Sunday, April 22, 2007

School Board Endorsement Roundup - So far

The School Board Elections in Livingston County based districts are on May 8. The Concerned Taxpayers Group of Livingston County was the first organization to endorse candidates and lead the way. Right to Life and the MEA have now endorsed as well. The endorsements by the PACs are as follows.

Brighton Schools
Concerned Taxpayers Group - Irene Besancon and Greg Rassel.
Right to Life - Irene Besancon and Jared Geist
MEA - None listed. There are rumors, but until then that's just it. Rumors.
Argus has not endorsed yet.

Howell Schools
Concerned Taxpayers Group - Bill Harvey and Doug Moore
Right to Life - Bill Harvey and Doug Moore
MEA - Ed Literski and Dan Fondriest
LOVE Group - I haven't heard anything about endorsements yet. I've heard a zillion rumors including future write in candidates, but that's just it. Rumors.
Argus has not endorsed yet

Pinckney Schools
Concerned Taxpayers Group - Jason Reifschneider
Right to Life - Jason Reifschneider
MEA - none listed
Argus has not endorsed yet.

Hartland and Fowlerville - no endorsements listed so far.

A few interesting developments. The major one is the MEA "splitting teams" in Howell. Ed Literski is running as a team with Jeannine Pratt who is an incumbent. However, Pratt didn't get an endorsement by them. Fondreist and Literski (non-incumbent) did. Howell Super Chuck Breiner is being triple flanked right now. The fiscal conservatives are not supportive of him. The social conservatives can not stand him. The teachers union is not happy with him either. The latest fiasco with the debate also throws some fuel on the fire. Breiner losing support from the left and the right.

I'm surprised the MEA did not endorse, at least publicly, in Brighton and Pinckney. Pinckney especially since they have historicaly been strong there.

There are two upcoming debates.
Debate for Howell is on Monday at the Howell Rec Center at 7PM. There is limited seating there.
Debate for Brighton is on Thursday at Green Oak Township hall at 7:30PM


keithr said...

I had a chance to talk with Howell candidates Bill Harvey and Doug Moore in depth about the issues in Howell recently. I was VERY impressed with their qualifications and depth of knowledge. Most impressive to me is that they don't represent any political interests nor do they disparage any groups or individuals. Instead, they talk about how important it is to listen to input from all teachers, administrators, parents, students, groups, taxpayers, etc . . . and then conduct due diligence prior to making decisions on issues. They don't make any promises other than to listen to all sides carefully.

They wish to avoid partisan politics and focus on operating the schools fairly for the benefit of all concerned parties.

This are precisely the kind of people we need on a school board.

Pogo said...

Did you see that opinion piece the Argus passed off as a news article today, about how there is nothing wrong with electing school board members with relatives working in the district? Obviously the Argus intends to endose one or more candidates in this situation and is trying to defuse the situation in advance. How self serving!

Stuffed Peppers said...

I had the opportunity to meet Brighton candidate Greg Rassel at a soccer game last Saturday. I was impressed with his understanding of the issues, his military service (Marines), and his overall presence. He invited me to visit his website ( which I did, and I was sold.

After my discussion with Greg, I talked with several of the other parents, some of whom know Greg personally. I came away thinking that he is a "problem solver", no BS kind of guy. Get it done, and do it right the first time.
Sounds like just what we need in Brighton.

On another note...I wonder if the reason the teacher's union hasn't released their endorsements is because they are afraid that their bad behavior last spring would be counter-productive to the success of "their" candidates. They will just privately get their voters to the polls.

This will be a close election, and I predict the winners will win by narrow margins.

Sorry if this is a duplicate post, my first one went to oblivion!

William said...

Ha! From the looks of the Brighton poll, it appears young Jared is pumping up his own scores. Well, if you can't toot your own horn.....

papa1926 said...

Well folks, the BEA/BESPA has come out with their "recommendations". Winnie Garrett, according to the unions, is "easily the best candidate".

They seem to have lots of money to throw around, too. My wife, a union member, got not one, but two letters, and I, a non union school employee, got one also. So a total of three separate letters mailed to one household at 39 cents each....ridiculous! I assume from the format of the letter that it is from the unions. There is a return address at the bottom but no "paid for by" line. After reading all the uproar about this, I'm not sure what the law is on that point.

Beth Minert also gets their nod, although unofficially, because she did not seek their endorsement. Gee, I wonder why not.

The letter pretty much orders us to vote for Mrs. Garrett, and says that our second vote is our choice. Excuse me, but in my opinion BOTH votes should be MY choice!

Just my two cents.

Republican Michigander said...

Papa1926 - Interesting. Thanks for that post. I'm not surprised with the choices listed for several reasons.

To the best of my knowledge, BEA does not have a PAC. Assuming that is still the case, they are limited to only recommending candidates to their membership. Anything else would probably have to come from the MEA, with disclaimers and all. Being a non-union school employee, I'm not sure if you are considered a member (through your wife) or not, of if it would apply through campaign finance regulation as you are part of the same household. It might be no different than my dad getting "solidarity" in the mail.

If my parents (in Brighton Schools) get the same mailing, then it's no longer a case of it going to just member households, and it becomes electioneering (if it clearly advocates for a candidate).

There's also the gray area between "issue advocacy" (which I used to work in) and "election communication". That's currently being fought out in the courts. Based on how you described the mailing, it is not as open and shut as the Howell case on its legality/illegality. Under the old law - if it said vote, elect, defeat, for, against - aka the magic words, it becomes electioneering. Else, it may be "issue advocacy". Confusing, I know. If I ran an ad that said "Irene Besancon and Greg Rassel are good people" without saying "vote for them", it would be a grey area under the law.

It sounds like it may be a grey area in your case, or it may be perfectly legal. Considering that I just studied defamation, libel, and slander in torts class, I'm hesitant to say that someone broke the law unless I'm very sure of it, as is the case in Howell.