Lies by Canvasser Put LA School Board Race in National Spotlight

Kate Anderson's supporters knocked on the wrong door to spread lies about Steve Zimmer.

You may have thought I was exaggerating in my last post that the race for LAUSD school board is getting national attention. But Diane Ravitch's Blog , a nationally renowned source for public school issues, posted this story from retired public school arts educator and longtime Venice resident Robin Lithgow:

I would add a few things to the list of reasons to vote for Steve Zimmer in the upcoming election for School Board.

1. He is a crusader who has devoted his entire career to public education and knows schools inside and out.

2. He is by far the most “hands on” board member, in schools ALL THE TIME, asking the important questions and supporting strong programs.

3. He is a steady and articulate and passionate supporter of the Arts Education Branch and all of the arts programs in the schools, attending and promoting student arts festivals and events, writing a regular blog for Arts for LA, co-authoring Board resolutions on the arts, and keeping the arts on the Board’s agenda at all times.

4. His opponent, Kate Anderson, is spreading lies. One example (of several – but the one that offends me most personally): yesterday, one of her (presumably paid) canvassers made the unfortunate mistake of knocking on our door and telling my husband to vote for her because “Steve Zimmer is against the arts”! (Some of you may know that only the day before I hosted a house party fund raiser for him precisely because he has been such a strong supporter of the arts in our schools.) Please read on below, and PLEASE HELP US SPREAD THE WORD. The corporate “reformers” have bottomless purses and there is no way Zimmer can compete with them in funding for this campaign, but he has an army of teachers, administrators and parents who know what he has done, how brave he is in speaking truth to power, and how important this election is. Robin

You can read the whole post on Diane Ravitch's Blog--and learn a lot more about how much is at stake in this election.

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Sue Kaplan February 04, 2013 at 06:16 PM
These are just the kinds of things I don't want to hear in an election, especially one that is about children. Steve has shown himself to be able to work with all sides and with those who have differing outlooks and objectives. I have respected Kate in her previous election attempts but we don't need this kind of thing in our school leadership. I am voting for Steve and I am going to contribute to his campaign so that big national money doesn't interfere with the raising of our children in LAUSD.
Scott February 05, 2013 at 05:09 PM
I talked to a canvasser last weekend and he was totally circumspect in his promotion of his candidate, Kate Anderson. Sounds like this happened around the same time so if there was any lying about positions I would tend to blame it on an over zealous canvasser rather than coming from the campaign. Perhaps the complainer should talk to the campaign about their concerns rather than spreading a smear attack.
(Mary) Robin Lithgow February 05, 2013 at 08:16 PM
Yes, I called Kate Anderson's campaign headquarters and they responded that the message "Steve Zimmer is against the arts" did not come from them but from an independent support group, presumably the Coalition for School Reform. They responded after I wrote the reasons that I am supporting Steve Zimmer, which were quoted in several places. I still find it disturbing that the message is being promulgated by ANY supporter of Kate Anderson because it is so blatantly untrue. When my husband questioned the canvasser, asking where he got his information, he said "several sources" but did not name any. Also, considering the huge amount of money Anderson has been able to raise from the billionaires who support the ALEC agenda, why do they need independent PACs out there canvassing for her as well? It does not seem like a fair fight. Yes, Zimmer is supported by UTLA, AALA, and all of the unions, but they do not have anything close to the funding resources that the Coalition and other PACs have. They just have volunteers and feet on the ground. And it is important that people know who is funding Kate Anderson because it is a clue as to what will be expected of her if she is elected. The ALEC agenda has been exposed as old, once "radical right" issues that have been pushed into the mainstream by years of (mostly silent) efforts by the extreme right wing. Any progressive who is familiar with their agenda could hardly justify a vote for Kate Anderson.
Karen Wolfe February 05, 2013 at 10:14 PM
The whole matter could be cleared up if Kate Anderson simply disavowed the claims by the canvasser and stated her recognition that Steve Zimmer has a track record of supporting the arts in LAUSD.
Betty Koch February 06, 2013 at 02:44 PM
LAUSD is like the Catholic church that has covered up for sexual predators long enough. All these candidates are rotten as well as the unions that protect them. Failure to protect children is the only issue here. If you can't even deliver that you got nothing to say.


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