaware legislator who should NOT be re-elected under any circumstances…

Published by

Kevin Ohlandt

I am a proud parent of a son with Tourette's Syndrome and several other co-morbidities. I write on this blog to educate other parents so they know a bit more about not only special education, but all the really bad things that are happening with public schools in Delaware and the USA. We are all in this together, and if our children aren't able to advocate for themselves it's up to us parents! We need to stop letting companies run our schools, and demand our children get a proper education. Our Departments of Education in our states have become weak with fear from the bullying US DOE, and we need to take back our schools!

19 thoughts on “DSEA May Not Be Endorsing Sokola, But They Sure As Hell Are Paying For One Of His Ads… No Thanks To Their Leader…”

  1. Opening myself up to stones here – it seems like all the folks in that list are union leaders. Perhaps it’s an appointed list? As in specific positions are on the group regardless of the individual holding the title.

    I would also like to remind everyone that dues money cannot be used for political action. Not a penny of dues money goes to even DSEA endorsements. If this is a PAC it is entirely funded by folks who willingly give money to that PAC. So DSEA money is actually not going to this PAC as it legally can’t, and I see nothing here that implies or supports the implication that Jenner or DSEA is financially supporting this endorsement.

    I’m not the hugest fan of Sokola, and for reasons aside from his educational policy decisions. But I also realize that every other union listed on this PAC has different priorities for endorsement than DSEA does. I’d be curious to know whether they have a process to determine endorsements and financial assistance, and how the decision was made according to what criteria. Perhaps Jenner didn’t even vote for him to be endorsed?

    All the commenters here are people I deeply respect whose opinions I value. In that light, I ask that you consider what I’ve said and look a little more deeply, because evidence is better than hypothesis.

    Also, it’s something I have a vested interest in knowing….

    Liked by 1 person

      1. AH I see – so yes, PAC funds. I hear that. I’m pretty annoyed that NEA endorsed Clinton, but I voted for Sanders when given the chance (twice, once in the primary through one of my caucuses and the second time as a delegate to the national rep assembly), and I guess I could also revoke my PAC funding. That makes sense, but I’m also happy with the other ways they spend it, so I probably won’t.

        I didn’t realize this organization would receive funds from the sponsoring groups. Usually PAC funds receive private donations, or from corporations. I’ll have to look more into that.


  2. Here’s where I stand on this and, as always, I thank Kevin for providing the forum to discuss!

    DSEA did not vote to endorse Sen. Sokola for his re-election campaign. As someone who has consistently received DSEA’s endorsement in years’ past, this is obviously big news. I have had many concerns — and shared them publicly — with Sen. Sokola’s positions on education. I think many others have, as well. And that’s why DSEA chose the route it did during the election season this year.

    But — and this really is a big BUT — folks need to realize that we are a union whose main goal is to activate and organize its membership. We have seen union membership in many states decrease dramatically because of nasty Right to Work laws. These laws severely weaken the ability of local unions to do the work they need to do — advocate for members and students.

    The threat of Right to Work is very much real here in Delaware. If the Democrats lose just two seats in the Senate, then it’s very likely that Republicans will demand legislation that could repress labor rights in exchange for getting YES votes on the budget. If the Republican Senate REFUSES to pass a budget because they are demanding more restrictions on organized labor, then my guess is the Democrats in the House will cave so they can get a budget passed. That’s the reality of the situation that we’re dealing with.

    DSEA’s membership in the Delawareans First PAC is borne out of the need to fight back any effort for Right to Work to land in Delaware. DSEA’s participation in this PAC is very much about ensuring our own survival SO WE CAN continue to advocate for our members, students, and schools.

    And there are some very clear differences between the two major-party candidates in the 8th Senate District when it comes to labor rights. Sen. Sokola is vehemently anti-Right to Work. Meredith Chapman has stated her support of the collective bargaining process, but can’t say unequivocally that she would be anti-Right to Work. And, as I’ve said to her, should she get elected and the GOP take the Senate, her ability to negotiate with a newly-emboldened GOP leadership will be severely diminished and she will have to walk lock-step with the caucus on these issues.

