Thursday, May 26, 2016

Billionaire PAC pumps half-million dollars into crowded Penninsula assembly race - San Jose Mercury News

Education PAC pumps half-million dollars into crowded Penninsula assembly race - San Jose Mercury News:

Education PAC pumps half-million dollars into crowded Penninsula assembly race

A super PAC backing education reform policy has spent more than a half-million dollars to support State Assembly candidate Marc Berman, elevating the race's focus on education.
EdVoice, the political action arm of a Sacramento nonprofit network, has spent the money on TV, web and print ads to help Berman, a Palo Alto councilman. That amount exceeds the total sum all eight of the District 24 candidates have spent on their campaigns this year.
Berman faces grassroots organizer Jay Blas Jacob Cabrera, Cupertino Mayor Barry Chang, Mountain View councilmen John Inks and Michael Kasperzak, Menlo Park Councilman Peter Ohtaki, retired Palo Alto engineer Sea Reddy and Palo Alto attorney Vicki Veenker.
Ohtaki is the only Republican candidate and Inks is the only Libertarian in a largely Democratic district.
The top two vote-getters on June 7 will face off in the November general election.
As of Wednesday, the following committees had spent money on ads for Berman: EdVoice Independent Expenditure Committee, $585,613; California Real Estate Independent Expenditure Committee-California Association of Realtors, $143,710; and the California Dental Association Independent Expenditure PAC, $109,576.
Berman, an attorney and former development director of the Silicon Valley Education Foundation, said he has not communicated with the PACs and does not know what attracted them to him.
"I was as surprised as anybody else," Berman said, "when I saw on Twitter that they were spending that amount of money to support my campaign."

Bill Lucia, president of EdVoice, said the group has not been shy about endorsing Berman as the best candidate on public education.
"He already has a track record of it," Lucia said.
EdVoice has raised more than $5.2 million, including $1 million from Arthur Rock, an early investor in Intel and Apple; $1.4 million from William Bloomfield, a retired businessman and education advocate who had failed runs for Congress and the presidency; and $855,000 from Carrie Walton Penner, granddaughter of the founder of Walmart and a staunch advocate for charter schools.
In an interview with The Daily News, candidates vying to represent the district, stretching across two counties from Atherton to Sunnyvale, discussed the first thing they would do if elected.
Berman, who has incumbent Gordon's endorsement, said the first bill he'd sponsor would fully fund universal preschool for every 4-year-old. Legislators approved preschool for low-income students, but Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed the bill last year.
"In Santa Clara County, the average low-income student starts kindergarten 18 months behind their more affluent peers," Berman said. "So by 5 years old these students are already 1.5 years behind some of their peers. "
Berman said an additional $1.5 billion for universal preschool is a smart investment, Education PAC pumps half-million dollars into crowded Penninsula assembly race - San Jose Mercury News:
Big Education Ape: Analysis: EdVoice with an IE for Dodd; Educational Reform Group Has Ties to Vergara Suit and Wa...

Big Education Ape: News Analysis: Education fight ‘over shades of Democrat’ | CALmatters

Big Education Ape: Local legislative races become battleground in statewide fight over education

Big Education Ape: Edvoice pumps cash into Assembly campaign | News | Palo Alto Online |

Big Education Ape: Charter school groups spending big in California legislative races | 89.3 KPCC

Latest News and Comment from Education