Find the answers to some commonly asked questions here: Common Questions
Who is donating to my campaign and other Candidates in this race?
Find out Below
Anniece W Barker (Anniece Barker) - 2023:
CITIZENS FOR LIBERTY AND LABOR - 2023:
Citizens for CVSD Transparency - 2023:
MCMULLEN CYNTHIA E (Cindy (Cynthia) McMullen) - 2023:
Stephanie Cheryl Jerdon (Stephanie Jerdon) - 2023:
Jeffery A Brooks (Jeff Brooks) - 2023:
WHAT DO CONTRIBUTIONS MEAN?
This week, I was surprised to receive a highly disturbing campaign mailer from "Citizens for Liberty and Labor" that claimed that I would contribute to the introduction of violence into our schools. This accusation is not only baseless and irresponsible, it radically misrepresents me and intends to introduce fear and safety concerns for our students. I have never made any threats or insinuations of violence in our schools or community and never will. Fostering safe classrooms is of paramount importance to me.
I am my own candidate and speak for myself. No other candidates, media outlets, special interest groups, or my opponent can speak on my behalf. I’ve made it clear that I’m advocating for transparency, effective communication on policies and curriculum, fiscal responsibility, academic improvement, diverse educational pathways for student success, and parental representation on the board. Greater academic focus, life skills, and trade skills should be central to our students' education. My intention is to be proactive in addressing legislative issues affecting our students and the local community, enabling the public to advocate for their students, teachers, and schools, and stand up for local control.
One reason this mailer is highly disconcerting is because the connection between money and politics runs deep, even in seemingly small political contests like School Board elections. Political funding sheds light on candidates' affiliations, beyond what's presented in debates, on social media, or yard signs. It offers insight into the social and political agendas that seek representation through those in office. These financial contributions are revealing as to what donors potentially expect from candidates and the influence they may exert on those elected.
In Washington state, candidates, political groups, lobbyists, non-profits, and elected officials are required to disclose campaign, committee, individual, and organizational donations. This transparency allows the public to discern who is supporting specific candidates or political positions. Washington's campaign funding rules are open, permitting contributions from various sources, provided that they adhere to the guidelines associated with their sought-after offices.
One entity often central to political races is the Political Action Committee (PAC). PACs exist to raise funds and act independently of political campaigns, either supporting or opposing candidates and measures. These committees may:
- Support or oppose candidates.
- Advocate for or against ballot propositions, referendums, initiatives, recalls, annexations, or incorporations.
- Make contributions to candidates or other committees.
PACs are subject to reporting requirements, with their financial activities documented by the state Public Disclosure Commission (PDC). These reports can be accessed via the PDC website, enabling the public to scrutinize not only the funding sources but also the top donors and "paid for by" information on political advertisements. It is crucial to remember that PACs should maintain a distinct separation from a candidate's campaign and avoid coordinating their efforts or messaging.
As elections draw near, voters are inundated with political postcards advocating for or opposing specific candidates and measures. These mailers are often funded by PACs, making it essential to scrutinize who is financing these advertisements and who the donors behind these PACs are. It demands the community's close attention.
Two PACs, "Citizens for CVSD Transparency" and "Citizens for Liberty and Labor," are actively seeking to influence this School Board election. A look at their PDC filings reveals striking disparities. The former is entirely funded by local parents and community members in Spokane Valley, demonstrating a strong grassroots support base. In contrast, "Citizens for Liberty and Labor,” the responsible party for this fear-mongering mailer, receives financial backing from prominent organizations, including "Fuse" (who claims to be "THE LARGEST PROGRESSIVE ORGANIZATION IN WASHINGTON"), Planned Parenthood, teacher unions like the Washington Education Association, environmental groups, and other unions. Why are these organizations so vested in School Board elections and what do they aim to influence?
Transparency, central to my campaign platform, is a cornerstone of community trust and unity. My financial reports are characterized by donations from local parents, families, and community members who value quality education, safe schools, fiscal responsibility, and transparency in school policies and curriculum. Notably, the only organization that contributed to my campaign is "Citizens for CVSD Transparency," another local grassroots effort, who in turn is funded by local community members.
However, my opponent's campaign finance reports reveal a different narrative. Donations from multiple Democrat and Progressive groups, including the Washington Teachers Union (WEA), raise serious questions. Why do these organizations support my opponent? What are their vested interests and what do they stand to gain? These organizations have been known to endorse policies that reduce parental rights, limit free speech, raise taxes, and prioritize special interests. Obviously, they see in him an opportunity to influence school district policy that directly affects your students.
Another striking donation in my opponent's campaign is from the School District attorney, Paul Clay, who ties with other contributors as my opponent’s largest donor. This contribution raises concerns regarding conflict of interest, given the ongoing legal issues involving the incumbents and his representation on their behalf.
In closing, the recent postcards sent by my opponent's supporters are disheartening, given our school district's motto of "You, We, I Belong." Our sitting School Board members should be responsible and denounce such divisive political tactics that breed fear and discord within our community. Let's focus on what truly matters – the welfare and education of our students and the betterment of our community.