It seems that every election cycle, some Democrat decides to use a public school either for some form of campaigning, and every time they get smacked for it. This time, it’s Chuck Caputo pulling this dumb stunt, who staged a photo at Chantilly High School that was used in a campaign mailer. The use of taxpayer resources for partisan political purposes by Caputo just goes to demonstrate how this delegate, who thinks that all felons are Democrats, cares about the law. I’m beginning to wonder whether he was very far off in that rather remarkable assessment.
This is from the press release of the Lemunyon campaign, which is looking awfully strong going into next Tuesday’s election, and should be getting stronger after this:
A recent campaign mailer issued by Delegate Chuck Caputo criticizing Republican challenger Jim LeMunyon includes a picture of a classroom packed with out-of-control students. It has been determined conclusively that the classroom is located at Chantilly High School, and that the photo was clearly staged for campaign purposes. The picture includes numerous Chantilly High School students showing disrespect for school property, and a Caputo paid campaign staffer, who is not a CHS student, sitting on top of a tall cabinet.
“Virginia law clearly prohibits the use of tax dollars, directly or indirectly, to further the interests of a partisan political campaign. You don’t need to be a lawyer to know this,” said Tim Edson, LeMunyon for Delegate campaign manager. “In addition, Fairfax County Public School regulations clearly prohibit such activity. Mr. Caputo owes the taxpayers an apology for this abuse.”
“Jim LeMunyon has met privately with the Chantilly High School principal, Jim Kacur, on this matter. We are satisfied that Mr. Kacur is taking actions necessary to stop the Caputo campaign from continuing to use the photo to attack Jim LeMunyon during the remaining days of the campaign. We also understand that Mr. Kacur has launched an internal investigation at CHS to determine how this violation of school regulations occurred,” said Edson.
Caputo may also be in trouble with respect to Virginia’s campaign finance law, which requires that non-cash, “in-kind” contributions of value be reported by the campaign to the State Board of Elections along with cash contributions. Mr. Caputo’s finance reports make no reference to an in-kind contribution by Chantilly High School for use of the space for the photo shoot, nor any reference that the school was paid by the campaign to use the space. By coincidence, Mr. Caputo’s campaign treasurer is also the PTA president at Chantilly High School.
“After Election Day, we expect to refer this matter to Virginia’s next Attorney General for review,” said Edson. References to the relevant Fairfax County School regulations are available from the LeMunyon campaign.”
That would be an interesting line item in a campaign finance report: “in-kind donation, Taxpayers of Fairfax County, one classroom.”
Caputo has clearly demonstrated here he doesn’t belong in public office.
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