Lies, Billionaires and Democracy

Once again, the billionaires such as the owners of Netflix and Walmart, who are financing Scott’s opponent’s campaign, are running a vicious campaign of lies and distortions. Perhaps it is because they believe this is the only way to beat a candidate who has as strong a record as Board Member Scott Schmerelson.

They can’t run against his formidable experience in the District, and the endorsements of so many elected officials, parents and employee associations, the los Angeles Times, the Democratic Party and advocacy organizations such as the Sierra Club and the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project.

Please ask yourself, why do these unimaginably wealthy individuals want to control the LA Unified School Board?

Is it just because they can?

Do they have so little respect for the one person, one vote bedrock of democracy, that they can spend literally millions of dollars on a single school board race when millions of dollars is merely loose change for them?

Or…is it because they are totally aligned with the Trump/DeVos narrative about “failing government schools” and the need to privatize public education like fast food franchises?

Still, undermining democratic local elections is not enough for these rich out-of-state tycoons. They still need the lies and misinformation to win.

Sound familiar?

For example, they scream that he tripled his compensation as a school board member.

A quick glance at Section 804 of the Los Angeles City Charter describes the process whereby Board Member salaries are set every five years by an independent Compensation Committee appointed (mayors, and other elected officials) by the mayor of L.A., the mayors of other incorporated cities in the district, the President of the L.A. City Council and the Chair of the County Board of Supervisors.

The same duplicity can be said about almost every assertion in the rich guys’ mailers including a recent one proclaiming that his opponent is endorsed by Arne Duncan. Check out her endorsement list for the accuracy of that statement!

We could spend a lot of time correcting all the lies. We even have a section on the campaign website to correct the lies.

Still, the money and the lies are not enough. His opponent’s supporters have gone even farther with hateful and anti-Semitic campaign literature (as covered by the LA Times), something we never dreamed would be acceptable in 2020 America.

At a time like this, when the level of debate has reached unprecedented levels of incivility, those who seek to lead our public schools must remember this: our children are watching.

To represent our communities, we must lead with truth, respect for our democratic institutions and norms and, most importantly, with empathy and kindness.

This is why we are asking for your help.

Please attend campaign forums. Talk to teachers, friends and family that you trust and who are familiar with the record of the candidates. Go to the candidates’ campaign websites.

A democracy requires an informed citizenry in order to prosper.

Those who fill the airwaves and mail boxes with lies and hateful messages are betting that voters will not conduct their own research.

Let’s prove them wrong.

Let’s not get fooled by the Big Lies.

Lastly, please volunteer to help me reach out to voters, to donate what you can afford – even small amounts are appreciated – and to Vote on November 3rd!

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