What do you think of this scenario: A political candidate wants to meet with public school teachers to discuss funding and to request support for their re-election campaign? Sounds a little unethical or desperate, doesn’t it?
Well, this is occurring in a Northern Virginia State Senate race, as Toddy Puller’s campaign sent an email out to public school teachers in Prince William County about setting up private meetings in their schools. Below is the email that was sent out by Megan Fitzgerald, who serves as Puller’s Field Director:
Toddy Puller, the State Senator for most of Prince William County isreaching out to school in hopes of meeting with teachers to talk abouteducation and the importance of funding our future. My name is Megan and I’mthe regional field director for Prince William County. I would love thechance to meet with you one-on-one to talk about Toddy Puller. I am veryinterested in talking to students about local government and emphasizingits importance. I know that you all are very busy and have a strict curriculumbut I do think it could be beneficial. Please let me know if there is atime I could come into the school to talk to you more about the State Senator(preferably before school starts).–Megan Fitzgerald
Toddy Puller for Senate
“Why does a campaign operative need to discuss public school funding with teachers two months before an election. Why is Senator Puller sending her political campaign into our public schools to begin with? And most importantly, if everything is above board, why do these meetings need to be in private?”“If the Senator Puller would like to engage teachers and students in the democratic process, then we should debate the issues at every high school in the district. However, clandestine political campaigning has no place in our public schools, and funding for our public schools should never be used as leverage with teachers. Senator Puller owes the taxpayers an explanation as to what exactly her campaign operatives are doing in the public schools.”
Frederick is right about these meetings. You would think that Puller would want her constituents to hear about her views on public school funding, instead it seems like she wants to keep these closed.