Education Reform

Los Angeles: Did Charter Association Mock Candidate’s Disability?

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Los Angeles school board member Bennett Kayser is a candidate for re-election on March 3. He issued a press release accusing the California Charter Schools Association of airing a TV commercial mocking his Parkinson’s disease.


The California Charter School Association’s (CCSA’s) political arm, the CCSA Alliance (CCSAA) is running a political attack ad with a coffee cup dropped and shattering in slow motion, not so subtly linking the image to Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board Member Bennett Kayser, who has Parkinson’s. He proudly represents the tens of thousands of LAUSD students, families and employees with special needs and people with Parkinson’s everywhere. He publically jokes about his shaking hands and being a politician. His election is 3/3/15.

Kayser was alerted to the shameful hit-piece by supporters who reported it running first on Thursday February 12, 2015. Since Thursday, the Board member has tried to see for himself why others are so upset on his behalf. There is a 24-hour mandatory campaign expenditure reporting requirement so a link to the ad was soon expected. He looked at the Los Angeles City Ethics’ website on Thursday, and Friday, and again on Saturday. Where is the Coffee Cup?

Alas, there is no Coffee Cup ad reported but there is a $50,000 radio buy with no content listed on 2/12/15, same day the TV attack ad was spotted. They too are probably mean-spirited but no one knows because the charter group’s political hammer has failed to provide documentation.

“If CCSA Alliance is going to make vile attacks against me, then own it, and post them as required by the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission. This election-bullying by CCSA Advocates is unacceptable.” Notes Kayser, “If the charter advocates won’t follow the rules of decency, at least they should follow the law.”

Given the fact the charter school Political Action Committee has flushed hundreds of millions of dollars into (largely unsuccessful) LAUSD school board races over the last decade CCSA Advocates should know how to play by the rules of the Ethics Commission. Sadly, b/millionaire donors, many of whom are out-of-state, will cover fines later while the local electorate is deceived now.

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