Election Watch: Barbara Boxer’s Campaign Breaks the Law, Solicits Help From Los Angeles Area Students Via Teachers
Senator Ma'am gets caught with the red hand.
October 28, 2010 - 1:41 pm
California’s Flash Report recently obtained a letter proving that Barbara Boxer’s campaign has attempted to solicit Los Angeles public school government and social studies teachers to urge students to “volunteer” for the Barbara Boxer senatorial campaign.
Here is a copy of the letter sent by the Boxer campaign to Los Angeles school teachers:
The Boxer campaign letter clearly requests “students to take part in our campaign” and “earn extra credit” doing so. “Various projects” out of the Boxer Hollywood campaign office are mentioned for would-be student volunteers along with a suggestion to view this Obama video:
As Rhymes with Right notes, inclusion of the video strongly suggests a turn from mere “education” to indoctrination, as it’s clearly a booster piece for Boxer.
The president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA) forwarded the Boxer “Dear Teachers” letter to and filed a complaint with the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Los Angeles Board of Education:
To the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Los Angeles County Board of Education: In abject ignorance of California state law, the political campaign of Senator Barbara Boxer has openly solicited teachers employed by LAUSD to urge their students to volunteer for her campaign. We trust that LAUSD will immediately inform all its personnel, credentialed or otherwise, that it would be a clear violation of law for teachers to recruit their students on school property during school hours to volunteer for a specific political campaign.
The HJTA president cites California Education Code, section 51520, which clearly states:
During school hours, and within one hour before the time of opening and within one hour after the time of closing of school, pupils of the public school shall not be solicited on school premises by teachers or others to subscribe or contribute to the funds of, to become members of, or to work for, any organization not directly under the control of the school authorities, unless the organization is a nonpartisan, charitable organization organized for charitable purposes by an act of Congress or under the laws of the state, the purpose of the solicitation is nonpartisan and charitable, and the solicitation has been approved by the county board of education or by the governing board of the school district in which the school is located.
The Boxer campaign, caught red-handed with their hands in the public school-electioneering cookie jar, admitted the authenticity of the letter but promptly issued a legalese-denial, non-apology style apology and punted responsibility to “volunteers” and a “junior staffer.”
Boxer campaign manager Rose Kapolczynski:
Because some local social studies teachers encourage students to volunteer, Boxer campaign volunteer coordinators notified a handful of schools near the campaign headquarters that the campaign was accepting volunteers. The letter did not ask teachers to solicit students to work on the campaign or to use school facilities, supplies or equipment for political purposes. The sole intent of the letter was to provide interested students with information about a volunteer opportunity. However, the letter, which was written by a volunteer and reviewed by a junior staffer, was inappropriate and we apologize. The author of the letter has been counseled and campaign coordinators will no longer conduct outreach to public schools.
The HJTA easily disproves this defense, stating in the letter sent to LAUSD and LACBE:
While claiming students will “gain an invaluable educational experience on [sic] one of the highest profile Senate races this election,” the letter candidly admits: “The Boxer campaign needs volunteers to help with various projects.”
One with perhaps even a modicum of legal knowledge, command of the English language, and common sense will gather that certain language in the “Dear Teachers” letter (eg, “The Boxer campaign (needing) volunteers to help with various projects”) is a political solicitation by the campaign.
The claim by Barbara Boxer’s campaign manager that the “Dear Teachers” letter was seemingly “inappropriate,” yet not illegal, is ludicrous. And forcing a lower level staffer to fall on the proverbial sword is beyond the pale.
And why is the mainstream press in California, for the most part, ignoring this story?