2014’s “Swing Issue?” Public Education

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

We've all heard it before: "As goes Jefferson County, so goes Colorado." 

In an election year where national developments such as Ebola and ISIS have created more generalized voter angst than focused anger, Colorado's 2014 state legislative races seemed destined to enter the final stretch with no clear definition or rallying cry.

Meanwhile, in Jeffco – which has four targeted races that will ultimately determine which party will control the state Senate – the new school board majority that was elected last year was conducting itself in a way that created some concern among parents and teachers, but didn't set off particularly potent alarms outside the education community.

But, just as ballots were dropped off in mailboxes, the defining moment came: Julie Williams' proposal to sanitize AP US history. Once she tipped the board majority's hand, the deep concerns among parents about what the Jeffco School board might be planning turned into a nationally broadcast, student-protest-fueled, laser-focused rejection of what the majority was proposing. 

That's how defining issues are born. Jeffco voters who currently have no way to take direct electoral action against the board majority are looking for ways to make their voices heard. They're asking about it when candidates come to the door and, judging from a spate of new video ads from the Democratic Senate Campaign Fund, Senator Andy Kerr, Senator Rachel Zenzinger, Citizens Alliance for Accountable Leadership, and Great Education Colorado Independent Expenditure Committee, supporting public education must be polling pretty well.

It appears, then, that Jeffco legislative candidates may well be the beneficiaries of voters' desire to register their discontent with the current school board majority. That discontent may, in turn, have a statewide impact up and down the ballot.

Ironic though it may be, then, the Jeffco School Board's attempts to sanitize U.S. History may very well prove to be one of the best things for democracy in 2014.


5 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    I think Laura Woods is an open proponent of school vouchers, even though funding of religious entities by use of tax dollars is forbidden by the Colorado Constitution. But why let a little constitutional concern get in the way of an ideological agenda?

  2. DawnPatrol says:

    When our resident Astro(turf) Boy troll crows so loudly about how many more ballots GOPers have returned thus far, note that he always carefully avoids responding to questions about how many of those Jefferson County GOP votes may actually be for Democratic candidates, as many JeffCO GOP voters have vowed to do in light of The Great Koch-Brothers JC School Board Debacle of 2014.

    Public Education is most definitely a swing issue in Election 2014, and it will not favor the GOP. That's why they rely on things like fear (ISIS, Ebola — BOO!), lies (I do not support Personhood/I will not work to weaken Social Security/I want to make contraception more available/I won't work to overturn Roe V Wade/I'll work across party lines/I'll fix what's broken), and voter suppression.

  3. Andrew Carnegie says:

    DP, those more than 6,500 Jeffco Republicans who have voted than Dems may well vote for some Dem candidates, particularly down ballot.  Just don't count on many of them voting for Udall.

    • dustpuppy says:

      Like i said… there are /SANE/ Republicans who'll vote straight D. These are not the teaparty folks who follows Fixed News to the letter.. These are thinking men's Republicans, and believe it or not, some of them ACTUALLY do support public education. Many of them have kids that go to a public school and are being affected by the stupidity of the Jeffco School Board.

      ACHole. I'll make you a bet: $1,000 right now, that you will be back here, whining about voting fraud after November 4th. Want to take the bet? You'll be nothing but a sore loser. 


  4. Davie says:

    As if there weren't many other reasons to toss Republican officeholders out on the keisters (yeah, I'm gonna post this a few more times I think it's that good 🙂

    This year the Republicans are doing their very best to prevent the voters from remembering who they really are and what they really stand for. They're putting on their "moderate masks" and the costumes of ordinary middle class Americans.

    Why do they have to pretend to be something their not? Their problem is that most Americans disagree with their positions on just about every economic and social issue of the day. Voters disagree with Republicans on economic issues like:

    • GOP opposition to raising the minimum wage;
    • GOP refusal to renew unemployment benefits to the long-term unemployed;
    • GOP obstruction of Democratic proposals to lower payments and cut interest rates on student loans;
    • The incredibly unpopular GOP proposal to eliminate the Medicare guarantee and replace it with a voucher for private insurance;
    • The failed GOP proposal to privatize Social Security;
    • GOP opposition to making oil companies, CEO's of big corporations and Wall Street Banks pay their fair share of taxes;
    • GOP proposals to cut funding for public education;
    • GOP proposals to cut funding for medical and scientific research and development;
    • Republican support for eliminating and weakening regulations that limit the ability of Wall Street speculators to cause another financial collapse like the one that created the Great Recession;
    • Republican support for tax laws that provide an incentive for corporations to outsource U.S. jobs to other countries;
    • The Republican refusal to do anything that would address the fundamental economic fact that even though Gross Domestic Product per person in the U.S. has increased 80% over the last 30 years, all of that increase went to the top 1% and left everyone else with stagnating incomes.


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