Your history generally defines you at least in the public’s eye. That doesn’t mean you can’t ever escape it, but it’s always there. And especially in a high profile position, you must always acknowledge that and always be mindful of it.
This fight over Initiative 42 has essentially evolved (or devolved) into a Democrats vs. Republican battle. The pro-42/BSBJ staff has made it that way from day one by crafting what is essentially a partisan end around to a legislative process that they know they are permanently unable to win, but make no mistake that this is now a partisan fight in the truest sense of the word.
Former state Democratic Party Executive Director and now Clarion Ledger Executive Editor Sam Hall “threw a flag” over the weekend at the latest ad created by IMPIC, which has aligned against Initiative 42.
First, watch the ads in question. Watch the original ad from Better Schools Better Jobs.
Now watch the ad that IMPIC produces in direct response to that ad that Hall called a “load of horse crap”.
As Geoff Pender said earlier this week, there’s enough hyperbole to go around. But Hall looks like the referee that missed the really intentional cheap shot only to throw a flag at the guy pushing off on the original offender. Is he being intentionally this dense or did he really just not see the original ad?
Hall complains about the “one liberal Hinds County Judge” line saying essentially that it’s code for defunding suburban schools to fund inner city schools instead. What stuck out to me in the original BSBJ ad was an image of a white “legislator” wrestling away a laptop from a young African American boy. (By the way, the lack of any media or alt+media mention of this has been deafening – but that’s what happens when BSBJ hires their buddy, I guess.) Given our state’s history, that’s about as incendiary as it gets. It seems Better Schools Better Jobs can gleefully use racially loaded images and no one utters a peep. And Hall talks about imagery and doesn't mention that? Really, Sam?
Given your history, Sam, if you’re going to call it, you need to at least try and call it both ways. Otherwise, some folks might get the wrong idea.
So far, the state media has given BSBJ a total pass. There’s been no critical look at their funding (except for here), and there’s been no critical attention paid to the intentions of the people running their effort. Their intentions are just assumed to be pure by the media ‘cause the BSBJ effort is largely made up with their buddies. Plus, who could ever do something impure “in the name of helping children”?
We’ll continue to do the work that no one else seems willing or able to do coming down the home stretch.