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Education reform-backed candidates sweep California main elections

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Education reformers spent huge ahead of California’s primary, and preliminary results Wednesday reveal the millions settled with all of the prospects they supported advancing to November’s general election. Carlos Marquez, California Charter Schools Association Advocates director of political affairs, said he was excited by the main results. There were a lot of races that we bought, we wanted to make certain we invested in quality prospects, Marquez said. We feel really affirmed in the decisions.

LA Unified school board President Steve Zimmer railed Wednesday versus the tactics used by the CCSA Advocates in the fiercely contested 43rd Assembly District race and compared its spending in that race, at least $1.2 million, to special interest spending from oil and tobacco industries, which lobby for deregulation. This is not about option. This is no longer about kids. It’s certainly not about civil rights, he said. It’s about deregulation. It’s about privatization.

An independent expenditure committee called Parent Teacher Alliance sponsored by CCSA Advocates, the political arm of the CCSA, invested $910,791 on mailers supporting Glendale City Councilwoman Laura Friedman and $304,355 to oppose Glendale City Clerk ArdyKassakhian, since Friday, state project finance records show.

Friedman won the primary race, earning 31.9 percent of the vote overall, recording 24,372 votes, according to preliminary election outcomes. Kassakhian finished in 2nd place with 24.3 percent, getting 18,618 votes. The 2 Democrats topped the eight-candidate ticket to change outbound Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Burbank, who could not seek re-election due to term limits. They will likely contend in the Nov. 8 basic election. The election results will not be finalized till mail-in and provisionary ballots are counted. Voter turnout in the district had to do with 29 percent.

Zimmer knocked the unfavorable mailers sent out by CCSA Advocates that flooded voter’s mailboxes in the district that consists of Glendale, Burbank, La Canada Flintridge and parts of Los Angeles.

It is base thuggery, no more or no less, Zimmer said.

He called Kassakhian, whom he endorsed, the target of the mailers, an innocent onlooker and stated Kassakhian’s only criminal offense was having a mom who was a public school instructor and assistance from instructor’s unions. I aim to be half as decent a guy as ArdyKassakhian is, Zimmer stated. To take him out the way they did, to use the hate in those mailers, it’s a brand-new requirement of low. It has no guidelines, no limits, no principles, no morals.

In 2013, Zimmer’s last re-election quote, millions were put into the three races by outside groups. He captured 52 percent of the votes to beat his opponent, Kate Anderson, who was backed by CCSA.

Marquez stated his group supported prospects in Tuesday’s primaries who had a record of problem fixing and independence from the status quo. In response to Zimmer’s comments, Marquez stated: We obviously respectfully disagree with President Zimmer on his rhetoric and his characterization of our campaign.

He stated the organization’s mission is to advance the general public excellent and offer every student in every ZIP code a chance to have a quality education.

Zimmer implicated the CCSA of aiming to manage rewarding procurement agreements. Charter schools are not subject to the exact same requirements for choosing vendors as public school districts. The truth is that his statements are not rooted in evidence or reality, they are rooted in emotion, ideology and rhetoric, Marquez said, noting that most of charter schools are run by non-profits.

Zimmer said charter schools are not an issue in the Assembly district, which is known for its strong public schools. This is a whole new thing to create a concern in an Assembly district where it’s not a concern and to do it in this method, Zimmer stated. This is brand-new. This is various. This is a message.

Zimmer, who has the assistance of the instructor’s union UTLA, stated he considers himself a sensible moderate when it concerns charter schools. He has actually been helpful and vital of elements of the charter school movement.

The good folks who joined the charter motion because of a strong conviction about the rights of children ought to really withdraw their subscription from the CCSA because it is no longer an organization that has any digressive relationship to exactly what I understand to be the core of the charter movement, Zimmer stated. With regard to the level of spending by CCSA Advocates in the race, Marquez said unique interest groups had actually supported Kassakhian early on in the project. Campaign records show spending by the California Association of Realtors supporting Kassakhian in April.

Marquez stated the mailers were used to draw a contrast between prospects and to shine a light on Kassakhian’s record as city clerk.

We are very sensitive and very thoughtful about how we put out material that may really be viewed as negative or impugning of the prospect at hand, he stated. Therefore, the idea we approach this work with willful neglect for the reality that there is a person on the other side of that mailer is incorrect.

In an interview Wednesday, Friedman said she felt really excellent about the outcomes.

I believe it reveals the work that we’ve done which our message and my accomplishments have actually resonated with the voters, she stated.

Friedman, who was the topic of an unfavorable mailer sent out by the California Teachers Association, stated she supports teachers and their right to unionize. She described herself as independent and available to imaginative solutions and outside the box thinking.

I wouldn’t follow anybody’s program beyond what I think is best for kids, she said.

I think teachers need to come together to end the war that’s been going on.

Friedman said that while the independent expense committee, which by law is not permitted to collaborate with the prospect, sent out negative mailers, she kept her project positive.

A great deal of those messages were not things that we would have stated, they’re not things that we did state, she stated.

Friedman was supported by Gatto, who tweeted: Congratulations to my supported prospect to replace me, @laurafriedman43, who squashed the field to complete first last night versus all odds.

