What is the Apple Ballot?

The Apple Ballot is a listing of political candidates endorsed by the Montgomery County Education Association (MCEA), a teacher’s union with 11,000 members. The MCEA is an affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA). According to a February 5, 2010 editorial in the Washington Post, the truth behind these endorsements can be found if you follow the money trail. Here’s what they say:

“MOST CANDIDATES for local office in Montgomery County covet the endorsement of the county teachers union more than any other, and all of them know the drill: Appear at union events, fill out the union questionnaire, submit to the union interview. The union, representing 11,000 teachers, helpfully provides a road map to candidates seeking its blessing, including 11 criteria spelled out in painstaking detail online. Just one thing is missing from this handy guide: Candidates who receive the union’s stamp of approval are also then expected to pay.

As far as we know, this arrangement is unique; in elections elsewhere, unions and other special interests contribute to candidates, not vice versa. But such is the overweening power of the teachers union in Montgomery that the usual rules are turned upside down. And it’s no coincidence that the union’s toxic influence in local elections is matched by its success in squeezing unaffordable concessions from the county in contract negotiations — at taxpayers’ expense.”

For the rest of this article, and other Washington Post editorials and Gazette articles which expose startling facts about the Apple Ballot, click on the links below:

“In Montgomery County, the teachers union and its toxic influence”, Washington Post, February 5, 2010

“Cash on the barrel”, Washington Post, February 22, 2010

“In Montgomery County, Teachers Union Has a Grip on Politics”, Washington Post, July 7, 2010

“Educating Montgomery Voters on Teacher Endorsements”, Washington Post, September 11, 2010

“Political novice beats out Montgomery Village president in District 36 delegates race”, The Gazette, September 22, 2010

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