Joan Laursen's sticker Around Town, posted by Cathy S., a resident of the Laguna Oaks neighborhood, on Oct 24, 2010 at 3:06 pm
One thing I will give to Joan Laursen, she has a very WELL funded campaign. Did anyone notice Joan Laursen's sticker on the front of the Weekly? I hear that costs about $1500. She has ads and signs everywhere. Where is she getting so much money for to run her school board campaign? I hope it is not from promises made to the teacher's union.
Posted by Devon, a resident of the Apperson Ridge neighborhood, on Oct 24, 2010 at 3:25 pm
Perhaps she's just good at raising funds. If I remember correctly, she spearheaded the "Save Pleasanton Schools" fund raising and raised quite a significant amount of donation for the school to put Measure G on the ballot. She is a strong supporter of the PUSD administration, so much so it worries me.
Posted by Anonymous, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 24, 2010 at 5:24 pm
I don't think it's because of any promises made. In fact, Joan Laursen has been very consistent in her public statements at candidate forums, saying she will not make any "piecrust promises", those that are easily made and easily broken. She's a strong advocate for education, but also an independent thinker.
If you're really concerned about a candidate's source of funding, you can do the research. Candidates file fundraising reports with the Secretary of State's office in Sacramento, and they are a matter of public record. There are two links where you can look:
Posted by Another Parent, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 25, 2010 at 9:03 am
Anyone who has been as actively involved with PTA as long as Ms. Laursen has knows a thing or two about fundraising. She also has an experienced campaign manager.
Ms. Laursen and Mr. Bowser may have more funds available to publicizie their candidates because they have accepted endorements and donations from specific groups. That was their choice and I don't think that should be held against them.
On the other hand, I admire Ms. Piderit's decision to not accept contributions or endorsements from any specific group. It means she has less funds to publicize her campaign, but she's also able to avoid any comments such as those stated above.
Posted by annonymous, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 25, 2010 at 12:06 pm
Often the reason a candidate has not accepted money from specific groups is because NONE has been offered. If the candidate attended the endorsement interviews and they were endorsed a small contribution usually followed. It has become common for candidates to claim they would not accept the money which is an lie of omission if they actually attended the interview. I don't know any candidate that has been offered a small contribution after an endorsement and refused it.
Influenced is not bought by $150 and $250 checks. Many of these groups are not necessarily on the same page so what they are contributing to are those people who they think actually will research the issue.
Posted by Luana, a member of the Harvest Park Middle School community, on Oct 25, 2010 at 1:04 pm
I agree with "Resident". Sandy Piderit and Joan Laursen are what our community needs now. We need people we can trust to spend money on our children's education and who can think creatively and freely. While Laursen did accept money for her campaign from the teachers' union, she doesn't have a family member who is a union rep and teacher like Jeff Bowser. What is worse, California state law allows Jeff to vote on teachers' contracts even though his own wife is a teacher. He can also vote on other union-related issues that may/will come up. With his wife a union-rep and the resounding endorsement from the President of the local teachers' union, Trevor Nagy (see Nagy's letter to the editor in the Weekly last Friday), I think Jeff will find it difficult to vote any other way than pro-union! Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that we want someone who votes against the union every time. I'm saying we want school board members who can make decisions which are truly best for our students and not necessarily best for the teachers' union. As we've seen over the last few years, what is best for the students is NOT always best for the teachers' union.
Posted by Elizabeth, a resident of the Mohr Park neighborhood, on Oct 26, 2010 at 11:34 am
While that might be true for some politicians - Ms. Piderit, who is not a politician, specifically decided not to send in letters or attend interviews seeking endorsements. As her neighbor and now her friend, I know she can be trusted.
Posted by Sandy Piderit, a resident of the Mohr Park neighborhood, on Oct 26, 2010 at 12:39 pm
To make sure my approach is described clearly and consistently -- I did accept invitations to interview with APT and CSEA, as well as with the Pleasanton Weekly and the Bay Area News Group (which publishes the Tri-Valley Herald and the Valley Times, among other papers. I submitted a written questionnaire to the Chamber, at their request, but did not receive an invitation to an interview.
