The election on Tuesday brought positive results both at the state and local levels with conservative, anti-tax measures and candidates receiving voter approval.
Yet, there is one election where the bad guys may have won – the Centralia School Board race between incumbent Jami Lund and Mandi McDougall.
Jami Lund had raised over $15,000 from 226 individuals (an impressive show of support for a local school board race) while Ms. McDougall received just one contribution for $100.
Yet, as of Thursday morning McDougall leads Lund by 110 votes, 2495 to 2385. There are still a few hundred ballots to be counted in the race, but unless a minor miracle occurs, Ms. McDougall will soon be serving on the Centralia School Board.
How did a candidate with just one contributor beat an incumbent with hundreds of supporters? Simple – The Washington Education Association (WEA) and its allies in the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) and other unions dumped $91,720 into an “independent expenditure” in one of the purest examples of vindictive politics in our country.
Strong Centralia Schools was the dark organization formed by the WEA to run this effort. When all votes are counted, it will have spent approximately $40 per vote to win this election! It is doubtful that one could find another example of this type of vengeful behavior in our state’s history.
Much has been made about the $1.45 million Amazon poured into Seattle races (remember Amazon’s HQ is in Seattle and tens of thousands of Amazon employees live and work in the city). Yet Amazon’s money, spent over seven city council races, will likely amount to approximately $15 per vote received – far less than half the amount the WEA and Strong Centralia Schools spent in Centralia where they have just a few dozen employees.
There are two reasons why the WEA and the other government employee unions went to such an extreme to remove Jami Lund:
- Lund had the courage to correctly state that the 24% pay raise the teachers received was going to force the school district to cut spending on programs which will greatly impact students’ education.
- Lund works for the Freedom Foundation, which is a conservative think tank which informs government employees of their rights regarding the dues the unions take from their paychecks. Freedom Foundation’s Opt Out Today program has successfully helped thousands of union employees stop making forced contributions into political activities they do not support.
The WEA and the other unions have used the Centralia school board race as an example to other elected officials across the state (and across the country), that they will spend what it takes to defeat anyone who dares stand up to their greedy antics.
We can call it bully politics, thug politics, vindictive politics or vengeful politics. It is wrong and needs to be stopped.
The best way to stop these acts is to shine a light on them so that the public is aware they occur and who is behind these acts. Share this article with friends and let others know the depths the WEA and their allies will sink to control school boards and other institutions that feed their large bank accounts.