Politics, money and school-board campaigns

The news this week that a wealthy, retired Front Range businessman has contributed $5,000 apiece to three conservative candidates running for the Mesa County School District 51 Board of Education has left some people aghast, as letters on this page today demonstrate.

For others locally, the fact that the Mesa Valley Education Association — the teachers’ union —contributed $3,000 plus services to other school board candidates is equally troubling.

We, like many others in this community, are dismayed that what have traditionally been nonpolitical school board races are becoming increasingly the opposite, with campaign funding beginning to flow to candidates in these races in larger and larger amounts.

However, both sources of funding listed above are legal under Colorado law. What’s critical for voters is to have access to that information so they can decide for themselves whether the contributions provide a reason to vote for or against a particular candidate. In that regard, Emily Shockley’s reporting in The Daily Sentinel the past few days has provided invaluable information to District 51 voters trying to evaluate candidates in this year’s school board race.

In both cases mentioned above, the contributors unquestionably hope for something in return from the candidates they back. That most likely means board members supportive of charter schools and vouchers, in the case of Greenwood Village resident Ed McVaney. When it comes to MVEA, it’s board members friendly to the teachers’ union and its concerns, especially during contract negotiations.

Increasing politicization of school board races may be the wave of the future for this and other communities, although we hope that isn’t the case. However, regarding campaign contributions, as we have long argued, timely transparency is the key so that voters can see who’s contributing to whom and how that might influence the candidates.


COMMENTS

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The MVEA dollars are local. Local people, local jobs.  You have a problem with that?

Not counted in the contributions are the untold biased e-mails full of untruths the State Education Association will send; the completely false movie which was shown at the Mesa Theater two weeks ago, brought in by out of town money to scare the locals.

I wonder if the Conservative members of the MVEA appreciate their Union Dues going to Candidates they do not support.

The nonpolitical school board elections have never been that. The Left has pretty much had its own way for years. Now that the Conservatives are standing up, suddenly there is a problem. Laughable non-issue. The Left is afraid of losing its power in the School Board, no more no less.

Lets all remember these numbers, which are lost in the whining of folks like Mr. D’andrea. 33.8% Math Proficiency in our High School Seniors. 49% Reading Proficiency in the same. 50% percent of the incoming class at CMU relegated to remedial classes before they can start their regular College Course of study.

If you are satisfied with these numbers, vote for the Union that provides these results. If you want change, don’t.

Right Kevin,  then you want us to believe it is okay for one board member to direct energy to change curriculum he knows nothing about yet inflect the likes of Glenn Beck.  Give me a break

Steve Phillips, thanks for not addressing the facts in the case. 33.8% Math Proficiency, 49% Reading proficiency. 50% of new students at CMU requiring remedial classes.

I guess those numbers are just fine with you.

Mr. McCarney—you wrote, “I wonder if the Conservative members of the MVEA appreciate their Union Dues going to Candidates they do not support.”

You’re showing your ignorance here.  Look at the campaign finance reports. MVEA contributions came from their small donor committee, not from member dues.  In case you don’t know what a small donor committee is, here’s how SoS Gessler defines it: “A Small Donor Committee (SDC) is a political committee that accepts contributions from natural persons.  Each natural person must be a U.S. citizen and can contribute no more than $50 per calendar year.”

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