Sirota’s Hilarious Hypocrisy

It’s hardly surprising that someone from the Andrea Merida (btw, she’s a donor to Sirota) and Guerin Green anti-reform gang would turn out to be a hypocrite, but this report on Emily Sirota’s campaign event is pretty brazen.

At a campaign fundraiser with Montana governor Brian Schweitzer…


He did so just a few minutes after remarks from Denver City Auditor Dennis Gallagher, another Sirota supporter, who lamented “all the outside money and all the outside influences” coming into the DPS races.

Sirota’s campaign has ranted and raved about “outside money” and various conspiracies and such. But a great report from Ed News today shows that it’s actually Sirota who is the one taking outside money in this campaign.

The endorsement by Schweitzer is hardly the only out-of-state influence at play in the campaigns for three of seven board seats, for which mail ballots are now in the hands of voters.

There’s also the money.

Sirota on Tuesday reported having raised $57,962 in monetary contributions through the reporting period ending Oct. 6. Slightly over $20,000 came from more than 80 addresses outside Colorado. At least six of those donors were members either of her family or that of her husband, radio talk show host David Sirota.

But a single $5,000 check came to Sirota from Leo Hindery, managing partner of InterMedia Partners, a New York-based media industry private equity fund. Sirota also received five additional checks from outside Colorado of $1,000 to $1,500 – including one from a family member.

Sirota’s money comes from two places: out of state interests and the local teachers union. Contrast that with her opponent who has actual support from Denver:

“Ninety-five percent of the people donating to my campaign live in Denver, Colorado,” said Rowe, who had 256 individual contributors. “I am honored to have the support of so many different citizens who care so much about moving public education forward in Denver.”

Rowe’s campaign calculated that 60 percent of her $176,320 in contributions came from people within the southeast Denver district that she and Sirota both hope to represent.

26 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. nancycronk says:

    The mud-slinging between factions is getting a little old already. To anyone who is leaning against Emily because they have a beef with her husband David, you need to evolve. Emily is her own person, and although she is every bit as intelligent as her husband, her style is completely different than her husband’s.

    I am proud to endorse Emily Sirota for DPS School Board. I interviewed Emily for 70 minutes the other day (diary forthcoming). She understands the science behind what makes great schools and how children learn best. She believes in the importance of early childhood education, and in building strong communities around great neighborhood schools. Emily is a bridge-builder, peacemaker and child-protector. She is EXACTLY what is needed to heal DPS and to press forward for better schools.

    I didn’t need the Governor of Montana to leave his state to tell me this, but I am glad to know I’m in such great company.  

    • Aristotle says:

      that I look forward to that diary.

      However, I can’t go along with what you’ve stated here. While I’m sure Ms. Sirota is going to be able to serve the B of E without her husband’s input, it’s inconceivable that she’s in this position, and garnering this kind of support, without being David Sirota’s wife. If evolution is needed, then it’s for those who think this is simply a campaign about ideas.

      Denver has become an educational battleground, and it’s clear that the interested powers on one side picked the candidate they felt has the best chance at winning – the one with instant name recognition and connections, but no distracting record of actual service.

      That doesn’t mean she isn’t the better candidate; she may well be. And maybe she does have what it takes to bridge the divide. But recent history suggests otherwise. The actions of the now-minority bloc, and their connections to the attempted coup d’etat on the board (the petition for the recall of Nate Easley), aren’t those of anyone interested in compromise or coming together. From what I can see, Ms. Sirota is planning to join this bloc if elected. I can’t see her doing much to bring the board together in that event.

    • glasscup says:

      Or the mud-slinging?

      I mean, David has plenty of hypocrisy he could be called out for (actually his work for Schweitzer is probably pretty high up thereon that), but this diary isn’t about it.

      It’s Emily Sirota who has been lying about her opponent and misrepresenting her positions (the mudslinging you say you’re worried about). She should be ashamed of those lies, and your support for her reflects badly on you Nancy.

      I hope you asked about her false negative attacks and lies about Ann Bye Rowe during your “interview”? Looking forward to reading it.  

      • nancycronk says:

        I have dismissed the outside contributions for the same reason I dismissed them during Romanoff v. Bennet — I don’t care. People on both sides of the faction wars are saying the same thing about the other side. your diary is just one more example of it. Tit for tat. He said, she said.

        Who cares?

        The world is smaller now. People in CO are interested in giving to other states just like people outside of Colorado are interested in giving out-of-state. If you think progressives all over the country haven’t given to Bernie Sanders or Alan Grayson or Elizabeth Warren, you’d be wrong. Even school board races in purple states are of interest because they are a microcosm of larger political battles.

        My endorsement of Emily is because she is smart as a whip, and thinks for herself. She is not part of a “camp”. She is Emily. If anything, being married to Sirota might be a liability since a lot of people either love him or hate him.

