The schoolyard bullying by the Washington Education Association has begun in Centralia.
As reported here previously, the WEA has dumped over $82,569.80 into an “independent expenditure” for a single school district race in Centralia. There are approximately 13,300 registered voters in the school district. This amounts to $6.21 a voter!!! (By comparison, the highly publicized $1.45 million contribution from Amazon for seven Seattle city council races equals only $3.24 per voter per race).
The race the WEA is attempting to buy is the Position 4 contest between incumbent Centralia school board member Jami Lund and political newcomer Amanda McDougall.
From Public Disclosure Commission reports we find what the WEA is spending their money on in this race. They are outlaying over $16,000 to buy advertising on KITI and KMNT radio, $10,600 on direct mail. $6,400 on on-line advertising, and $1,500 on advertising in the Centralia Chronicle. The rest of the money has been spent on production and traveling expenses for consultants (apparently they even flew in a consultant to work on this project).
Why is the WEA doing this? Simply stated – they are playing thug politics.
Not only does Jami Lund work for the Freedom Foundation which has been a leading advocacy group for union members who were tired of union bosses stealing money from their paychecks, but Lund also had the courage to question the 24% pay raise given to the teachers in 2018. The financial hit from this wage increase to WEA members has forced the district to make serious budget cuts to important education services for the children.
By pouring all this money into this one race, the WEA is sending a clear message to school district board members across the state – if you disagree with the WEA, they will use all their resources to defeat you at the polls. It is pure brute politics.
It should be noted that Jami Lund has received financial support from dozens of local individuals and families raising nearly $7,000. Meanwhile his opponent has donated $375 herself to her campaign and has received just one contribution of $100 from a local resident. Her campaign has also received $1,000 directly from the WEA and another $1,000 from the WEA’s co-conspirators at the Washington Federation of State Employees.
We have seen all the headlines Amazon’s contributions in Seattle have made for their relatively small donation in Seattle. Why hasn’t the same attention been paid to the WEA’s attempt to buy an election in Lewis County? This is especially curious given the WEA’s contribution is almost twice the amount of Amazon’s on a per voter basis.
This story should be front page news in Southwest Washington. Yet, there is almost no coverage in the local media. Likely this suits the WEA fine, for thugs do their best work in the dark.