Move Over Randi and Joel

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In a spat that makes us nostalgic for the good old media joustings of Joel Klein and Randi Weingarten, LA Unified superintendent Roy Romer and union president John Perez are squaring off about of all things: administrative subdistricts. The object of their tussle may be a bit of yawner, but the real story is the battle between Romer and Perez to influence the LA school board. Last year the union spent $1.4 million to get three candidates elected to the Board; Perez is not afraid turn up the heat on these and other board members to get what he paid for.

Sounding a bit like an ad for Hardball with Chris Matthews, Perez explains: "In a political world, if you do nothing, you get squashed. We have to play within the political system." Supt. Romer is none too pleased with Perez' aggressive tactics and acerbic tongue (Perez apparently refers to district administrators as "fat cats" and "six-figured bureaucrats.")

Although Romer isn't exactly shying away either: "A fundamental problem is that the school board members are elected, so they are dependent on campaign money. I'm trying not to get into that at this time." Looks like you already did.