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Rules Are For Those Other People?

By Greg L | 2 November 2007 | 28th VA Senate | 19 Comments

The Stafford Freelance-Star points out in an editorial today how Governor Kaine is demonstrably eager to violate rules when it comes to promoting the candidacy of Democrat Al Pollard in the 28th Senate District.  This is going to hurt.

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  1. Vigilant1 said on 2 Nov 2007 at 12:08 pm:
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  2. Turn PW Blue said on 2 Nov 2007 at 1:14 pm:
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    Come on, now. He addressed the Young Democrats at an after-school function. He didn’t address a captive assembly during the school day. And, by all means, if Richard Stuart wants to meet with the school’s Young Republicans, he should be afforded every opportunity to do so. Further, the Kaine visit was cleared through the school system’s powers that be. This, to me, seems to be a tempest in a teapot.

    As for the Stafford County Schools policy, it is not as clear cut as the editorial implies. According to the school system’s Web site, the Candidates for Political Office (adopted 9/25/07) policy reads in part:

    “The board prohibits campaigning in its school buildings by
    individual candidates and/or parties for local, state, and
    federal elections except during all-candidate forums and as may
    otherwise be authorized by law. In instances where schools are
    utilized as polling places, strict compliance with pertinent
    election laws shall be observed.

    “The procedures apply to all school property at all times, except
    when the property is used by an authorized organization other
    than the Stafford County Public Schools. Example: Campaign
    materials may be distributed to voters attending a PTA or association event sponsoring a candidate forum at a school. ” (see http://stafford.schoolfusion.us/modules/groups/homepagefiles/cms/120789/File/Policy/Policy%20Packet%20D%20Oct%2030/Policy%201-27.pdf?sessionid=c72ae077f5b3893bd27a2e5a43c77d42 for the full policy if you’re worried I omitted something important–I don’t think I did)

    Given that the Young Democrats are a separate, non-school organization (and one with a clearly political agenda), it could be argued that they fall under the last paragraph quoted (”authorized organization other than the Stafford County Public Schools”).

    Oh, and since PWCS Policy 273.01 does not permit the same sort of activity in Prince William Schools, should I be filing a complaint because Corey Stewart came to our back-to-school night and gave a 3-minute stump speech about all the good he’s done for the western end of the county (with, ironically, no mention of the schools in the entire speech) and a reminder to vote on November 6 (though, to his credit, at no time did he ask for anyone to vote for him)? I would think Stewart’s address was more in violation since back-to-school night clearly falls under the policy while the activities of an after-school advocacy group is in a little more of a gray area.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great Stewart visited our school and would love to see more of our political leaders getting face time in our schools. The democratic process should be taught early and often to keep the next generation of voters engaged and informed. I think policies that ban all political activity from schools are as bad as some of the stupid PC policies in that they stifle the democratic process and expression of free speech. I don’t want my kids’ teachers telling them who to vote for, but I certainly want my kids exposed to their elected leaders and those who want to be their leaders.

  3. Giddy with optimism said on 2 Nov 2007 at 1:34 pm:
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    Gee…it’s not like Republicans haven’t campainged at schools. Where was GW Bush on 9/11?

    How’d you like the editorial cartoon in today’s Manassas Journal-Messenger/Potomac News, Greg? My guess is not very much, but probably more than you liked their skewering of Corey Stewart in their endorsement of Sharon Pandak. (Hmmmm…I see you made no mention of it on your blog). I sense the electoral tide is turning. PWC Dems have a GOTV effort you can’t even begin to imagine. Tell me, Greg, what will you do when your buddies Stewart and Stirrup are put out to pasture?

    I can’t wait until Tuesday.

  4. Greg L said on 2 Nov 2007 at 1:46 pm:
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    Where was he? I suppose you believe he was endorsing the candidacy of Happy The Hampster for President of the First Grade? Sheesh. If you can’t get that one right, I can’t wait to see how wrong you are about November 6th.

  5. Dolph said on 2 Nov 2007 at 1:49 pm:
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    Turn PW Blue,

    Of course Corey Stewart’s appearance at your child’s school doesn’t count. The same rules obviously do not apply. How on earth could the character assassinations continue if they did?

    I would also like to suggest that any governor of Virginia, regardless of party in power, can pretty much go where he choses. Political candidates no. The governor, yes.

  6. Giddy with optimism said on 2 Nov 2007 at 1:52 pm:
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    Actually, I believe he was endorsing the candidacy of My Pet Goat.

