Rockville, MD — Residents of Montgomery County, Maryland can’t miss the hundreds of “Boycott the Apple Ballot, www.RottenAppleBallot.com” yard signs that seem to be everywhere. “Taxpayers Lose if Union-Picked Ballot Wins,” the signs say — “Save Your Tax Dollars. Boycott the Apple Ballot.”
The “Boycott the Apple Ballot, RottenAppleBallot.com” campaign is sponsored by Maryland Citizens for a Responsible Government (MCRG), a local group which says that its goal this election season is to expose the detrimental influence that the County’s teacher’s union, known as the Montgomery County Education Association (MCEA), has had for years on the political landscape of Montgomery County and the entire state of Maryland.
“The union, with its 11,000 members, endorses and campaigns for political candidates by marketing these endorsements as the ‘Apple Ballot,’” says Ruth Jacobs, M.D., founder and president of MCRG. As reported by the Washington Post, candidates depend on the union’s Apple Ballot to get elected, and can pay up to $6,000 to the union after endorsement. On election day, throngs of off-duty teachers at polling stations urge voters to vote for union candidates with apple-shaped endorsement handouts.
So what’s the problem? “MCEA is the entity that has been driving the Montgomery County political machine,” said Jacobs. “The result is that elected officials don‘t listen to constituents, education costs are greater in Montgomery County than in Fairfax County, students are receiving sub-standard education, and property owners who pay premium tax rates for outstanding education are watching their dollars get squandered in the political process.”
“In response to the ‘Boycott the Apple Ballot, RottenAppleBallot.com’ campaign, the community support has been swift and strong,” said Jacobs. “We’re working hard to keep up with the sign requests from the public and we will do a robo-call to let the entire community know what is at stake.”
If there is anything that MCRG wants people to know, Jacobs says it’s this: “Our teachers are great, but union control of Montgomery County is not. If you want your senator, congressman, state delegate or councilmember to listen to you, to think that your voice is once again important, then the first step in doing that is to break the union’s grip by boycotting the Apple Ballot on election day.”