This week’s Rhino carries a full page political ad saying that school superintendent Dr. Terry Grier has somehow turned school boaed members Kris Cooke and Dot Kearns into “Stepford Wives”.  The message of the ad is, I’m afraid, lost on me… but I’m sure faithful followers of the “Wives” might “get it”.  Anyway….

The ad is paid for by the Save our Schools (SOS) PAC.  This political action committee was established by “former” ABC of Guilford County members.  At first, I was confused by why this committee was formed since ABC had already established its own PAC whose purpose was to promote challengers to any current School Board member who voted to implement the High Point Choice Plan.  Now, I think I get it, though.

The tone of the “Stepford” ad is simply nasty… way too nasty for it to be overtly tied to ABC.  Presumably ABC will have to work with whomever sits on next year’s school board to pursue their stated mission which is to “foster and promote excellence in public education for all students in Guilford County.”  In light of this fact, attacking incumbents, who historically have the best chance of getting re-elected, would probably stifle their future effectiveness.

It appears to me that SOS may have been formed to carry out the dirty work that ABC doesn’t want to get credit for.  I say this because during one of the ABC meetings I attended, ABC’s leadership alluded to some decisions that the group was going to have to make regarding upcoming political ads that their PAC arm might possibly run.  The group was warned that some members might have trouble with the “tone” of the ads.  I surmise that SOS was formed because many members of the group, which was purportedly formed as an advocacy group for school children, didn’t think that attack ads were in keeping with their stated mission… and I agree.

Another thing worth noting about the ad is that the total number of candidates that SOS is supporting to “change the school board” is exactly one.  The only named endorsement of the SOS ads is District 7 challenger Bill Davidson.  All of the rest, most notably at-large challenger Jim Kirkpatrick, are conspicuously absent from the focus of the ads.  My guess is that Kirkpatrick said “thanks, but no thanks” to such negativity and doesn’t want his name associated with any such nastiness.  Good for Jim.

The race between Amos Quick and Loretta Jennings for Johnny Hodges’ seat is not mentioned in the ads either.  Nor is the High Point race for the late Garry Burnett’s seat between William Fails and Walter Childs.  Either none of those candidates agrees with ABC/SOS’s views, or, ABC/SOS knows that that they cannot influence races within the black community, or, like Jim Kirpatrick, all of the candidates for the majority black school board districts see the SOS money and negativity for the political poison that it truly is OR, all of the above.

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