Get Real PAC Money

This past Monday, I learned that the PAC Get Real planned to take out independent ads urging people to vote for Maya Cole and me for school board.
I have spoken with Get Real members and have been clear with Get Real and its leadership from the start: I do not accept PAC money or group endorsements. Its members need to read my responses to MTI and other campaign statements to see if they agree with my positions before offering support, because there are issues on which I do NOT agree with Get Real or its individual members. I am talking to all groups who invite me because I want all voters to understand what I believe and stand for.
After learning about the planned ads, I called Nancy Harper, as did several other people including Maya Cole, Ruth Robarts, and Lawrie Kobza. Some of us also called current Get Real president, Sam Johnson. Our message was clear and simple: you do not have permission to use our names, and we do not want you to run an ad in our behalf. They didn’t listen.
I, and other people, then consulted the editors of the two dailies and Isthmus to ask what recourse we had under the circumstances. It turns out that we have no recourse, legal or otherwise, if an independent political group wishes to post an ad using our names. That information was confirmed by my consultation with a lawyer.
While I support freedom of speech, I am deeply disappointed that Get Real chose to insert itself into my campaign at this time and in this way. And troubled that there is no way to prevent the false impression that I sought and accepted their endorsement.

15 thoughts on “Get Real PAC Money”

  1. With all due respect on Cole’s calendar:
    Date: Wednesday, March 29, 2006
    Start Time: 12:00 am End Time: 1:00 pm
    (Time Zone: US/Central)
    Category: Meet & Greet with Maya
    Meet at Bourbon Street Grill for lunch off of Monona Drive
    Contact: Nancy Harper

  2. Hi Marisue:
    These fund raisers present an interesting look at the two candidates transparency.
    Maya’s calendar includes the event you mentioned.
    Arlene’s calendar is here:
    Take a look and compare.
    Then, visit the City Clerk’s site and compare fund raising:
    Arlene has raised $13K as of 3/27/2006 plus the MTI expenditures (nearly $15K for both Arlene and Juan, according tothe Wisconsin State Journal today (Page B5)).
    Maya raised $5,806.23 in the same period.
    Get Real reported independent expenditures of about $1050, less than 10% of MTI’s.
    Take a look at all of the campaign finance disclosures here:
    Finally, I think the Get Real thing is overblown (by the media – surely not based on the money they spend). Last spring, Madison Cares spent over $40K in pro referenda efforts while Get Real spent less than 10% of that.
    I think the referenda were done in by the ballot error/reprinting costs.
    Finally, money is certainly a factor in this election – given the large difference in fundraising. However, I think the election is essentially a battle of ideas. We’ll see how it turns out, soon.
    I’m supporting Maya and Lucy.

  3. I’m not sure what your point is exactly, Mari, except maybe a smear? Is it not okay to speak with all members of the community, or just the annointed few?
    I’d be much more concerned with a candidate getting proportionally huge sums from MTI whose president sits on the board of the insurance company to which the district pays expensive premiums to underwrite the kind of health insurance policy most can only dream of. That kind of direct conflict is much more at odds with independent decision-making particularly as the board goes about the business of finding another $40 million to cut over the next five years. Apparently, MTI wants to make sure board members remember to whom they’re beholden when the time comes to endorse the status quo insurance arrangement, rather than, say, have a truly independent examination of alternatives.
    Or maybe MTI wants to make sure they continue to have a superintendent as willing to “cooperate” with them as Rainwater has, should the opportunity arise to replace him in the near future.
    So, Mari, can you tell me what Get Real’s agenda is, because I don’t know what it is, and then can you tell me how you think the relatively small amount they’ve ponied up will impact the very critical budget or hiring decisions facing the next board.
    Otherwise, I’m going to have to conclude you just want to fan some folks’ prejudices.

  4. Actually Joan and Jim,
    I’m trying to point out that each side needs to take a long hard look in the mirror…
    Thanks for helping me prove it.
    I’m sticking to my letter to the editor in the Wisconsin State Journal (Thursdays, Spectrum).
    Do your research the old fashion way…heck, even this site was disappointed by the turn out at all the forums. Too bad there isn’t enough bandwidth and time to publish all of the forums. Another suggestion might be to look up historical perspectives on school issues.
    MMSD citizens, if you are reading this, let your vote be about the candidates, like a job interview, who’s the best to work with and who’s going to get the job done? Where are the actual problems in our public schools and who is willing to focus on getting to a real solution?

  5. Anytime you want to video an event, I’m sure SIS will post it for you, Mari. Sorry if those who have stepped up to spend long hours at poorly attended meetings haven’t covered all the ones you think are important.