State campaign finance records show that about one-third of a record $27.9 million invested since Friday by independent expense committees in legal races statewide originated from three groups supporting education reform, according to Rob Pyers of California Target Book, which provides a non-partisan analysis of state and congressional races.

In addition to CCSA Advocates, EdVoice, a non-profit organization that supports education reform but not solely charter schools, invested countless dollars supporting prospects, generally in Northern California races.

We search for prospects that want to come to the capital of California and admit that the truth is not good enough, said Bill Lucia, president and CEO of EdVoice.

He said there were a lot of open seats in this main election cycle, which created a chance for brand-new candidates to come to Sacramento to eliminate for kids, but also that it takes more financial resources to interact to voters about who the new candidates are.

STATEWIDE RESULTS.

Here’s how other candidates who were financially supported by independent expense committees that support education reform fared Tuesday, according to preliminary election results.

Southern California.

In the 39th Assembly District contest in the San Fernando Valley, Democrat Raul Bocanegra took in 45.7 percent of the votes leading incumbent state Assemblywoman Patty Lopez, who had 26.9 percent of the votes. CCSA Advocates invested about $83,000 supporting Bocanegra, who lost the seat to Lopez two years ago. Lopez was backed by the CTA.

In the west San Fernando Valley’s 45th Assembly District, state Assemblyman Matt Dababneh, D-Encino, got 49.2 percent of the votes, while Republican prospect Jerry Kowal edged out Democrat Doug Kriegel by about 3 portion points, receiving 27 percent. CCSA Advocates spent about $89,000 to support Dababneh, who was likewise supported by the CTA.

In the open 38th Assembly District race, that includes Santa Clarita, EdVoice-backed prospect Dante Acosta, a Republican, finished second with 35.9 percent of the votes. EdVoice spent $5,000 supporting Acosta. Democrat Christy Smith completed in top place with 44.8 percent of the votes.

In the 47th Assembly seat, state Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown, D-Rialto, held a 44.8 percent lead over Eloise Reyes, a fellow Democrat, who earned 34 percent of the votes. CCSA Advocates invested $166,812 supporting Brown and $13,440 opposing Reyes.

Central California.

In the 31st Assembly District contest, state Assemblyman Dr. Joaquin Arambula, D-Fresno, held a 55.4 percent lead in his re-election bid over Republican Clint Olivier, who gathered 38.5 percent of the vote. CCSA Advocates spent about $93,000 supporting Arambula, who was also supported by the CTA.

In an open seat representing the 30th Assembly District, Democrat Anna Caballero had 45.7 percent of the vote followed by Karina CervantezAlejo with 25.1 percent. Alejo, a fellow Democrat, is aiming to prosper her partner, outgoing incumbent state Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Salinas. CCSA Advocates had spent $745,699 to support Caballero and spent about $20,000 to oppose Alejo.

Northern California.

In San Jose’s 27th Assembly District, an open seat, Democrat Madison Nguyen topped the crowded ticket with 35.3 percent of the votes. She was followed by Ash Kalra, a fellow Democrat, who edged out Republican Van Le by about 3 percentage points. CCSA Advocates spent $1.2 million supporting Nguyen, one of the most of any single candidate, and about $35,000 to oppose Kalra, who was backed by the CTA.

Results in a tight race for the open 4th Assembly District seat, which includes Napa and Davis, revealed EdVoice-backed candidate Cecilia M. Aguiar-Curry, a Democrat, in 2nd location behind Charlie Schaupp, a Republican. Schaupp had 29.1 percent of the votes, while Aguiar-Curry had 28.2 percent. EdVoicespent about $685,000 supporting Aguiar-Curry. CTA supported Democrat Dan Wolk, who completed in a close third location. EdVoice spent $103,607 to oppose Wolk.

Lead to a close contest in the 24th Assembly District, which covers Palo Alto, showed Democrat Marc Berman with 28.2 percent of the votes followed by fellow Democrat Vicki Veenker with 21.8 percent of the votes. EdVoice spent about $648,000 supporting Berman. CTA backed Veenker.

Just 358 votes separated the leading two finishers, both Democrats, in the 14th Assembly District race, which covers the East San Francisco Bay area. CTA-backed Mae Torlakson edged out Tim Grayson, who was backed by EdVoice, which invested $822,495 supporting Grayson and $266,730 opposing Torlakson. CTA spent $114,225 in TV advertisements and ballot to support Torlakson.

Outdoors race for a seat representing the 3rd Senate District, that includes Napa, state Assemblyman Bill Dodd, D-Napa, who was backed by EdVoice, finished first with 37.1 percent of the votes, followed by Mariko Yamada, who took 29.1 percent of the votes. EdVoice invested $1.4 million to support Dodd.

 

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With regard to the level of spending by CCSA Advocates in the race, Marquez said unique interest groups had actually supported Kassakhian early on in the project. Campaign records show spending by the California Association of Realtors supporting Kassakhian in April. Marquez stated the mailers were used to draw a contrast between prospects and to shine a light on Kassakhian’s record as city clerk.

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The good folks who joined the charter motion because of a strong conviction about the rights of children ought to really withdraw their subscription from the CCSA because it is no longer an organization that has any digressive relationship to exactly what I understand to be the core of the charter movement, Zimmer stated.