Surprisingly, Support Jeffco Kids (SJK) and I agree on one thing. We don’t like lies or liars. In a post published on October 15th, SJK wrote:
It is never okay to lie to get elected. NEVER.
I agree, but I take that a step further in that I don’t think it is EVER okay to lie PERIOD.
Yet, isn’t that what both Brad Rupert and Susan Harmon did at the League of Women Voters Candidate forum on October 17th in response to a question on the sources of their campaign funding?
I was there. Ron Mitchell was the first of the incumbents to answer and I will give him credit in that he took time to think about the question before answering. Brad Rupert was the next incumbent and he answered adamantly that the “vast majority” of funding came from within the District. Susan Harmon was the last of the incumbents and she used Brad’s exact phrase and replied “vast majority” came from within the District.
The problem is that those statements are just not true. Certainly we could argue the meaning of “vast”, but unfortunately for Brad using the phrase “vast majority” for 58% is intentionally deceptive and falls into Webster’s definition of lie for me. It is worse for Susan.
For Brad, $22,279, by my calculations from http://tracer.sos.colorado.gov/PublicSite/SearchPages/CandidateDetail.aspx?SeqID=37387, of $53,007 in total contributions, 42% was contributed to his campaign from outside the District. That is not a “vast majority” from inside the District, Brad. The largest contribution of $20,514 came from a Committee controlled by the state teacher’s union (CEA). Brad also received $4,010 from the Jefferson County Education Association (JCEA), or local teachers’ union for a total of $24,524 from the teacher unions.
For Susan, it is worse. A MAJORITY of her funding actually came from OUTSIDE of the District, $24,847 of $49,626, or 50+%. Susan’s largest contribution of $20,514 also came from a Committee controlled by CEA.
So, in front of a packed room of people, with complete conviction and without hesitation, both candidates didn’t tell the truth in a blatant attempt to deceive the audience in an attempt to get elected
I know what I think of those candidates. Truthfulness is one of my core values. I literally cannot stand people who intentionally deceive, don’t tell the truth and lie.
I wonder what Support Jeffco Kids thinks of their candidates who can’t tell the truth now?
To a lesser degree, it is disconcerting to me where Brad and Susan’s money is coming from. It is coming from the teachers’ unions. We saw what happened when the unions contributed nearly $275k to elect their “clean slate” in 2015. It resulted in nearly $40M in teacher compensation increases over the past 2 years.
If the incumbents win in 2017, will the unions be repaid again? The incumbents are already talking about teacher compensation increases and as we saw last week, they will lie to keep the voters from knowing where their contributions are coming from.