Brace yourself for attacks

"Brace yourself. 1-365" by Flickr user chelo.face.

The time period for gathering signatures on our petitions will soon end. Once the Ohio Secretary of State certifies that we have collected more than 231,000 registered voters’ signatures, S.B. 5 will be placed on the ballot in the November General Election and be subjected to the citizens’ veto.

Teachers, firefighters and police officers are some of the highest-trusted professionals in the United States. Despite this fact, we will be the target of an expensive and ugly political propaganda war waged by our enemies specifically designed to discredit us.

Soon, we will encounter ads on television, radio, the Internet and in print that will portray us as a lazy and opportunistic privileged class, unwilling to share the economic pain of the private sector. Our enemies will say that they are simply trying to fix Ohio and save the middle class, but they can’t because we stand in their way.

What our enemies will say about us will make our blood boil. As these attacks begin, it is only natural to want to blindly strike back in response, to do something, anything, in defense of our profession. We must take care not to burn ourselves out before the real battle begins. We must be strategic, measured and stay on message during the fight for our lives.

Take heart in the fact that we have been entrusted with that which is most precious to all Ohioans–their children. In the coming months, do not become discouraged and do not despair. We are all in this together. We will emerge victorious. We are CEA.

Ohio Supreme Court won’t hear pro-charter PAC’s appeal

In a ruling released today, the Ohio Supreme Court will not hear the appeal of All Children Matter, a pro-charter school Political Action Committee (PAC). The group had been fined a record $5.2 million by the Ohio Elections Commission for violating Ohio campaign finance laws in 2006.

From the CEA Blog 4/4/2008:

All Children Matter, a Michigan-based pro-charter Political Action Committee (PAC) violated Ohio campaign finance laws by funneling $870,000 to its affiliated PAC in Ohio in 2006 and was assessed a record $5.2 million fine by the bipartisan Ohio Elections Commission in a unanimous ruling publicized yesterday.

White Hat founder and CEO David Brennan contributed $200,000 to the group. Ohio campaign laws limit PAC contributions by individuals and corporations to $10,000 per year, but since the group was raising its money in Virginia where individual and corporate contributions are unlimited, Brennan was able to donate in increments of $50,000 and had no legislatively mandated ceiling on his contributions. White Hat operates the largest number of privately managed charter schools in Ohio, which include the Hope Academy and Life Skills Center chains. 

You can read the full story in the Columbus Dispatch here, or read the a series of posts by The CEA Blog in 2008 examining the Ohio Department of Education’s statistics for the Hope Academy charter school chain here.

Pro-Charter School PAC Fined $5.2 Million; White Hat’s Brennan A Donor

White Hat Founder and CEO David Brennan.All Children Matter, a Michigan-based pro-charter Political Action Committee (PAC) violated Ohio campaign finance laws by funneling $870,000 to its affiliated PAC in Ohio in 2006 and was assessed a record $5.2 million fine by the bipartisan Ohio Elections Commission in a unanimous ruling publicized yesterday.

White Hat founder and CEO David Brennan contributed $200,000 to the group. Ohio campaign laws limit PAC contributions by individuals and corporations to $10,000 per year, but since the group was raising its money in Virginia where individual and corporate contributions are unlimited, Brennan was able to donate in increments of $50,000 and had no legislatively mandated ceiling on his contributions. White Hat operates the largest number of privately managed charter schools in Ohio, which include the Hope Academy and Life Skills Center chains.

You can read the full story in the Columbus Dispatch here, or read the recent series of posts by The CEA Blog examining the Ohio Department of Education’s statistics for the Hope Academy and Life Skills Center charter school chains here.