Let’s face it. The amount of mudslinging and deception that the public is willing to tolerate is more than a little concerning. Add to that, the voting public seems to be fine with electing the candidates who sling the most mud.
A major contributor to this growing problem is that, in general, a very small percentage of actual voters does the necessary homework to muddle through the attack campaigns to establish what is true. Those of us who actually do the research will also discover that often times the mudslinging isn’t being done by the candidates, themselves, but instead, by a third party political action committee. Such is the case with the current runoff election for the two remaining seats on the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, aka BESE.
We have covered, extensively, the efforts of the Empower Louisiana PAC to buy all of the BESE seats. This was accomplished by accepting an influx of contributions from out-of-state billionaires such as Michael Bloomberg (liberal), Jim and Alice Walton (conservative), Eli and Edythe Broad (liberal) and others. Just over $4,000,000 was collected for use in securing eight uncompensated elected positions. The majority of these funds were spent on mail out advertisements and television spots. Why? Well, it is a fact that the demographic of citizens who vote religiously is not tech-savvy, watches early morning and evening news and doesn’t have the resources to research candidates. They also tend to vote along party lines, or against the other party, with no consideration of whether their candidate is a good choice.
In most elections, for example, the current race for governor, what you will usually witness is a Republican candidate aligning their Democratic opponent with the national politics of said party; and, vice versa, in order to secure the support of their party voters. The BESE election; however, is unique. In matters of education, you will find that the opposing groups are comprised of bipartisan membership. What we are witnessing in the runoff election is unethical and possibly illegal behavior that takes advantage of this fact.
Let’s talk about the Empower Louisiana PAC. When we listed the contributors, above, we took the liberty of indicating their political direction. This is a joint effort between the Liberal Democrat Left and the Conservative Republican Right to secure the seats on the BESE board. We’ll talk about why,later. Right now, let’s look at their tactics.
In BESE District 6, the following mailer went out to the registered voters of the district. These were paid for, and distributed, by Empower. Notice that they lend credibility to their statements with footnotes that provide the source. In this case, the url to a video on candidate Kathy Edmonston’s FaceBook page where you can verify that she said this. Well, the link consists of more than 30 characters, and you can’t just click on it. Most people would just accept it as true.
Who is going to enter all of those characters to watch the video? We did! Here is the link to hear what she actually said. Link to video on Edmonston’s FaceBook page.
Below, you will find another fine example of misleading mailer where it seems the printer got confused about which bullets to put under each candidate, because Jason Engen, in fact, is the one endorsed by special interest groups (Empower). He does, in fact, support Common Core which a part of the education reform agenda that his financial supporters want.
These are just two example of the tactics in District 6. Keep in mind, variations of this same message are arriving in the mail, almost daily.
In BESE District 4, it has gotten particularly out of hand. Mostly because the public’s favorite is incumbent, Mary Johnson Harris, who was actually appointed by Gov. Jindal to fill a vacated seat. Here is where it gets pretty fun. The ad agency has no problem putting their photoshop skills to use and produced two separate mailers with false information. One is designed to push Democrats to vote for Harris’ opponent; the other, designed to push Republicans toward her opponent.
Now, Harris’ is a Republican who was appointed by Republican Governor Jindal, who is hated by Democrats, and many Republicans, in Louisiana. So, they are trying to say that she is Jindal’s puppet AND she supports the Obama/Clinton liberal agenda. Well, which is it? The fact is, Harris is completely against Common Core and education reform, and despite being appointed by the Governor, she has never met him. Listen below where she addresses the inaccuracies in these mailers in a recent radio interview.
We think it is despicable that this sort of thing goes on. These are only a couple of examples, but we could go on and on. The sad thing is there are no clear laws that prevent this sort of thing from happening. In fact, the way the system is designed, the candidates can distance themselves from this behavior, and they often do, saying that they didn’t approve of it and had nothing to do with it. Okay, that’s fine and dandy, but ask yourself, who would want an elected official that a third party is willing to stoop so low for to get elected? Please, all we ask is that you recognize what is happening, and take a stand for our children and our grand children. More to come on Empower Louisiana and why this is so important to them.