It’s been a week since last peek at the LAUSD board election spending. The rate of spending has slowed down a bit since over $1m was anted up by Bill Bloomfield and the California Charter School Association (CCSA, a charter school lobbying and service organization) between Thursday and Friday of one week ago. But the absolute spending in LAUSD school board elections since just last Friday has increased by nearly two and a half million dollars.

Across all four board races the total reported to the City of LA Ethics Commission is $8.2m. With almost half as much spent on negative campaigning as positive campaigning. In LAUSD7 one candidate (Gutierrez) registers no independent expenditures actually supporting the candidate, with all expenditures on her behalf spent in opposition.

The only candidate explicitly endorsed by the charter lobby is running in LAUSD3, recipient of an onslaught of resources both positive and deceptively negative. Expenditures favoring charter school public relations specialist Koziatek over incumbent former principal Schmerelson, run at 4 to 1. And in LAUSD5 where the expenditure imbalance is half again as great – 6:1 – the extravagantly-favored challenger didn’t even present herself at the only scheduled debate in that district.  The incumbent, veteran teacher Goldberg, was the only one to show up to the charter-industry-sponsored event.


Figure 1 above is an updated visual representation of the relative distribution of independent expenditures across all four board district races. Boxes are proportional in size to the total; negative spending is below the line. These data broken out by donor are reported as of February 28, 2020. The total relative distribution can be readily compared with February 21, 2020 and February 20, 2020.

Negative campaigning seems to have stopped against Jackie Goldberg in LAUSD5 following publication of a strongly worded letter to her constituents. But it has continued apace in LAUSD3 and more than doubled the previous total in negative spending in LAUSD7.


Table 1:  Comparison of this past week’s independent expenditures recorded since the total as of last Friday, February 21, 2020.

Manhattan Beach’s self-ascribed “anti-special-interests”, politically domineering Bill Bloomfield is continuing his long-standing tradition of jiggering the scale for charter ideologues. In just the past week he has swamped out two races with nearly $1.5m additional dollars in largely indirect or negative ads. In total he has spent nearly four million dollars in service of opposing “special interests” even while his own political interests seem clearly and consistently “specialized”. In spending enormously against two candidates in LAUSD7, he supports the set of candidates with a history of charter employment and authorization. In countering LAUSD5’s Jackie Goldberg he is spending to unseat teacher (and teacher union) representation on the current board.

It is a breathtaking amount of money spent 5-to-3-to-2 by just three entities:  the “anti-special-interests” charter promotor (Bloomfield), the charter-promoting industry trade association (CCSA), and the collective constituents of the group deprecated by the charter promotors (the teacher’s union, UTLA).