  7. Turn PW Blue said on 2 Nov 2007 at 2:27 pm:
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    The real crux of this should really be whether Al Pollard should have been there. One of the benefits of being elected is that you get to do things as part of your position that walk a fine line between duties of the position and political campaigning. Kaine should be able to visit schools (just as it is fine that Corey Stewart picked the month before an election to visit my daughter’s school). The real question, then, is whether Al Pollard should have been able to meet with the YDs at Colonial Forge High School. It seems beyond silly to me that a political organization like the YOUNG DEMOCRATS is not allowed to meet the local DEMOCRATIC candidates. And, yes, I do believe that Richard Stuart should be allowed to meet with the Young Republicans. Good gracious! We have young people actually interested in the political process. Let’s not stifle them under silly rules which clearly were intended to keep teachers, staff, and others from proselytizing during school hours or under the umbrella of a “school-sanctioned” position.

  8. One would think said on 2 Nov 2007 at 2:46 pm:
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    Turn PW Blue said on 2 Nov 2007 at 2:27 pm:
    And, yes, I do believe that Richard Stuart should be allowed to meet with the Young Republicans. Good gracious!
    So, can John Warner accompany Mr. Stuart?

  9. Dolph said on 2 Nov 2007 at 2:57 pm:
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    As Turn PW Blue has stated, Prince William County has similar regulations about campaigning in schools. I certainly did not mean to imply that Corey Stewart should not have been at a parent function. In fact, I think all the supervisors should make a point of visiting the county schools both during school hours and after. They should talk to parents, teachers, students and other staff members since they ultimately fund the schools. Additionally, it is a good way to meet their constituents without having to go knock on doors.

    I would hope that this practice would be done throughout their term rather than just at election time. Perhaps decisions at budget time would be easier with more first hand knowledge of what is happening where the rubber meets the road since over half the county budget is allocated for schools.

  10. Turn PW Blue said on 2 Nov 2007 at 2:57 pm:
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    One would think…


  11. Dolph said on 2 Nov 2007 at 3:03 pm:
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    Why would any elected official, local, state, or federal, be denied access to a school? I can’t imagine this being done for any reason. Perhaps I am just not a creative enough thinker……

  12. anon said on 2 Nov 2007 at 4:24 pm:
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    I guess PWC is taking steps to make sure this doesn’t happen.

    Keith Imon 11/1/2007 11:44 AM
    November 1, 2007

    TO: PWCS School-based Leadership Team
    FR: Keith Imon
    RE: Political Campaigning on School Property

    It has come to my attention that some candidates running for office have been distributing political campaign materials at some of our school events (e.g., sports activities). As a reminder, School Board Policy 273.01 clearly states that, “Political interests of any individual or group may not be promoted during the school day or at school-sponsored activities, including athletic events…………..”

    Therefore, if you should see this campaigning taking place on school property, please do whatever you can to assist with letting these candidates and/or their representatives know about our School Board policy on this issue; and ask them to please stop.

    Thanks for your assistance with this matter.

  13. FHL said on 2 Nov 2007 at 4:30 pm:
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    The Governor was addressing the Young Democrats. Hardly campaigning. I guess it was ok for Jackson Miller to be campaigning at back to school night at Osbourn High School.

  14. TDB said on 2 Nov 2007 at 4:33 pm:
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    Different school system, different policies. And, Timmy Kaine wasn’t there shaking hands along side Jackson Miller.

  15. Dolph said on 2 Nov 2007 at 4:57 pm:
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    In fairness to all concerned, it is highly unlikely that elected officials or candidates are aware of PWC school board policy. It seems to me it is incumbent on the schools to make the policy more public rather than just to assume that everyone knows policy and regulations. The school system needs to find a way to communicate their regs to everyone who might be in a position to violate the rules.

  16. One Voice said on 2 Nov 2007 at 6:18 pm:
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    Maybe there should be more concern about the No Child Left Behind legislation allowing military recruiting in the schools.

    Perhaps that is Republican campaigning? :)

  17. AWCheney said on 2 Nov 2007 at 8:26 pm:
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    This is definitely a non-issue. I started, sponsored, and advised Teenage Republican Clubs throughout Prince William County between 1975 and 1981, and we often rented the school auditorium to conduct meetings (the Brentsville District HS/MS club was 225 strong at its peak, in a school of only about 500+ with grades 6-12…in a county that was almost totally Democratic at the time) where we would have Republican candidate speakers. TARs and TADs ARE political groups, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I would have happily had elected Republican officials as well…but there were so few of them at the time. Those Teenage Republicans did much to change that here in Prince William County.

  18. Dolph said on 2 Nov 2007 at 10:15 pm:
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    One Voice,

    There should be an opt in piece rather than an opt out. This is one sneaky component of NCLB that most parents are unaware of.

  19. Dan said on 17 Nov 2007 at 4:56 pm:
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    Looks like this little piece of campaign propaganda helped sink Pollard to a fifteen percentage point loss in Stafford.

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