Raucci had close ties with school chiefs
Browsing through the latest court filing in the matter of Steve Raucci, former Schenectady school employee alleged to be an arsonist and a terrorist, I am pleased to see my view confirmed that Raucci “owed his power and compensation to maintenance of a favorable relationship with key school district administrators and board members.”
Also that he “continued to nurture relationships with administrators and board members by, among other things, being a source of information to them and by ordering his workers to help board members win re-election and school budgets to pass.”
So states Schenectady County District Attorney Bob Carney in a pre-trial motion, and so I have been saying right along: Steve Raucci did not act in a vacuum. He was a member of a team, and that team included school administrators and members of the school board, who benefited from his bullying regime and protected it.
How did they protect it? By bestowing on Raucci the responsibilities and power of the supervisor of buildings and grounds, a management position, while naming him only “head utility worker,” a lower-ranking position that allowed him to remain in the maintenance workers’ union, which he ruled, and not incidentally earn overtime pay.
How do we know the arrangement was phony?
Because while he was supposedly a worker, his assistant was officially part of management, a member of the management bargaining unit, not eligible for overtime.
So I learn from Carney’s court filing.
Thus was Raucci able to triple his pay, up to $120,000 a year, rule tyrannically as supervisor of the 120 maintenance workers, and at the same time suppress labor grievances in his capacity as their union leader.
His usefulness came not only in keeping labor peace but in delivering janitors to do campaign work at election time, working the CSEA phone bank and stuffing envelopes at the direction of school board members.
Who were the administrators that Raucci had cozy relationships with?
According to Carney, they were “both Superintendents John Falco and his successor Eric Ely, Assistant Superintendent Michael San Angelo and Human Resources Director Michael Stricos, all of whom continued to support Raucci’s authority.”
Carney did not name Jeff Janiszewski, president of the school board from 2004 until this year, but Janiszewski has acknowledged using Raucci’s services to get candidates elected to the board and to pass budgets.
So the Schenectady school saga continues to unfold, and now I await the release of the school board’s investigative report into Raucci’s behavior, a release that it twice refused and now will make under legal pressure.
What I want to see is how much they black out.
Meanwhile, back among those cheery, patriotic folks I call the Angry Ones, I couldn’t help notice the pleasure they took in President Obama’s failure to secure the 2016 summer Olympics for his hometown of Chicago (and, incidentally, for the United States.)
He invested his prestige in trucking all the way to Denmark to personally address the International Olympic Committee, along with his wife, and what happened? Chicago got eliminated right off the bat.
At a meeting of Americans for Prosperity, an allegedly conservative, pro-business organization, the news was greeted with applause — first the news that Chicago had lost and then again, more lustily, the news that it had lost in the very first round of voting.
“Enjoy this moment. Savor this moment,” Glenn Beck advised his radio listeners by way of preparing them for his own announcement.
Was it true that Obama was the first head of state ever to make a personal appeal to the Olympic committee and be turned down?
“We can always hope,” said Beck.
“The Ego Has Landed,” headlined the Drudge Report, with satisfaction. “World Rejects Obama.” (Drudge had earlier laid the groundwork for this by playing up the story of a Chicago teenager getting murdered, under the sarcastic headline, “Olympic Spirit.”)
At the headquarters of the right-wing magazine Weekly Standard, cheers supposedly erupted at the news of the Olympic rejection, though a statement to that effect was soon removed from the magazine’s Web site.
“Hahahahahaha,” was the reaction from the supposedly conservative Weblog RedState, whose editor in chief, Erick Erickson, explained, “I love America, therefore I must cheer this Obama defeat.”
All this should disabuse us of the notion that the Angry Ones are genuinely conservative or patriotic or anything else that might be construed as positive or even rational, such as opposed to President Obama on the usual grounds of policy differences or even of party competitiveness.
Actually, I expected it. I expected that the get-Clinton movement of years past would be seen in retrospect as small potatoes compared to what the Angry Ones would generate once Barack Hussein Obama was in the White House, so at least I have the satisfaction of knowing I was right.
Ousted from government power, they no longer have to explain away or apologize for the disasters perpetrated by their own people but can give themselves without restraint to the resentment and paranoia that seem to be the engines of their movement.
I said as much to one of my own angry correspondents early in the Obama administration. I told him to ease up and think of the fun he would have in the next four years, and now indeed they’re having it.
Just please don’t make the mistake of thinking this is politics as usual.