Thursday, June 3, 2021

RISD Race Turns Negative

"I am running against a candidate that has raised 77% of her campaign funds from not only outside the district, but also outside the state of Texas! 69% of her campaign funding is from the same Washington DC organization." — Chris Poteet.

I care less about where donations come from than who they come from. That a non-profit for developing leaders for education equity thinks highly enough of Amanda Clair to donate just affirms my decision to support her. Chris Poteet attacking her for it is disappointing. Besides, he's the odds-on favorite to win this runoff election. Why come out and attack a non-profit organization developing leaders for education equity? It's a bad look.

And his defense ("just stating facts") is disingenuous. He highlighted not just that it was outside money, but that it was from Leadership for Education Equity, "a nonprofit leadership development organization inspiring & supporting a network of civic leaders to end the injustice of educational inequity." That Poteet wants voters to know that suggests that Poteet thinks he can win votes by telling certain voters that his opponent is favored by those who want education equity. I have to question whether voters who are attracted by that argument are the voters I'd want on my side. (I'm just asking a question, as others claim as a defense against charges of insinuation. ;-)

Poteet says, "I appreciate and am equally proud of the local community support to my campaign." Let me add that I just wish he attracted support from places like the City of Richardson. Let's look at his financial report. Lots of donations from Lake Highlands. Some from ZIP codes in Dallas Lakewood, Preston Hollow, Highland Park, University Park. Only one donation from each of ZIP codes 75080 and 75081 in Richardson. In fact, from ZIP codes in RISD other than Lake Highlands, donations were only about 4% of Poteet's total. So much for the "local support" Poteet is proud of. (Note that his opponent did not make a campaign issue of the geographic narrowness of Poteet's support. I did that. ;-)

I wish Chris Poteet had never opened this distasteful can of worms. Until he did, I had nothing negative to say about him. Now I have to wonder. His win Saturday, which seems likely, will be forever tainted. Unnecessarily so. RISD will be the worse for that.

Election Day is June 5. Vote for the candidate who proudly supports equity in education. The candidate who like-minded people all across RISD and beyond, from near and far, proudly support. It's nothing to be ashamed of.

No comments: