The $100K PAC-drop of Eli Broad was heard around LA this week, but it’s not the first or even tenth time this sort of thing has gone on.  It’s basically just SOP to use money as a political bludgeon, at the last second – for after when the polls are open and association with shady doings will no longer influence a vote.  The shenanigans following all this sloshing money is hard to track and harder still to fathom.

Because what does it net?

Four candidates in Tuesday’s LAUSD board member Special Election had Independent Expenditure (IE; aka “PAC” or Political Action Committee) accounts opened on their behalf.  The candidates are supposed to have no interaction with those running the IEs, enabling “plausible deniability”.  Remember that term? It dates from the Vietnam-era, and was much employed during the Iran-Contra affair as well.  It all funds unscrupulousness personified. Mud slinging par excellence.

This time, it was Eli Broad filling up an SEIU PAC on behalf of Heather Repenning.  He’s used the California Charter School Association (CCSA) as this sort of courier in the past. But that whole industry is kinda hot right about now so he evidently found another interest group willing to shroud his personal interests.

And what has it netted them?  The count is not finished and more votes will be registered tomorrow, depressing this calculation of cost-per-vote. Even while the provisional and Mail-in ballots (VBM) counted between election night and last Friday swelled the totals by 24% (25K -> 31K) and reversed the second and third place finishers.

So for now calculating the negative-IE expenditures as money spent for each of the other three candidates, the least-vote recipient of these four, Allison Greenwood-Bajracharya and her charter-friends spent more than five times that of the first-place finisher:  $320/vote. Heather Repenning and pals spent 10% more, even, than that at $352/vote. Repenning’s virtually-tied competitor Graciela Ortiz spent less than one third her competitor’s bill at $109/vote. And the first-place finisher, Jackie Goldberg, spent just 18% of the most expensive vote, at $63/vote.

Excluding the ambiguous treatment of negative expenditures shows Goldberg’s “organic” votes to be only slightly less shocking at 19% in their fraction of the highly-leveraged Repenning:


If the charter-backed school board had simply appointed the people’s choice, Jackie Goldberg as suggested by boardmember Schmerelson way back last summer, hundreds of thousands of LAUSD5 stakeholders would not have languished unrepresented these past eight months.

These elections reveal a very different set of priorities and motivations between candidates. Big-money plutocrats operating in an arena of public-private partnerships invest hair-raising sums on consultants and allied associates at the expense of simply educating our children.

And millions of dollars, and volunteer-hours could have been devoted instead not to political consultants and allied professionals, but, say, you know, to the classrooms where our children’s education is supposed to have been being held prime.