  6. And I still don’t get your point, Mari.
    Honorable folks can differ about which candidate will have what they consider the preferred solution to the myriad of problems facing our district. So what could you possibly mean about Jim’s and my need to look ourselves in the mirror.
    What I’m convinced will follow from Lucy and Maya’s election is a more transparent, open process. Not only will this yield smarter answers, those results will be accompanied by a legitimacy that is sorely lacking with the current majority.
    Unlike you, I don’t pretend to have all the answers, (nor do Lucy and Maya). Our community has a wealth of knowledge and experience that has not been tapped by the current board majority. Lucy and Maya will be truly open to hearing a wide variety of ideas, provided there is evidence to support them. Indeed, I’d argue that they’ll be freer to do that because they won’t carry the taint of campaign dollars from key players in the dialogue, eg., MTI. Furthermore, neither of them has a litmus test before deciding whether to listen to someone’s idea. Surely sounds like you do.

  7. Hi Marisue:
    I would like to see more events available via video and mp3 audio.
    I’m happy to post any k-12 related media. Ideally, these should be in mpeg-4 format (.mp4) and mp3 audio (.mp3). I’m also happy to lend out my video camera. Just email.
    I’ve been thinking that we might setup a forum on this – collecting and posting video/audio online. What do you think?
    Best wishes.

  8. Jim, that’s a great idea. I’ve also wanted to learn more about podcasts. Not just how to do them, but what we know about who uses/responds to them. Didn’t want to get into it in the middle of a campaign, but am curious.
    THANKS for everything that you do to make this site happen. I was reflecting tonight about just how much more information is available to anyone who wants it as a result of your efforts.

  9. David Cohen and David Wandel have said the words well….”The real race and the real story”
    Joan…I have NEVER said that I have the answers, nor have I EVER pretended I did. I do always have an idea…but I’m the first to always admit, it may not be the right one.
    As for the videos…I have requested the forums that I know had SIS attendees taping, actually, I was promised the Falk forum would appear…yet none of them appeared.
    I’ve seen original postings deleted; posting rearranged; advertising given; posting not showing up…This is not the way to start real communication and begin understanding one another.
    David…I hope the lines can be errased; I think they are becoming even stronger and that’s a real concern for this district.
    Both Arlene and I are listed as so called friends of this site. We got listed I guess because we attended an SIS group meeting. I was invited to come yet, I have been critized for trying to start a dialog simply by playing devils advocate. I have been enlighted for over the past year but no matter what is said, someone on this blog has an opposing view. It’s taken as a personal attack and it’s your way or it’s the wrong way.
    In all honesty folks…let’s face it, the same concerns you have about the status quo, you are doing on this blog. SIS is no better than the BOE meetings themselves. It only allows us to air our dirty laundry in public.
    Ed…good question…I don’t like what I see because, I don’t like what I’ve become. I’ve shut down because neither side is listening.
    The Lambert Smith article last Sunday was great. Although I would change the marketing plans for each school. However, I would say, we are in a heap of trouble folks…ya can’t sell anything if all we do is complain about everything.

  10. Hi Marisue:
    There’s no doubt that more hands would help. I did receive a cd with the Falk and one other forum video. However and unfortunately, the files were corrupt.
    Larry Winkler has been taping and uploading several meetings and events, including the recent Northside Forum.
    I hope others do as well.

  11. Jim,
    I would like to echo Lucy’s appreciation of all that you have done to broaden the public education dialogue in Madison, WI, and to bring a wealth of education from many national and international sources to one place.
    When I was the only person videotaping board meetings and board committee meetings about one and one-half years agao, I appreciated your help in learning how to upload those tapes to SIS so that I could do that myself (I’m still not steady on how to do this).
    I also want to thank everyone who participates on this website for taking the time to share their ideas and opinions on SIS.

  12. Actually, this morning while looking in the mirror, I saw a person who is very proud to represent and support Arlene Silveira and Juan Lopez. Both have stuck to their commitments, never waivering from their message. They have been honest at forums throughout the city, professional and never making excuses for their responses. They are honored to be supported by those who have researched their abilities to bring forth positive change and leadership.
    Thank you Juan and Arlene!

  13. Who paid for the Scott Klug phone calls? My spouse hung up before that information.

  14. From what I understand, the ending was “Paid for by the Mathiak & Cole School Committees”…I do not know who the committees are and I will say, I personally did (and encourage others…) my research the old fashion way. Looking at answers and attending a few forums at different locations than my own community.

Comments are closed.