    So, while many of our members — and myself included — have serious issues with Sen. Sokola’s education positions, we have to realize that we are still a union. And it’s our business to maintain our membership and attempt to stave off any threats to that membership. I am completely able to see both sides here and while Sen. Sokola hasn’t been the best friend on education issues, he’s unwaveringly a friend on the topic of Right to Work. To condemn him from all angles because of his education positions (no matter how large those issues are) would be unfair.

    DSEA’s membership in this PAC is voluntary, of course, but in the interest of solidarity, it’s imperative that we union brothers and sisters come together and support candidates who will repel Right to Work — even if it means supporting a candidate we oppose on other issues. Because if Right to Work comes to Delaware — which could happen if the Senate swings GOP — then our ability to be an effective agent for change will be severely dampened. And that could have consequences that hasten all the negative things we know have been coming down the education pike for years that you have thankfully been reporting on with such fervor.

    I just think it’s important to realize that I think it’s completely within bounds to have severe disagreements with candidates on certain issues, but to find common ground on others, especially issues that relate to the survival of organizations that I would hope are seen as positive players in the education arena like DSEA.

    Thank you, again, for the opportunity to share my thoughts here.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Mr. Matthews,

    I believe you just explained why so many people support Right To Work. You are willing to support a legislator who is systematically destroying our education system just to protect yourself.

    The reason union numbers are dropping is because once people are given a choice, they almost never want to be involved in a union.


    1. I would not say Mr. Matthews is protecting himself. He sees a union he fully supports as under threat from Right To Work. I believe they are under threat from that as well as what is coming in education. Perhaps they are tied together. I don’t know that yet but I aim to find out.


    2. Thank you for the feedback, Anonymous. If you’re ever interesting in removing your shroud, I’d love to take you out for coffee and have a serious discussion on this topic.

      No, I’m not willing to give up the power we currently have so we can continue fighting legislators who are crappy on education. You see, if we don’t “protect ourselves” and our ability to collectively organize, then our ability to criticize and take action against crappy education legislators IS severely diminished.

      Let me know if you’re interested in coffee. I know I am!!


      1. Right To Work does not reduce your “ability to collectively organize, then (y)our ability to criticize and take action against crappy education legislators IS severely diminished.”

        Right To Work DOES give employees the right to work without being required or compelled to join to a union. Unions still exist in Right To Work States.

        If David Sokolla’s loses his seat, it does not mean the State of Delaware’s unions disappear. It doesn’t even mean Right to Work will be brought up for a vote. I can guarantee that Carney would never sign the legislation, so you would not only need both chambers to pass the legislation, but would need a 2/3 majority to support that legislation. Which isn’t going to happen either.


        1. http://www.workplacefairness.org/unions-right-to-work

          You do not have to join a union no matter where you are. Any employee for literally any position receives a wage established by the employer. In organized businesses, wages are collaboratively agreed upon by the employer and the union, regardless of how you view it. That is fact. Employers do not have to agree to a wage increase in the process of collective bargaining, and workers do not have to join unions. End of story.

          In right to work (for less) areas, it is statistically shown that wages are artificially suppressed – some commenters might say this reflects market values but in reality it reflects employer greed – and working conditions are not as beneficial for the employees.

          I’m happy to provide data for you, but it would save us all time and energy if you’d just do the google searches yourself 🙂


  4. It’s clear that the DSEA is union first, teachers next. After this, it’s never been more clear that the interests of teachers come second to the interests of unions. The decision was to not support Sokola or Chapman, but now they’re supporting Sokola financially. How is that okay? Not to mention that there would be a complete revolt in the House if Right to Work came before them. There is zero chance of that ever happening. RTW doesn’t even have full support among the Republicans. This is all about the unions “saving” the Senate majority so the unions can control state construction as a payoff. And teacher dues are paying for it. The nice side benefit for them is more Sokola-style ed policy. Despicable. And did I see Mr. Matthews complaining on Facebook recently about shady PAC’s?


