You might not guess who is backing Assemblyman Tony Thurmond’s bid to become the state superintendent of public instruction.
Last month, the California Correctional Peace Officers Association contributed $500,000 to an independent expenditure committee supporting Thurmond, campaign filings show. The CCPOA since has added more muscle to its Thurmond effort, spending $1.175 million on television ads supporting him thus far.
The CCPOA ad began airing this month.
Why does the correctional officers union care who wins the November election for the state’s top elected public education post?
“Tony Thurmond supports more training and prison safety and that is a big deal for them,” Richard Temple, CCPOA’s long-time consultant, told CALmatters senior editor Dan Morain.
But, as Morain pointed out, the contribution on behalf of Thurmond followed the release of a campaign ad by opponent Marshall Tuck that “obliquely criticizing prison spending and, by extension, correctional officers’ pay.”
The ad states: “Did you know that every year, California spends $71,000 per prisoner but only $16,000 per student? It’s no wonder our public schools rank 44th in the nation.”
Marshall Tuck Campaign Ad
For the record, Thurmond voted to approve CCPOA’s latest contract, which increased officers’ pay by 5 percent at a two-year cost of $338 million, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office.
“It’s ironic,” Tuck told Morain, “that Thurmond talks about moving money from prison to schools but has made votes to increase spending for prisons.”
Thurmond also enjoys the support of the California State Law Enforcement Association, which cut this commercial on his behalf.
CSLEA Ad Supporting Thurmond
The Battle for California’s Education Future
Read GV Wire’s Special Report on how the 2018 election campaign will shape California’s future by veteran education journalist Nancy Price at this link.