Sunday, October 28, 2012

And more sunshine (Buying a school, part II)

If you haven't done so yet, please read my prior post, Buying a School, which details how outside money from charter school supporters has flooded the SCCBOE election to run an attack campaign against Anna Song.

I finally got the FPPC 460 from the Santa Clara County Schools PAC.  As is my custom, I've attached the entire document.   Here's what you want to know:

There were a couple of really big checks written (including several from the Charter Schools Association, as reported in the well written article on the Patch).  I am not surprised, but am disappointed none the less, to see the names of local residents among the donors:
  • Janet Medlin (BCS Board Member)
  • Mark Andrade
  • Susan Goldman
  • Mark Jensen
  • Dorothy Price
  • RJ Daley Construction Company
    (401 First St, Los Altos)
  • Donna Young

I am particularly troubled to see BCS Board Member Janet Medlin as a contributor.  Admittedly it's not a huge donation, but it troubles me for a couple of reasons:

1)  I'd like to think that we try to conduct ourselves with integrity here in Los Altos.  Funding attack ads doesn't seem to be what we'd want from our public servants.  (overlooking the obvious fact that the BCS board isn't elected).

2)  I find it questionable, at best, for a member of a governing board to be financially involved in the election of the agency that governs them.  Yes, we all still have rights of free speech, and I'm certainly an advocate of that.  However, having BCS board members trying to influence the outcome of an election in another district, and to directly attack a member of SCCBOE-- it just doesn't sit well with me. 

Is it legal?  As far as I know, it is.  Is it ethical?  Not in my book.

I won't be making a personal donation to Anna's campaign because I don't think it is appropriate for me to do so while I am a sitting School Board member with business in front of the SCCBOE.  However, as parents and members of our community, you are free to support candidates as you see fit.  I believe that Anna has been a strong supporter of public schools, and she has committed herself to running a clean campaign.  The article below has an address and link if you would like to support her campaign.

Once again, this isn't a political ad for Anna Song.  It is my observations with respect to the electoral process.  However, to the extent that I've endorsed Anna, I don't want any confusion, so I am including her FPPC information in an abundance of caution.

Friends of Anna Song for County Board of Education, 2012
1000 Kiely Bl. #46,
Santa Clara, CA 95051
FPPC# 1241672