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LAUSD District 2, Blowing Up

by schoolboardwatch Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013 at 9:51 AM

The million independent expenditure from Bloomberg has a boomerang effect: the new viability of Robert Skeels for the LAUSD school board.

Up until mid February, Monica Garcia was considered a shoe-in to win district 2 of the LAUSD. Generally incumbents do a lot better than challengers, especially when the challengers are new candidates with no name recognition.

However, when a billionare from out of state drops a ton of money onto a candidate, it doesn't always help. When secret donors in Arizona deployed money against Prop 32, the public reacted by increasing their support for 32.

In a similar way, the deployment of a million dollars to a trio of candidates, for a school board race, raised eyebrows, and suspicions. The main candidate suffering is Monica Garcia, who is now tainted with outside money supporting her. She can claim that it's independent, but people know the score already. Bloomberg supports privatization and charter schools. Garcia and supporters Inner City Struggle support charters.

Suddenly, the outsider, Skeels looks more appealing, if only for a protest vote. And that might be all it takes to force Garcia into a runoff. While she's likely to win that runoff against anyone, it's also possible that her political capital will be so damaged that she could not run again, because politicians can smell blood: someone else would push to get the Garcia seat.

Here are some Skeels' videos:


This is an interesting parallel situation to Ron Gochez' tiny all-volunteer operation. Gochez claims that campaign workers for another candidate were pulling down door hangers. That controversy will only help Gochez, who now appears like a viable outsider choice. Well, almost viable. The race will go to a runoff, but Gochez isn't likely to make it to the runoffs, at least not now.

Overall, it's a surprisingly good time to be an outsider, alternative, leftist candidates!

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