        The thing that is missing in all of these conversations is what we know about educating kids. http://www.aera.net/AboutAERA/… Early childhood education, for example, is the best investment in education we can make. Depending on the study, one dollar invested in Early Childhood Education returns between $7-$12 in savings in remedial education, delinquency services, court costs, incarcerations, unemployment assistance, etc. When you INVEST REAL MONEY IN QUALITY ECE programs, children learn, and perform much better academically. Emily knows this and gets it.

        Emily’s research in public policy in Washington and while working for Governor Schweitzer demonstrated her competency in this area. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/… Emily also has experience in the finance arena, so DPS can count on her to stay within her budget. Clearly, that is a plus on DPS.

        Emily also understands that to have strong urban schools, you need to invest in them –that means not allowing private school vouchers to drain them dry. If you look at which schools perform better in a state — pick any state — there is a very high correlation between the wealth of that district and student academic performance. Why? Those neighborhoods invest in their schools. We need to invest MORE in Denver’s failing schools. Emily gets this.

        It is my personal opinion the attacks on teachers and teacher’s unions that have been the undercurrent of the “reforms” is a symptom of two much larger problems — the corporatization of our private lives, as well as sexism. No one is talking about these systemic issues. When I broached them with Emily, she wasn’t afraid to have the conversation. We need someone with an open mind and a willingness to dialogue about these issues. Emily does that.

        Last, Emily understands that these hot-button issues will not go away simply with the powerful winning out over the less powerful (regardless of which side is which). She says all the time, “Let’s bring the best people to the table — parents, teachers, stakeholders, community leaders, etc., and DIALOGUE about what is best for each neighborhood… for each community. IMHO, that is EXACTLY what has been missing from DPS for some time. People are so quick to scream “Outside money” or “Andrea Merida” or “He’s not Latino enough to count” or whatever sensationalist thing they can think of, no one is listening to anyone else. No one is looking at sound educational policies based on actual educational research.

        I stand by my assertion Emily Sirota is “the grown-up in the room”.

        • MADCO says:

          I do know that her campaign has complained about “outside involvement’ as if it’s a bad thing. But her campaign has recruited and accepted same.  glasscup appears to have made and verified that claim.   Arguing that everyone does it is irrelevant.  Arguing that you don’t care (as I don’t) is also irrelevant. If Sirota were to change course and admit she doesn’t mind, that would matter.

    • DenEdDem says:

      Everything I’ve heard about Emily is that she is not taking any sort of direct position (with the exception of being against vouchers, which is every candidates position).  It’s not exactly clear what she intends to do if elected. Is the claim that Anne Rowe is a bridge-burner, warmonger and child beater? Because I’d rather see some differentiation on substance.

      Perhaps you’ll clear some of this up

      • nancycronk says:

        No, I am not saying that, for myself or on anyone else’s behalf. I do not know Anne Rowe. Good people are endorsing her (Daft Punk, for example). I encourage any of her supporters to write about her strengths. The more Denver knows about all of the candidates, the better. I suspect this may be yet another situation where Denver voters have to make a decision between two good candidates.

        • DaftPunk says:

          I’ve only defended Rowe from the Sirota camp’s lies.

          That said, Rowe has a record of achievements in education.  Sirota may be full of great personal attributes and personality traits which could make her successful, or not.  

          Her campaign literature (which seems to average 1-2 pieces a day chez moi) is a bunch of platitudes, as she has no record to run on.  Maybe once she’s accomplished something in education she’ll be a better candidate.

          • Car 31 says:

            Car 31 endorses Emily Sirota!

            Go girl.

          • nancycronk says:

            Sorry, I misinterpreted your support for an endorsement. I stand corrected. Emily Sirota has a long history of political work — behind the scenes. This will be her first, and hopefully not her last, experience running as a candidate herself.

            When I interviewed Emily (and had such a busy week I have not had time to finish the diary about it) I asked her specifically if her comments were about her opponent. She told me she did not know Anne Rowe, she had nothing to say about her personally, was not accusing her of anything, but she found Anne’s endorsements by groups and individuals who have been known to support the corporatization of public schools to be “troubling”. She specifically said her concerns are based on “generalities”, not against any one person or candidate.  

          • nancycronk says:

            Sorry, I misinterpreted your support for an endorsement. I stand corrected. Emily Sirota has a long history of political work — behind the scenes. This will be her first, and hopefully not her last, experience running as a candidate herself.

            When I interviewed Emily (and had such a busy week I have not had time to finish the diary about it) I asked her specifically if her comments were about her opponent. She told me she did not know Anne Rowe, she had nothing to say about her personally, was not accusing her of anything, but she found Anne’s endorsements by groups and individuals who have been known to support the corporatization of public schools to be “troubling”. She specifically said her concerns are based on “generalities”, not against any one person or candidate.  

          • nancycronk says:

            Sorry, I misinterpreted your support for an endorsement. I stand corrected. Emily Sirota has a long history of political work — behind the scenes. This will be her first, and hopefully not her last, experience running as a candidate herself.

