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Salem-Keizer School Board race takes a far-right turn
Disinformation campaigns fed by dark money reveals desperation of right-wing slate of school board candidates
With ballots in the mail and around two weeks until election day, the far-right slate of school board candidates in Salem-Keizer has pulled off the gloves to dole out fistfuls of disinformation & propaganda funded by wads of cash from…well, sometimes it’s hard to tell.
Right-wing PAC Marion+Polk First appears to be the driving force behind much of the digital disinformation & mailers that made absurd comparisons between the far-right candidates and the progressive slate of candidates. A slate, by the way, that represents nearly a century of combined experience in education. Guess how many years the Republican candidates have? Virtual high-five if you guessed zero.
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Anyway. Let’s see how desperate Republicans are to not lose scant ground on all the money they’ve been pouring into school board elections.
Quick recap of who’s who in the May 16th school board elections in Salem-Keizer School District.
Salem-Keizer School District - Zone #2
Salem-Keizer School District - Zone #4
Salem-Keizer School District - Zone #6
Larry G. Scruggs
YouTube Ads villifying Larry Scruggs over something that has literally no impact on a school board position.
For the life of me, I can’t find this actual ad. But Rachel Alexander does great work as Managing Editor at Salem Reporter, so I trust this:
With almost nothing else to go on, you have to assume Republican strategists digging through Scruggs’ background found some type of support for something that cost a ton of money. Just plain old, boring-ass, political opposition bullshit from pale, uninspired political hacks squeezing whatever support they can get from their aging demographic.
Scruggs is running to fill Danielle Bethell’s old seat (Ed. note: quitter) on the board in Zone #6
Cynthia Richardson anonymous hit-piece
Campaign supporters for both Troutt and Chandragiri began spreading a shameless hit-piece targeting Cynthia Richardson. To be clear, sexual abuse should be thoroughly pursued and it’s terrible that this person and their child is going through this.
But taking the weight of that situation and setting it on the shoulders of a school board candidate completely anonymously on an extremist, right-wing website right as ballots go out to voters is…as the kids might say, a little sus.
Richardson is an accomplished professional retiring from a lifetime and lineage of service in public education running against a transphobe bigot whose reaction to ideas she doesn’t approve of is to ban books.
Walks like a hit-piece. Talks like a hit-piece. Shrug?
There are also apparently digital TV ads being run against Richardson. Again, I haven’t seen the ads and am unable to find them online. From Twitter in response to Alexander’s tweet shared above:
Dishonest mailers land in mailboxes around Salem-Keizer
Both groups of candidates in this election have been hitting mailboxes with mailers. And the pace and intensity is sure to increase in the coming days.
But it’s already gotten pretty gross. And the trashy bullshit is emanating all from the far-right candidates.
Shall we rip through these four bulleted accusations quickly? I promise it will only take about 2 seconds:
Failed how? (Spoiler: district leadership hasn’t failed)
That’s not a bad thing, you dingdongs.
See number 3.
Here’s what’s most offensive about this shit. There are people who make a living facilitating this type of corrosive propaganda. Chandragiri, Troutt and Hudson (and Marion+Polk First) are all paying consultants thousands and thousands of dollars to concoct these lies. AND THEY AREN’T EVEN GOOD AT IT!
So where does the money come from to fund all of these digital ad buys and print campaigns to distribute this uninspired propaganda? And who are the people that orchestrate these disinformation campaigns?
Great questions - you’re smart! Ballots are due May 16. It’s only May 1. We’ll have a lot more to share between now and then. Stay tuned!