Here's how I answered the question on the APT/CSEA questionnaire:
"14. Why are you seeking an endorsement from our association?
I accepted an invitation to meet with you because I believe that communication is valuable, and sometimes there’s no substitute for being in a room together, face-to-face. I want to learn more about what you believe is important for our students.
I am not seeking, nor will I accept, donations from political action committees or political parties. I welcome support from individuals (including members of your organization) – especially offers to volunteer and to reach out to other community members."
This is the approach I described at my first campaign kickoff in August, and I have been consistent throughout.
FYI, I have not received any donations of more than $100 from any individual. My husband and I paid the fee to have a campaign statement published in the voter guide that is sent to registered voters ($1119) and we paid almost that much again into the campaign account.
Posted by Wondering, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 26, 2010 at 10:18 pm
I would like to know how Sandy will be voting against the union, the teachers as so many are grateful for here? Sounds like a bias to me. How do you react to this Sandy? I would think a board member should be willing and able to work with all staff. What is it that this community feels Sandy will do that other candidates won't do? This us vs. them is certainly not the type of productive working situation that will help our schools, yet we are to vote for that? And Sandy is expected to follow this?
Posted by Sandy Piderit, a resident of the Mohr Park neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2010 at 7:27 am
I deeply appreciate the work that teachers, staff, and managers do within PUSD. I am certainly willing to work alongside them in continuing to improve the educational experience for all students who attend Pleasanton's schools. The district cannot accomplish its mission without the skills and dedication that staff bring to their work each day.
I do not think of myself as pro-union or anti-union, but simply as an independent thinker. I recognize that the primary reason that unions were founded, historically, was to address the working conditions of employees and ensure that they are treated fairly. That is an understandable desire of a group of employees, and I do not have any agenda to undermine the union.
What I am committed to doing, if I am elected, is representing all the residents of Pleasanton, listening to their points of view, and using my best judgment to approach board decisions with the interests of our community's children foremost in my mind.
To get back to the original topic of this thread -- Joan Laursen chose a different campaign strategy than I did, in setting a different goal around fundraising. I don't think that tells the voters much about her commitment to put the interests of our community's children first. She's clearly committed to that. I believe that all three of the candidates share a desire to do what's best for children.
Voters consider many different issues when making their decisions. I hope that people who vote for me do so because of the particular strengths I can bring to the board.
Posted by John, a resident of the Danbury Park neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2010 at 12:35 pm
Sandy is a teacher--although at the college level. She will have some understanding of the challenges faced in the classroom as well as empathy for the profession. She certainly isn't anti-teacher or union. What the above blogs are talking about is the conflict of interest presented when one's wife is a union rep and how that might bias Jeff Bowser's votes if elected to the board. Sandy comes from a more unbiased perspective and, I think, can represent her constituents better.
Posted by Wondering, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2010 at 6:26 pm
Hintzke's brother worked at Amador, Kernon's daughters worked at the elementary level. To slander Mr. Bowser's ability to work on the board due to his wife's career is ridiculous. I am looking for a board member who understands a teacher's job, the role of administrators, how school financing works. Mr. Bowser has impressive qualifications:
"He knows how education works. He has a master's degree in Educational Leadership with a credential as a professional educator. He worked for 13 years as a teacher and an administrator at the school, district and county levels.
"However, he combines this experience with his expertise in business and management in the private sector, which gives him a unique perspective on education in our district."
I know Sandy and Joan have great qualifications as well. We are fortunate to have three candidates who are willing to give back to Pleasanton. But to discredit someone because the teacher's union has endorsed them or they are related to an educator is disingenuous. Hintzke was endorsed by the teacher's union, elected and practices "free thinking".
I am looking for a candidate who is NOT pursuing this us vs. them attitude that is common place here. I would hope for a candidate who is able to understand the needs of the community as well as the schools- not this faux angst towards our local union and teachers.