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Campaigning With Your Tax Money

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"Republican senators have met to discuss legislation that would ban abortion nationwide" - Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

When the Supreme Court took the unprecedented step of taking away a civil right with their decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, they immediately increased the importance of abortion and privacy rights as issues in elections. No longer protected by Roe, women are dependent on their elected representatives to shield them from Republican efforts to criminalize abortion, eliminate access to abortion-inducing drugs and restrict the ability to travel to jurisdictions where the medical procedure is legal.

California State Assemblywoman Suzette Martinez Valladares is one of the Republican legislators that women have to worry about. With a "100% rating" from the California Pro-Life Council, Valladares is a guaranteed vote to erode the rights of California women. Given that her position is out of step with 77% of adult Californians, including 59% of registered Republicans, the incumbent has done everything possible to obscure her record. Her campaign website makes no mention of the issue and campaign flyers attempted to trick voters into believing that she was on the side of "choice."

Valladares' dishonesty was not enough to help her in the June primary election. While the incumbent brags that she "was elected to the California State Assembly with 76% of the vote in November 2020," she could not even get 50% of the vote last month. This November she will face off against Pilar Schiavo who is endorsed by Planned Parenthood and supports a woman's right to choose. Schiavo has a strong record of fighting for access to healthcare, including reproductive services.

Facing an uphill battle for reelection, Valladares is using her elected office to send campaign messages to her constituents. Once again she is trying to claim that she is "protecting women's healthcare" without acknowledging that she actually wants to reduce their options. These messages are sent using postage that you and I paid for. Unlike previous mailings, she does not even pretend that the mailing is in response to specific legislation.

(Image by California State Assembly)   Details   DMCA
To add insult to injury, Valladares' website brags about an endorsement from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association PAC, a group that is singularly responsible for reducing funding to our schools. Apparently, they have no trouble backing an elected representative who wastes government funds as long as she is a proven tool for reducing the taxes used to pay for her propaganda.

The residents of California Assembly District 40 will have their opportunity to hold Valladares responsible for her actions in November. In the meantime, the leadership in the Assembly needs to ensure that her mailings are in full compliance with the rules regarding mass mailings. They cannot do anything about her efforts to obscure her record, but they can make sure that the taxpayers are not paying for her campaign.

Carl J. Petersen is a parent advocate for students with special education needs and public education. He was elected to the Northridge East Neighborhood Council and is the Education Chair. As a Green Party candidate in LAUSD's District 2 School Board race, he was endorsed by Network for Public Education (NPE) Action. Dr. Diane Ravitch has called him "a valiant fighter for public schools in Los Angeles." For links to his blogs, please visit www.ChangeTheLAUSD.com. Opinions are his own.

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Carl Petersen is a parent, an advocate for students with special education needs, an elected member of the Northridge East Neighborhood Council, a member of the LAUSD's CAC, and was a Green Party candidate in LAUSD's District 2 School Board race. During the campaign, the Network for Public Education (NPE) Action endorsed him, and Dr. Diane Ravitch called him a " (more...)

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