Bush Completes N.E.A. Survey
Washington--Late last week, George Bush, the Republican Presidential candidate, responded to pressure from fellow party members who belong to the National Education Association and answered a questionnaire used in the union's endorsement process.
Union members who form the Republican Educators Caucus have been pressuring the Bush campaign to complete the questionnaire and meet with the union's president, Mary Hatwood Futrell. Democratic rival Michael S. Dukakis did so a year ago.
Because ballots for the union's endorsement were sent out immediately after the Republican convention last month, Mr. Bush's responses came too late to influence the union's pick.
Nevertheless, Ms. Futrell said last week she was pleased to get the responses spelling out the Vice President's positions on education, and that she was encouraged by the positive tone of his comments.
However, Mr. Bush did not respond completely to the questionnaire, she said.
For instance, he did not answer questions on maintaining the federal Education Department, supporting hazard-free facilities, and supporting the Equal Rights amendment and the Civil Rights Restoration Act. He also did not answer a variety of questions on taxes.
"I equate it to the student who had an assignment due the first week of school, but instead he turns it in a week before report cards come out and incomplete," Ms. Futrell said.
When asked why she thought Mr. Bush decided to respond, Ms. Futrell credited the number of Republicans within the n.e.a. "You just don't blow your nose or fan your hand at 600,000 votes."
--rrw & br