Saturday, May 5, 2012

Red Clay School Board elections: Ed Reform proponents backing BOTH candidates via PAC money

You understand that big corporations and big interests hedge their bets, right?

Like how the banking sectors, the defense sectors, etc., etc., contributed in in 2008 to BOTH the Barack Obama and John McCain camps in the Presidential election.

Looks like the same thing is happening in the Red Clay School Board elections.

Many bloggers have been raising issues with Voices 4 Delaware Education and their impact on the political process.  I've got issues with that as well, even though they chose to support my candidate, Joanne Johansen, from the very beginning.  They didn't recruit her; they've never talked to her; we've never coordinated any activities (that's illegal); and neither she nor I have any control over what Voices does in the campaign (that's also the law).

But her opponent, Kenny Rivera, has begun to make an issue in his robo-calls, his campaign literature, and his videos that he is running a "transparent" campaign, and there has been--by many of his most vocal supporters--both allegation and innuendo that Joanne was selected to be a "puppet" and that people were "putting words in her mouth."  (All of which is utter crap, but I digress.)

The most recent Rivera mailer arrives with the following notation:
"Paid for by the Working Families of Delaware--PAC, Samuel Latham and Fredericka Jenner, Co-Chairs, E. Jackie Canada-Reaves and Howard Weinberg, Co-Treasurers.  Not authorized nor paid by any committee of any candidate.  The cost of presenting this message is not subject to any campaign contribution limits." [bold-face emphasis mine]
Let's take this back a bit.

On DE Dept of Elections reports, the address for the Working Families of Delaware PAC is 136 Basin Road, Dover DE--by no coincidence the address of DSEA headquarters.

Working Families of Delaware PAC is one of the PACs that DSEA uses when it wants its endorsement one step removed from the DSEA Advocacy Fund PAC.  It is completely funded via contributions from DSEA and other Delaware labor organizations, and sometimes hides out inactive for a year or two (it did nothing in 2011) when they don't want to draw any attention to it.

Who is Howard Weinberg?

He is the Executive Director of DSEA--and when he steps into a telephone booth and puts on his Rodel cape, he is also a senior member of the VISION 2015 Implementation Team, where he sits on the same committee as "Skip" Schoenhals.

What's that committee responsible for?

The Team meets regularly to align efforts, evaluate progress, and sustain momentum.


And the Working Families of Delaware PAC just dumped nearly $5,000 ($4,875 as of the latest campaign report) into Kenny Rivera's campaign.  Check the DE Dept of Elections documents yourself if you have trouble believing it.

There are all sorts of questions to be raised in this election.  Some people have characterized this as being a fight between "ed reformists" and "teachers," without noting that ed reform proponents are bankrolling both sides, and DSEA is formally onboard with Vision 2015, despite any views to the contrary that their membership may have.

Undoubtedly, somebody will post a comment here saying to the effect, "At least DSEA was transparent enough for you to find out about all this.  Voices is hiding behind campaign loopholes.  So our candidates is more moral and better."

Frederika Jenner, Howard Weinberg, and others have been playing just as much of a double shell-game with campaign contributions as anybody.  And the undeniable fact of the matter is that Vision 2015 will be happy with EITHER candidate who wins this race, because both of them in their speeches and their campaign literature find plenty of common ground with the ed reformers.

Mr. Rivera is, after all, the Howard High School chair of the Race to the Top committee.

So when you go to the polls on Tuesday (if you don't just turn aside and spit in disgust at the whole unseemly mess), forget about the PAC mailers (from both sides), forget about the telephone calls (from both sides), forget about the outside funding (from both sides), and ask yourself . . . .

Which of these people do I trust to keep Red Clay moving in the right direction, or to change that direction if I don't like the way it's going?

Which of these people do I trust to do what's best for our kids.

Joanne Johansen
The BEST Choice for Red Clay
For me, it's Joanne Johansen, who has been in Red Clay for over forty years--a Dickinson grad, a longtime PTA officer, a fundraiser for district schools, and the only candidate in the race with such a track record of commitment to our kids, school choice, and charter schools.

Joanne has done exactly what every other homegrown candidate does--attended the meetings, knocked on doors, put up her own signs.  (We were out doing that this afternoon.)  This morning she was at the Farmer's Market and then at Hockessin Soccer Club, where she was talking to parents who are used to seeing her, because she's always there.

She's always been there for the district, and she is the real deal--a woman who gets things done for our kids.


Anonymous said...

No offense to Kenny R, but at least his opponent's campaign committee is comprised of & run by citizens, versus the top brass of the DSEA. Jack P's close coordination with John Young in this election (and a good deal of evidence that John Y created the Val Harris smear site - see below link) suggests that while they support 2015 & RTTT on paper, in action, they do everything in their power to undermine it. Transparent, eh?

pandora said...

If that's your proof... then add my name to the list.

What other evidence do you have? You claim to have a good deal...