In his bid to win a full term on the State Board of Education, former Colorado Congressman Bob Schaffer’s decision to “put his customers in charge” of his campaign has drawn groans and grins.
Yet with a group of 16 children and young adults ranging in age from 9 to 26 running the show, you’d think Schaffer would make sure everyone spells pretty well. After all, he is running for the State Board of Education.
The following fundraising note recently sent out by his 17-year old campaign manager suggests a proofreader might be in order:
My name is Brittany Lewin. I’m Mr. Schaffer’s 17-year old campaign manager.
Youth from across the Fourth Congressional District are very enthusiastic about the opportunity we’ve been given to run Mr. Schaffer’s campaign. Yes, the Bob Schaffer for State Board of Education campaign is entirely lead [sic] by students.
We need your help. There are no certainties in this race. Our opponent and the teacher unions are feverishly working against us. In order for this campaign to be successful in keeping Mr. Schaffer on the State Board of Education we need people like you to give generously.
Thank you for sending your contribution in the enclosed envelope or through our secure online page on our website…
But at least Schaffer, a staunch pro-school voucher advocate who is also the director of the Republican Leadership Program of the Rockies, is keeping the campaign clean – including no pornography or lewdness allowed. For example, he is sponsoring a contest for kids to win “up to $1,000 in cash or other cool prizes” if they produce the best TV or radio ad.
Here is a portion of the rules, from his campaign Website:
“We recommend that all ads be positive. This campaign frowns on negative advertising. As an educational experience, try to present a positive, persuasive message. This should not be difficult due to Bob Schaffer’s wide array of experience and expertise. No lewd suggestions, cursing, or pornographic submissions will be accepted.”
Democrat Tom Griggs, an associate professor at the University of Northern Colorado’s school of teacher education is challenging Schaffer. Griggs has been endorsed by former Gov. Roy Romer and numerous current Democratic leaders. Griggs is not using a stable of mostly-children as his campaign team, but on his Website he does answer a helpful, if basic question. Namely, what does the State Board of Education do?
The State Board of Education governs the Colorado Department of Education (CDE). Effective as of this election cycle, there will be seven members of the Board, one to represent each of the seven congressional districts. Board members serve six-year terms with no pay. The Board meets two days a month. It appoints the Commissioner of Education to oversee the day-to-day functioning of CDE. The Board is responsible for all policies and procedures that affect public education in Colorado which are not determined by either the state legislature or local school boards.