            When I interviewed Emily (and had such a busy week I have not had time to finish the diary about it) I asked her specifically if her comments were about her opponent. She told me she did not know Anne Rowe, she had nothing to say about her personally, was not accusing her of anything, but she found Anne’s endorsements by groups and individuals who have been known to support the corporatization of public schools to be “troubling”. She specifically said her concerns are based on “generalities”, not against any one person or candidate.  

            • nancycronk says:

              I do not claim to be an expert on education, but I can confidentally say I believe I am better educated in the field than the average person. I took many education courses in college but (foolishly) decided to get a BA in Psychology rather than in Education. I worked in the field of Early Childhood Education for eleven years, owning a child care business, working as a preschool teacher, and training other teachers. I volunteered hundreds (thousands?) of hours over the course of 10 years while my three children were in elementary school — volunteering one day a week or more in each of their classrooms. I taught religious school for a synagogue. I was also worked as an education director for an inter-faith community where I wrote curriculums, recruited and supervised teachers, and taught adults.

              Yes, I believe I have enough experience to have strong opinions on education, and to know when I have met someone who knows their stuff. No, I do not feel qualified to answer your question about process with the NWCC. I think you need to ask Emily about specific policies.

              You may ask why I care so much about DPS. Like the Mayor’s race in Denver, much of what happens first in Denver ends up affecting the suburbs. I am less concerned with advancing an individual candidate, than I am the qualities he or she possesses, as well as their philosophy. Emily’s philosophy on education closely matches my own. That is why I am doing what I can to help. I do not work with or for Emily. I am simply one of many volunteers.

              • dwyer says:

                No, I do not feel qualified to answer your question about process with the NWCC. I think you need to ask Emily about specific policies.

                That is precisely the question I posted long ago when Sirota posted her diary here.  She refused to respond to most questions, including that one.

                I don’t doubt your sincerity.  I simply doubt if your knowledge base is sufficiently adequate enough to be an educated advocate for anyone within the denver political merry-go-round.  You are supporting a candidate who does not answer questions or give specifics. I would not do that.

                • nancycronk says:

                  because you say Emily Sirota refused to answer a single question on Colorado Pols?  I haven’t even written up my diary yet and already you are attacking the messenger.  

                  • nancycronk says:

                    I don’t pretend to be an expert on DPS. Why don’t you explain, in simple terms for everyone who does not live and breathe minute details of what’s going on in the district, some background information and what your stake is in the situation. Then tell us what you’d like to see happen and what you think each candidate plans to do about it. Not everyone on Pols follows the details of every thread. This is a big state, and there is a lot more to it than just Denver.

                    • Car 31 says:

                      Sirota is EXACTLY what DPS needs.

                      Maybe you should do some more research before speaking for a candidate.

                      Sirota isn’t EXACTLY what DPS needs. What DPS needs is more community involvement and fewer education policy experts. DPS needs more money and better teachers and fewer administrators. DPS needs smaller class sizes and wider outreach into specific communities.

                      DPS needs a whole bunch of things, but I’m thinking Sirota isn’t one of them.

                    • nancycronk says:

                      Electing competent school board candidates is only a first step. Schools also need more money, more flexibility for teachers to do what they do best, fewer administrators, smaller class sizes, more parental involvement, a larger community culture that values education, and much more.  

                  • dwyer says:

                    1)  Sirota posted a diary here on Colorado Pols.

                    2) She answered one or two questions and then disappeared.

                    3) I posted the question about community process to Sirota and she never replied and she never returned to ColoradoPols

                    4) THEN, you post comments supporting Sirota’s candidacy.

                    So I asked you the same question I asked Sirota.

                    5) You said you didn’t have the answer, I should ask Sirota.

                    6) I said I had already asked and she refused to reply.

                    7) Then you go into one of your characteristic ballistic modes and accuse me of attacking the messages, etc

                    Nan, you make no sense.

                    I am thinking of writing up a summary of what I think is going on….but then I read your posting about attacking the message, and trust me, lady, at my age, I just don’t think I can sparse your comments, any more.

    • dwyer says:

      If I am mistaken, please let me know.  In any case, do you and Emily support the “community process” operative with the NWCC that mirrors the one used in Montebello?

      Why or why not?

      • dwyer says:

        My other quess is that you have an agenda and you are simply using the DPS race to promote it.  I have no objections to that; indeed, early education is a good thing.

        I just have personal feelings about opportunists.

        I just don’t think you are very well informed.  I do not live in Sirota’s district and so I can’t vote for her.  I am not voting for the so-called “reform ticket,” BTW.

        • nancycronk says:

          Investing in early childhood education is part of my agenda. Investing in strong communities is another part of it. It makes no difference to me whether it is in my district or not.

          I volunteered for Daniel Kagan tonight, too. He’s not in my district either, but I care about getting good Democrats elected, anywhere and everywhere I can.  

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