Not much could be scarier than the endless string of political advertising that’s been increasingly inflicted upon us over the past few months. The best thought is the light at the end of the tunnel only a few days away now. All this campaigning has soured my stomach and numbed my brain. It has divided my attention a dozen ways or more.
As Alexander Ooms highlighted yesterday’s Rocky Mountain News story, it seems even the well-funded Denver’s teachers union has had its struggles with the distractions of election season. The DCTA president admitted that her group has sacrificed resources that could have been used on the district’s bond and mill levy campaign to focus on defeating three state ballot amendments.
Interestingly, the issue committee Protect Colorado’s Future that DCTA has poured $10,000 into (along with more than $200,000 from their CEA building mates and $3.3 million from the NEA in Washington, D.C.) in order to oppose the amendments has released a new, outrageous mailer. In a roundabout way, the kind of advertising it exemplifies has plenty to say about the state of public education.
You really have to follow the link and see the ad for yourself. Like Godzilla, Amendment 49 and Amendment 54 are going to crush fire departments? This is the height of absurdity only occasionally reached in contemporary political campaigns. As Mike Rosen warned his audience on 850 KOA yesterday about a radio ad produced by this same group: “They think you’re stupid. Don’t be stupid.”
Doubtless that admonition could be made in reference to many of the blurry, grainy TV attack ads and over-the-top mail pieces bandied about this election season. But Protect Colorado’s Future has elevated – or should I say denigrated – it into a new art form.
It might be a bit much to presume that DCTA, CEA, and NEA officials think you’re stupid, just because they’ve funded this campaign. I don’t know that the teachers union has any say at all over the committee’s design and production of ads. But someone should ask them if they feel the slightest remorse about boatloads of educators’ dues money clearly appropriated in hopes of preying on ignorance.
Probably not, I guess. After all, their Jefferson County union compatriots only a few weeks ago littered the school district email system with “absurd scare tactics” about imagined threats to teacher retirement funds. Someone must have figured that obliterated fire departments play better with the undecided voters in the general public.
You know what’s more than ironic, but scary? The money of teachers being used to exploit fears and ignorance through deception. Thankfully, this election will be over in a matter of days. Sadly, I expect these horrible campaign tactics will live on.
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