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October 21, 2014 01:42 PM UTC

New Ads Slam Jeffco Republicans Over School Board Antics

  • by: Colorado Pols

Hard shots continue against Jefferson County Republican candidates tied to the controversy surrounding the new conservative school board majority. Check out new ads ad targeting SD-19 GOP candidate Laura Waters Woods (above) and SD-16's Tim Neville (below). Neville, as we've discussed, is the brother-in-law of lightning-rod Jeffco board member Julie Williams.

The Huffington Post's Samantha Lachman published a great story yesterday evening on the potential effects of the school board's recent history review drama on the upcoming elections. The school board majority is not on the ballot this year, but many Republicans demonstrably tied to Williams and the school board are. The protests against the majority's history review proposal are arguably the highest-visibility grassroots actions in Jeffco in years, uniting citizens with a variety of political views against the common enemy of ideological censorship. And as we've been opining for some weeks, the Jeffco school board's ideological flight of fancy could be the game-changer of 2014 in Colorado's foremost bellwether county.

"For the first time in my life, I will probably vote a straight Democratic ticket." [Pols emphasis]

That realization came as something of a surprise to non-practicing attorney Wendy McCord, who has always thought of herself as a Republican. The mother of two children in Jefferson County's public school system, McCord told The Huffington Post that she has been politically transformed by the actions of the new conservative majority on the county school board, which presides over the state's second-largest school district.

Here in Jefferson County, a bellwether battleground that is almost evenly split between Republicans, Democrats and independents, a local educational controversy is resonating with county voters who otherwise might not have been engaged in this year's elections. Frustrated Republicans like McCord could be the deciding votes in Colorado's gubernatorial race, in which Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) faces a strong challenge from former Rep. Bob Beauprez (R), as well as its Senate race, in which Democratic Sen. Mark Udall is in danger of being unseated by Republican challenger Rep. Cory Gardner…

The school board controversy is especially relevant given the pivotal role Jefferson County plays in statewide elections. An informal saying here is "As Jeffco goes, so goes Colorado," referencing the fact that the county, which encompasses the suburbs west of Denver, has voted with the winners in U.S. Senate races since 1992 and gubernatorial contests since 1978. [Pols emphasis]

The story quotes Democratic Sen. Andy Kerr, himself fighting off Julie Williams-endorsed Tony Sanchez in SD-22 (new ad in that race follows after the jump) saying that the actions of the new Jefferson County school board majority are at the top of Jeffco voters' minds as he walks neighborhoods. That's consistent with what we're hearing in terms of polling results–which is driving the ads you see here hammering away at Jefferson County Republicans tied to Williams. It does appear Jefferson County voters understand that the controversy at the school board has partisan Republican origins.

Michael Clark, a registered independent who was educated in Jefferson County, suggested that the school board issue could impact November's statewide races if voters take their frustrations out on candidates who are politically aligned with the conservative board members. (No recall election has been initiated for the board itself.) For instance, Beauprez said in an interview earlier this month that the student protesters were being manipulated by their teachers.

"A lot of people were put off by his comments," Clark told HuffPost.

Bottom line: if the anecdotes in this story manifest on Election Night as votes, Julie Williams could play a bigger role in the 2014 elections than anyone who supported her election to this school board ever imagined. The decision to plunge headlong into a radical agenda of "reform" by this board, in a politically moderate and divided place like Jefferson County, could go down in history as a cardinal error; the step too far that provokes a blowback much bigger than anything a school board can achieve would ever be worth.

For Republicans in and outside Jefferson County, we're talking major disaster.


24 thoughts on “New Ads Slam Jeffco Republicans Over School Board Antics

  1. Wishful thinking. You've got as many voters who are angry about the children being indoctrinated and turned into pawns of the teacher union. The anger over Democrat overreach in Jeffco will be enough to overcome any fake crisis the CEA can engineer.

      1. Game. Set. Match. All we have to do is let voters know that these radical Tea Party candidates are behind the Jefferson County BOE.

        I don't think parents will take too kindly to the R's calling their kids pawns — no matter their party affiliation. 


