For the past month, there have been reports of Pritzker and the Democratic Party spending large sums of money to block local candidates they labelled “extremist,” after Pritzker first announced his intention and then donated $500,000 to the state Democratic organization for the purpose of getting involved in local races, especially for school board. Part of that cash has gone towards the creation of a website, defendourschoolsil.com, with a candidate look-up tool. According to another report, the Democratic Party will spend $300,000 and will target 74 candidates with “paid communications and for mailers and digital ads.”
Here’s the claim of that “Paid for by the Democratic Party of Illinois” website:
Extremist conservatives are running for local school and library boards. Many of them support harmful measures including banning books, blocking full spectrum sex education, teaching revisionist history and ignoring public health. . . .
With the financial backing of conservative dark money, the education of our children is at stake unless we make our voices heard on April 4th.
And yes, this website claims, of me:
This candidate is pursuing an extremist political agenda.
So here’s a fact check. This is specifically with respect to me, and no other candidates, about whom I make no claims one way or the other, but, again, the claims on this website are claims being made about me as well as all other candidates they are labelling “extremist.”
“With the financial backing of conservative dark money. . . ”
My donations are in the form of small amounts. I have received donations of as little as $20, and no more than $250 from any one individual. I have received no donations from any PAC. On the other hand, the incumbent Slate in 2021 received donations of $15,000 from teacher and staff unions, and, of that $15,000, almost all, or $13,000 in total, was reported as having been received on March 31, 2021, and used to pay bills for robocalls, mailers, etc., after the election was over. Presumably the same is happening this election, too, with most donations timed to be so late that the public won’t know about them until election day or later — and that is surely “dark money” if ever anything fit that term. (Already, the Custodial Maintenance Association donated $3,000 to the incumbent Slate as of yesterday, March 24.)
I support “teaching revisionist history.”
Patch.com invited candidates to respond to questionnaires which they published in their entirety. Four of the five candidates did so. Among the questions was this: “What are your views on critical race theory and whether it should be taught in the district?” While the incumbents said, “Critical Race Theory is not taught in our schools” (Dussling) or “Illinois does not teach CRT” (Kreutzer), I was the only candidate who made the specific effort to clarify:
the history of the United States should be accurate, complete and comprehensive, with respect to such topics as slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, the Harlem Renaissance, the Great Migration, the Civil Rights movement, and so on.
I support “blocking full-spectrum sex education.”
According to the questionnaires, all candidates support the “middle-of-the-road” sex education currently in place in D214 schools.
Book banning! Ignoring public health!
Folks, how do you prove a negative?
Now, I would hope that voters don’t just take the word of a website that makes claims without evidence. But, again, these claims will be paired with true “Dark Money” from Prizker and his allies, funding last-minute mailers and other efforts to sway votes.
Please don’t let Pritzker and the Democrats control the outcome of local elections!
Every vote matters in an election with low turnout. Please be sure to vote on or before April 4th.