Friday, April 21, 2006

NRCC Swift Boating of Francine Busby

The National Republican Congressional Committee released a television ad in San Diego today that is filled with outright lies and a blatant disregard for the truth that is breathtaking even for the Republican Party.

The ad represents a new low for a party that had pretty much plumbed the depths of sleazy political dirty tricks. Unlike 2004's Swift Boat attacks on John Kerry, this ad comes directly from the Republican Party. This ad couldn't have hit the air in San Diego without the approval of county Republican leader, Ron Nehring.

This ad is filled with such massive lies and slanderous statements that any honest Republican should disavow it on sight. Here are the lies and some of the direct repudiations from the Busby campaign.

The ad contends that while Busby was a member of the Cardiff School Board district deficits "skyrocketed by over 250%."

The reality:

By law, California School Districts are required to adopt a balance budget. They are also required to maintain a reserve equivalent to 3% of total expenditures and other outgo in a reserve. In the time Francine has been on the School Board, Cardiff Schools have never allowed their reserve to dip below 5% - two full percentage points higher than the state mandates.

The ad contends that "Busby voted to layoff teachers but gave raises to administrative bureaucrats."

The reality:

Busby Voted For A Pay Raise For Employees Who Had Not Seen A Salary Increase For Years. Francine never voted for a pay raise for herself. She voted for a pay raise for “certificated management employees” because they had not received a pay raise for years prior. The vote for the 3% salary increase was a unanimous decision by the school board.

This was a pay increase for school workers who hadn't seen a raise in years. This was a raise for clerical workers and janitors, people working with students and parents every day. Hardly bureaucrats.

Like most school districts in the state in 2003, the Cardiff district faced the prospect of massive budget cuts. By law the district had to inform teachers of the possibility that teaching positions would be reduced. It was the same requirement that school districts all over California had to deal with.

In Spring of 2003, the state was proposing “devastating” budget cuts that were translating into massive layoff notices being given across the state. Statewide, “more than 10,000” teachers were “given notice that they may be layed off in the fall.” The Contra Costa Times wrote, “Years of work to boost education spending and recruit credentialed teachers could be wiped out as school districts across the East Bay and state brace for devastating cuts amid continued uncertainty as to how deep state budget reductions will be.”

The most egregious charge made by the slimeballs at the NRCC is the implication that Busby is soft on porn because at one point in time she said something positive about a teacher who was later "reported to have child porn.".

The reality:

Francine Busby and the Cardiff School Board took immediate action to get the teacher in question out of the classroom and away from Children.

How desperate must the Republicans be regarding this race? This new attack ad is nauseating in its reliance on plain and simple lies.

The Busby campaign has challenged (pdf) Brian Bilbray to repudiate the slanders being promoted in support of his campaign. How he responds will tell us a lot about the true nature of Brian Bilbray.