You’ve got Mail

Today 27,000 residents of Duluth will receive one of the best multi-candidate mailers I’ve ever seen. I did not design it. You will find this representation of our four campaign yardsigns in one corner.

The mailer, which gives a short description of each candidate’s reasons for running for the school board, says of the foursome:

In the upcoming School Board election, if you hope to elect members who are non-partisan advocates for everyone, who are independents not tied to special interests, and who will be willing to engage in healthy, respectful discussion about important issues, please vote for these candidates:

They believe that most of the current district problems can be traced back to budgets-and it’s time to bring ISD 709’s budget out of the dark. It’s time to let taxpayers see what the Board does with their money. Our district’s problems should be solved with transparency and openness-not behind closed doors. The partisan politics of past elections brought us to where we are today. If you want a different kind of board, you need to elect a different kind of candidate. Duluth’s schools need leaders like Kurt, Art, Harry and Dana.

These four candidates could not afford to send this flyer to all of Duluth’s residents so I will put portions of it here over the next couple days. Our financial limitations made a partial mailing necessary but I guarantee the voters that we are as frugal as previously careless school board were spendthrifts having squandered 200 teachers in exchange for vanity stoking new school buildings.

And one more thing for now. I got a call from the Trib’s Editor Chuck Frederick fact checking claims being sent into the Trib. Someone wrote in that I used campaign contributions to help pay my friend Art Johnston’s obscene $75,000 legal costs to defend the election of Western Duluth voters to put Art on the school board. I corrected that in one quick hurry. I had promised to help Art raise funds to defend himself but in that desperate two years could not muster the time to raise money. What to do?

As my long time readers know my Mother died during those tribulations and left me a modest legacy. I gave Art $20,000 to sustain him as Rosie Loeffer-Kemp and her pals tried to drain him dry. I’ve never spend money on a more worthy cause.

As for this year’s spending we four candidates pooled our resources for this mailer. I had access to the addresses of the 2000 outraged voters who in 2009 raised $40,000 in small checks to challenge Johnston Controls and the School Board in court demanding that the Red Plan be put out for competitive bids since we had not been allowed a referendum to accept it. Those LDV voters have not forgotten how the School Board thumbed its noses at them. They once again came forward with nearly $3,000 to cover the cost of this mailer. (I just got a call from an almost forgotten friend who told me it was a great mailer. I thanked her gratefully)

On Facebook I am being singled out by the sister of one of the candidates not pictured in our mailer for having violated the law in raising these funds. She’s encouraging folks to come up with the money to take me to Minnesota’s election commission. That’s ironic because she once helped me narrow down the choice of attorneys for Let Duluth Vote to challenge the Red Plan. As I’ve mentioned in the past I am a connoisseur of irony.

Tomorrow I’ll reprint the letter that is supposed to get me hauled before the judges of good campaign etiquette for the edification of my eight loyal readers.