A reader has pointed to yet another candidate who is making an explicit partisan appeal as the focus of an ad in a nonpartisan school board race: Teri Burns, a long-time incumbent on the Natomas Unified school board.
One side the mailer reads: DEMOCRAT in large letters that spread across the whole front. Then, "IT'S OFFICIAL: Teri Burns is the Democratic Party's Candidate."
The reverse side reads:
CALL TO ACTION
REPUBLICANS ARE TRYING
TO TAKE OVER THE SCHOOL
BOARD. Their agenda could
devastate essential programs.
THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY
knows a vote for Teri Burns
ensures our students and
teachers will be supported.
Burns, who was first elected to the board in 1986 and who has served as a former state deputy superintendent of public instruction should know that the California Constitution states that, "All judicial, school, county and city offices shall be nonpartisan" (California Constitution, Article II, Section 6a).
While political parties often send out ads touting their endorsements (and candidates post lists with all their endorsements, party and non-party, and identify their party registration discreetly), it is unusual for a candidate to make an explicitly partisan appeal the focus of an ad in a nonpartisan race.
Do voters really want their school board elections turning into partisan races -or should candidates at least attempt to abide by the spirit of nonpartisanship in the California Constitution?
The Bee's editorial board endorsed Burns for this race. We are deeply disappointed that she has decided to rely on partisanship, rather than her record, to win a new term of office.