Seriously, Sweet Lovable PTA of California, CUT IT OUT RIGHT NOW!

PTA members with animal fangs superimposed

I had frankly expected better from concerned parents than a mauled state government!

I don’t often get e-mail any longer at my Jerry Brown for Governor address from 2010, used when I wasn in charge of making it look like the campaign was actually present and active in Orange County (but not so much so as to invite an even bigger response from Meg Whitman), so when one arrived in my Inbox today I immediately rushed to my closet, pulled out my Brown campaign uniform (made of genuine sackcloth and fastened with real yellowed scotch tape and by now ossified rubber bands — and still itchy as hell) and prepared to read it!

It was from political consultant Ace Smith, who is apparently politically consulting (and if Gov. Brown is true to form, not making a dime off of it) for Brown’s Yes on 30 effort to hook the state up to a winch and pull it out of the much with a temporary “millionnaire’s tax” and minimal sales tax. What villainy could possess Ace to drag so old a mailing list out from the archives, calling us everyday heroes into action?

It was … THE PTA!

“C’mon, Ace,” I said to myself, absent-mindedly fingering the frayed edge of the hole left from that time I was bitten by a Fiorina supporter, “the PTA?  What could they possibly be doing to warrant this sort of general call to arms?”

But it turned out that Ace had a point.

The PTA, you see, is practically the only organization other than those opposed to — well, to the continued existence of the California State Government — that still favors Proposition 38 over the Governor’s Prop 30.   Prop 38 is the creature of liberal civil rights attorney Molly Munger — sister of wildly spending Leslie Daigle admirer Charles Munger Jr. and duaghter of top-flight attorney Charles Munger Sr. — who want a new tax to fund elementary  and seconday education and nothing else!  Munger’s proposal has been languishing in the public opinion doldrums while the Governor’s has a fighting chance.  Only one can win — and while most of us (including both major teacher’s unions) support Prop 30, most of us have wanted a fair battle of ideas to assure that at least one of them will win.

However Molly Munger herself, having failed to get the endorsement of the California Democratic Party or much else, is apparently pissed.  And if Molly can’t have her way, nobody gets their way either.

The main institutional support for the Munger initiative comes from the state’s Parent-Teachers Association.  One would expect the PTA — the PTA, for crying out loud! — to play nice when it comes to a battle between two well-intentioned initiatives that seek to serve largely similar ends.  But Ace says otherwise:

We need your help today – please contact the PTA and tell them they need to stop their negative campaign against Prop. 30.

Gov. Jerry Brown is leading a positive, grassroots campaign that asks Californians to take a stand against further school cuts by supporting Prop. 30.

Right now, the voters are with us.  They know we can’t keep cutting our schools and expect our economy to grow.

Unfortunately the Prop. 38 campaign has pursued a different path, signaling their intent to run a harsh and negative campaign even if it means neither Prop. 30 nor their measure prevails.

We should all agree that the worst outcome for our kids is another $6 billion hit to our schools when we will face a shorter school year, more teachers laid off, and more tuition hikes on university students when their families are still struggling to stay afloat.

Senators Feinstein, Boxer and legislative leaders have called on both campaigns to adopt a Positive Campaign Compact.

We already accepted. 

But in a letter today, the State PTA refused to commit to these most basic rules: to “refrain from attacking or referring to” our campaign in “all advertisements, public statements and voter contact materials.”

Will you contact your local PTA and ask them to join the Positive Campaign Compact?

It’s fine to have different views about a solution, but the worst outcome for our kids would be a negative campaign that results in both measures losing, and our schools and colleges taking another $6 billion cut this year.

As Senators Feinstein and Boxer said, “Let’s allow each initiative to stand on its positive merits, and let’s all stand together to do what’s right for our kids.”

Ace Smith
Yes on Prop. 30

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Paid for by Yes on Prop. 30–to Protect our Schools and Public Safety, a broad coalition of business, labor, law enforcement, teachers and Governor Brown.  Major funding by Californians Working Together to Restore and Protect Public Schools, Universities and Public Safety, Coalition of Educators, School Employees, Working Men/Women, Doctors, Speaker Perez & Community Org. Yes on Proposition 30 and United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.

Authorized by Jerry Brown

One would think that one of the most absurd things that could ever happen in politics is for someone to actually have to send out an e-mail asking people to contact their local PTA and ask them to call off the dogs so as to benefit the greater good.  Yet that’s what Ace Smith has just found himself forced to do.  And I echo his claim — not only because he and Sens. Boxer and Feinstein are right, but because it’s the only way I get to change back out of this blasted sackcloth.

So, yes — call your PTA and tell them to tell the State PTA to chill.  Better Prop 30 than Prop Nothin’, right, parents?

About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Corrupt party hacks hate him. He's OK with that too. He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)