Letter received from Peter Watt on June 7, 2015
"His Final Tribute To Sam"
Bill, I have tried to think of things others might not have mentioned about the great work Sam did; the lesser known but significant contributions he made to the cause.
Here are only a few of the many:
Sam by fearlessly sticking with his effort to unmask the NEA helped to persuade America that the NEA was not a trade association promoting lofty standards to benefit the children but, always was, in fact, nothing but a trade UNION bent on no more than its own prosperity and political power. Sam and others had everybody (Including the NEA) speaking of it as a UNION by the 1990's. This was a major accomplishment.
We all know that some three or four decades ago the media only spoke of there being only the far right and all others as being moderate There was no left as far as the mainstream media was concerned. It was people like Sam who gradually shifted the rhetoric to where today we all speak of the left. the middle and the right. That was another major accomplishment.
Another thing many of those who have known Sam might not know about him was that in his NEA book he predicted that the NEA, a trade union, would ultimately drain states and cities of their financial resources. Sam was more than a prophet way ahead of his time. He predicted that if the union was given collective bargaining rights it would be devastating. In his 1984 book we published for him he wrote:
"In 1959, however, the state of Wisconsin passed a law permitting public employees to organize and bargain collectively. It was one of the worst mistakes ever made by a body of lawmakers in American history." Page 144
We all know how true that prediction came to be, especially in Gov. Scott Walker's Wisconsin.
My wife June and I consider ourselves fortunate that we were able to work with Sam for many years.