  5. Nice job Mike Mathews in explaining the issue correctly. The Right to Work agenda wants you all to believe that it does not hurt anyone. Staying comfortable in hopes that if a House is lost they wouldn’t hold up budgets, bills and the likes and force a vote in their favor is ridiculous. There are currently 2 bills that I am aware of for RTW that are active and can be introduced. But when they are they get shot down in commitee but remain active. But that is done with an ALL majority House and Senate and Governor supporting it. These two bills have Bonini’s, Lavelle, Short and the Republican caucus support. But here is from a Gubernatorial candidate and his web page: http://colin2016.com/issues/
    “Economic Development
    He has also been a strong proponent of Right to Work legislation to end forced unionism and encourage employers to locate their businesses in Delaware. Delaware is a big government, high-tax, high-regulation, high-union state; so it should surprise no one that businesses fail to locate here. As Governor, Colin will lower taxes, cut regulations and actively pursue those policies that will bring high quality jobs to Delaware”.
    RTW does not support growth check the facts. Even if it did than why did Astra Zeneca, Hercules, Dupont, Avon all leave? They were not Union shops. But they left, so stop blaming Unions.
    But if you think RTW is just about cutting the funding of Unions to help NON RTW candidates only get elected your wrong. I ask you all to look up a man named Vance Muse if you want the truth about RTW. This is a Trogan horse so don’t be fooled.
    https://www.facingsouth.org/2012/12/the-racist-roots-of-right-to-work-laws,. And as far as I am concerned any RTW supporter is a bigot and are hiding behind the 2016 version of the “Glory Suit”. Blaming Unions for all the problems of America has been a great diversion for them and their hidden agenda. But Unions are the only help minority’s, LGBTQ and women on the job receive and I am proud to represent the over 45,000 active and retired members of the AFL-CIO and it’s Affiliates and Non Affiliates in Delaware. And for those that think that theren is no problem. And that Unions will still exist to protect the worker with RTW. Collective bargaining still happens as written from previous posts well think again. http://labortribune.com/future-of-collective-bargaining-in-missouri-on-the-line-nov-8/
    James Maravelias
    AFLCIO President


  6. James Maravelias is remarkably full of garbage. Anybody notice that he didn’t actually SAY anything there? Right to Work isn’t great, it isn’t terrible, but it isn’t coming to Delaware anytime soon. There are plenty of statistics that show RTW is successful in other states, including income growth, manufacturing job growth and the fact that UNION MEMBERSHIP GROWTH is higher in RTW states.

    But that’s neither here nor there. The fact is that DSEA is more pro-union than they are anti-teacher, and the unions want control of state construction, which they will hold as their ransom if they are able to push Sokola across the finish line. So the DSEA gave in and chipped in. Right to Work is a cover for control — political insider, back room deal control — of state construction. See House Bill 283 from this year if you doubt me. This will freeze out thousands of hardworking Delawareans from good, middle-class jobs in favor of the politically protected trade unions who are trying to buy access with ads like this one for Sokola. They’re not pro-worker, unless those workers pay dues. Don’t be fooled, even for a moment.

    So come off the RTW crap, and admit what this is about. And then apologize to the hardworking public school teachers who are being used for your special interest agenda, Jimmy.


  7. For those reading this post who may not know me, I want to make sure they are aware that I serve as the Executive Director of DSEA. I rarely, if ever, post on blogs or other social media; however, I feel the need to do so here. While, as President of DSEA, Frederika Jenner is the organization’s named representative on Delawareans First, I serve as her designee. All actions taken by DSEA in connection with Delawareans First were mine, not hers. All comments regarding those actions should be directed at me, not her. Thank you.


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