Anaheim City School District Considers Form of Publicly-Financed Campaigning

In addition to the proposed addition to the governing board bylaws regarding how it is elected, there was another interesting item on the agenda of last night’s Anaheim City School District Board of Education agenda – related to paying for candidate statements.

Candidate statements are probably the single most important communication a school board candidate has with the public. It’s the candidate’s chance to explain their stands and issues in 200 or 400 words, and it goes to every voter in the OC Registrar of Voters sample ballot..

Traditionally, the candidate is responsible for reimbursing the OC Registrar for the cost of the printing and mailing the statement. that is the case in every Orange County jurisdiction with an elected body, and the Anaheim City School District — currently — is no different:

The district shall assume no part of the cost of printing, handling, translating, or mailing of candidate statements filed pursuant to Elections Code 13307. As a condition of having candidate statements included in the voter’s pamphlet, the district may require candidates to pay their estimated pro rata share of these costs to the district in advance pursuant to Elections Code 13307

Last night’s agenda item on the subject asked the governing board members to keep the current policy or replace it with this:

In order to help defray the costs of campaigning for the Board, the district shall pay the cost of printing, handling, translating, and mailing candidate statements filed pursuant to Elections Code 13307.

Plainly understood, this is a limited form of publicly-financed campaigns, one of the great unrequited shibboleths of the Left; under this proposed change in the ACSD Board bylaws, district taxpayers would foot the bill for anyone meeting the uber-basic board candidacy requirements.

Since when is it the responsibility of taxpayers to “defray the costs of campaigning for the Board”? We live in free country where every adult (with some exceptions) has the right to seek elected office. What they don;t have is the right to use government’s taxation power to force their fellow citizens to foot the bill for their election campaign.

According to the district PIO with whom I spoke, the government board members “preferred” the status quo, and she is getting back to me with more detailed information on which board members supported which option. I also requested information as to who at the district proposed limited public-funding of candidate campaigns – plus an update on whether there was a motion by any member of the Board of Education to switch from at-large elections to single-member council districts.

 

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