What's Fair in Edina School Board Race

education-2107914_640.jpgThe Edina Sun Current has recently published some letters to the editor that call into question its claim to balance and unbiased fact checking. 

Two examples:  On October 19, the Sun Current published a letter written by Steve Timmer.  On October 26, the Sun Current published a letter written by Ana Jennings.  Both were highly ideological, with statements that should have been checked but clearly were not..

Timmer’s letter casts inaccurate aspersions that should have been checked before the letter was published:

 

  • The letter blasted the Center of the American Experiment (CAE) article that raised concerns about the curriculum in the Edina school system without taking issue with any of the points in the article.  Rather, it dismissed it by questioning how the distribution of the piece was funded (tying it without proof to the Koch brothers).
  • The letter states that Owen Michaelson, Chad Bell, and Faisal Deri “clearly have the imprimatur [my emphasis] of the SD49GOP, well, and the Koch brothers, too.”  The implication that Michaelson, Bell, and Deri have at any time sought the approval of the Koch brothers is inflammatory and unjustified. They attended and spoke at a Republican event just like they attended and spoke at a League of Women Voters event.  Do they therefore have the imprimatur of the LWV?
  • The letter states that “by being on a page of the SD49GOP website they have received material resources from it.” We have recommended Bell, Deri, and Michaelson, just as Education Minnesota – Edina (EME) has recommended five other Edina School Board candidates on their Facebook page.  Gabe Aderhold includes Outfront Minnesota on the Endorsement page of his website.  Should these other candidates be equally condemned? 
  • The letter further states, “These three candidates also coordinated with a (theoretically) independent organization.  None of them disclosed this relationship.”  What independent organization?  Is the author referring to the CAE or SD49GOP?  What coordination?  Did the Sun Current even try to check the validity and meaning of this accusation? 

Steve Timmer is a highly partisan blogger who writes for LeftMN.  He spuriously alludes to the funding of the CAE, the involvement of the Koch brothers, and our candidate recommendations, and rejects our recommended candidates because they are “unworthy of local and nonpartisan support.” 

Jenning’s letter of October 26 starts out “Intolerant ideologues are trying to use Edina’s School Board election to begin a local takeover.  If Edina residents are not careful, a small group of very organized and coordinated right-wing activists will manipulate the community into embracing an isolationist, discriminatory and fear-based ideology.” 

It goes on to imply that the divisive/hateful rhetoric and policies of the type used by Hitler in his rise to power are being employed in the Edina school board race. 

The letter cites the CAE article and states that voters should be wary of our recommended candidates if they repeat the “false/inflammatory generalities” of the article.  Again, no specific rebuttal of any of the points made by Katherine Kersten or any of the concerns raised by our recommended candidates.

All the more reason to reject such unsubstantiated and inflammatory arguments and vote for the candidates that truly believe in achieving the highest performance from our schools. 

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