Chariho School Parents’ Forum

January 6, 2009

Sound familiar?

Filed under: bond — Editor @ 12:44 pm

My fiend Paul Jacob is an advocate that travels the country promoting term limits, transparency, voter initiatives, and other good things.  He also writes a column called Common Sense.  This one just came to my inbox.  Does it ring any bells in regard to Chariho’s promotion of the bond?

Get Real, Mr. Rael

Political ads are not much different from normal, commercial ads. Effective advertisements usually make it pretty clear what the hoped-for outcome is.

Buy a widget? Patronize a business? In politics, it’s “Vote for X”… or A, B, or C.

Last political season, in New Mexico’s Bernalillo, Sandoval, and Valencia counties, ads ballyhooed a Rio Metro expansion project. They very clearly concluded by telling voters to “Make a Difference on November 4th,” and offering up a certain website that also promoted voting for the tax increase to expand the transit system.

So why did Lawrence Rael of the political entity responsible for Rio Metro deny the obvious? “We’re not saying ‘vote for the tax’ as an advocacy committee would do,” he explained. “We’re just simply saying, ‘Look, this issue is on the ballot…Here’s what it’s about.’”

Oh, get real, Mr. Rael.

The reason for his reticence? Governments in a republic aren’t supposed to influence voters but be influenced by voters. That’s the point of an election, where our tax dollars ought not be on either side.

Paul Gessing, of the Rio Grande Foundation, wrote in the Albuquerque Journal, “Having advocates for these proposals working on the taxpayer dime obviously tilts the advantage in the direction of higher taxes. But giving the pro-tax side the additional advantage of a significant advertising budget is simply too much, and is truly unfair.”

No wonder government keeps growing, eh?

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.


If you want to sign up for Paul’s email column, CLICK HERE.


1 Comment »

  1. Why is money spent to “inform” voters? If voters are not motivated enough to learn for themselves why Chariho wants to spend millions more, why are we paying for it? Couldn’t this need to pay to inform the community be extended to just about anything the school does?

    The government passes all kind of laws and makes all kind of decisions which can have dramatic impact on our lives, but only when they want to reach into our pockets do they take it upon themselves to advertise. What about things like bringing constructivist math to Chariho…should they have advertised the impending vote to let an “informed” community weigh in on the curriculum? I’d be happier if they “informed” us about curriculum than trying to influence our votes so they can spent more money.

    Comment by Curious Resident — January 6, 2009 @ 2:08 pm | Reply

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