Wednesday, May 28, 2008

State School Board Already Infiltrated! Will it Happen Again?

On Monday I talked about the responsibilities of state school board members and wondered whether anti-public school activists might want to infiltrate the board. I mentioned at the time that the idea seemed far-fetched but certainly plausible. In response to what I wrote, one reader directed me toward some interesting information on the state elections office website showing that this has already happened! I couldn't believe it, but they are right! Let's take a closer look.

In 2006 current District 3 board member Richard Moss ran for a position on the State School Board. Campaign reports show that he raised and spent $38,850.43. Well, what's the big deal, right? Candidates spend a lot more money than that all the time. Perhaps. But you have to remember that this is a non-partisan race for State School Board in a somewhat rural district, no less. Most candidates spend less than $2,000 (if nothing at all) as was the case with his opponent, incumbent Edward Dalton, who spent a mere $1,468.17!

I checked the amounts reported by current board members (you can trust me or do the research yourself) and the only campaign that surpassed the amounts Moss raised was the 2006 Burningham vs. Barden race in District 5. Kim Burningham ended up winning and spent $16,025.37 to do it, but Christopher Barden outdid him by "raising" $62,438.16! I only mention the Burningham/Barden race because of how closely it resembles the Moss/Dalton race. It is the reason I can be so bold as to say that the State School Board has already been infiltrated once! Almost twice!!

Are you ready for this?

When you look at the breakdown of contributions for both Moss and Barden in 2006 you will notice some very large amounts being donated. In fact, they jump right out of the page at you! Twelve thousand here, ten thousand there. All contributions made by none other than our voucher pushers, Parents for Choice in Education! In the case of Richard Moss, almost all of his $38,000+ came from Parents for Choice in Education; $33,974.02, to be exact! Now that's what I call infiltration!

PCE tried even harder to influence the Barden campaign but luckily we had people who supported Burningham. They knew his record and reputation and believed that he was the right man for the job; they knew he wasn't a puppet for political schemes and attempts to undermine the goals of public education. We weren't as lucky with District 3 and Richard Moss in 2006. PCE got the best board member money could buy.

Will the same thing happen in 2008? You better believe voucher advocates like PCE will be throwing the same kind of money into the upcoming races. I guarantee that we'll be witness to the most expensive School Board race in history in 2008. Or, maybe they won't have to spend a dime this time around. After all, if they can get the State School Board Nominating Committee to forward to the governor only the names of their voucher buddies, they can relax from now until November. Voters will go to the polls not realizing that they are the real pawns in this game. That's why concerned organizations are showing such interest NOW, when money isn't a factor.

Can you see why I'm harping on this? Thanks to our readers we're able to shed some light on the issue. Keep it coming!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can we impeach Moss for being anti-education?

Can we change the law so that only voucher opponents can legally serve on the SBOE?