    1. Obviously, you have no idea what is happening in Jeffco.  I've been around for 32 years, half of that as one of the leaders of the Jeffco Republican Party.  This is just the sort of thing that has made this a swing county.  When I was county chair, only one Democrat won in this county.  Republicans held all legislative and county seats and voted for all Republican candidates except Joan FitzGerald who won County Clerk that year.  People care about the schools here, even those of us who have had our kids graduate from them.  There are a lot of adults here who went to school in Jeffco Schools.  They know what this is about and they don't like it.  I'm guessing that your Republicans aren't walking precincts (I've also heard that from others).  Dems are walking precincts and the number one concern they hear by far and without a second choice is about the only thing they are hearing about.  Dems aren't walking for strong Dems either.  They're walking solely swing voters.  Suck it up Mod.  The only people talking about the "fake crisis" are the Republican office holders.  You're out of touch completely.

      1. Well, reality does have a liberal bent and for good reason.  The modern world is based on liberal values.  These crazy people want to drag everyone back to the 15th century. That, like repealing Obamacare, isn't going to happen, to borrow a thought from John Kasich. 

        And if they don't like liberalism, they must hate the Constitution.  Note to the gop, the Constitution is more than just a piece of paper, it's a set of ideas and you can't burn ideas.  

        If these wingnuts win any of these elections, and some will, their side still loses.  They don't have the long view.  They are too afraid, they are too greedy.  The Koch brothers know this.  That is why they are getting while the getting's good.

        1. Good point. Had the Founding Fathers been conservatives they wouldn't have been the Founding Fathers. Their United States of America represented the most dramatic flowering of the liberal, humanist, rational ideals of the Age oEnlightenment the world had yet seen. No wonder today's conservatives are so desperate to create an alternate reality with which to indoctrinate our children.

          How sad that today's Democratic pols are so afraid of embracing the robust, confident liberalism that is not just the foundation of our greatness but the very source of our existence as a nation. We are where we are today, with an ever widening gap between tiny elite at the top growing wealthier almost exponentially while the middle class has lost ground for decades, largely because of the successful cowing of the Democrats in the age of Reagan, resulting in decades of Dems allowing Rs to make "liberal" a dirty word. Too bad they've spend so many years begging to be seen as conservative lite instead of making the case for the solid liberal principles that grew the greatest middle class the world had ever known and which are responsible for every social revolution that has expanded the civil rights and liberties that are the great promise of our constitution.

          1. On point, as always, BlueCat.  The pendulum is swinging to our side.  Let's hope we can take best advantage of it, and that we can move the world forward.  This is why the authoritarian fear merchants and the power brokers hate democratic thought.  The world really doesn't need them, they need us to be exploited for their gain of power and wealth, just as they exploit the poor tea party adherents for political advantage.

            We will win this, but the fight will never really go away.  There is always another battle, another war, more greedy incomers.  C'est la vie.  We enjoy and cherish what we have, and live to fight another day.

        2. If these wingnuts win any of these elections, and some will, their side still loses. They don't have the long view. They are too afraid, they are too greedy. The Koch brothers know this. That is why they are getting while the getting's good.  – Miss Jane

          Excellent summary, Miss Jane.

    1. Follow the money. There is a lot of money in the schools and the righties want a piece of it. In the case of DougCo, the obvious example is vouchers. The not so obvious tactic is attacking AP courses. They are going to do away with AP courses, and as an alternative offer concurrent enrollment. For courses approved by a college, the students pay a fee ($300 – $400) and, if they pass the class, they get credit at the college, even though the class is taught in the public school with public school teachers (paid with public funds).  It is a great deal for the colleges, they get paid for doing next to nothing.  Who is going to certify the DougCo schools for concurrent credit?  Colorado Christian University, vocal supporter or all things right wing and conservative, including vouchers and conservative school board majorities. The private Christian University controls the public school curriculum, and gets paid to do it.

    2. I'd like to follow up on that comment DaninDen,

      after I posted the story on the last rally, (see here

      a Douglas County parent reached out to me about Douglas County parents joining forces with the Jefferson County parents.

      Up until that point, I wondered if this was a Jeffco issue only, and that phone call indicated to me that it is at least a statewide concern, if not nationwide – as the Huffpo story by Ms. Lachmann has over 10K likes and nearly 2K shares.

          1. Thanks Michael.  That looks a lot better than a link.

            Jeanne campaigning in Gilpin County in front of her house.  Excellent public servant and great neighbor.

            1. She's going to be a great Senator (once again)! 

              To post a photo don't use "Source"; click on the square directly above the "Bold" icon, paste your link in to the first line and then you can manipulate the size of the picture by changing the parameters of the width (it will auto-adjust for height).  If you are early in thread a pic can accommodate a width of "500", it will get progressively smaller from there. 

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