To the Editor:

Katherine Kersten’s article in the Center of the American Experiment’s “magazine” that was carpet bombed in Edina has received much comment, most of it negative. Estimates of the cost of producing and mailing the piece are upward of $60,000, tens of thousands, anyway. All to influence a nonpartisan school board race. Make no mistake: That is what it was intended to do.

This electioneering effort was kicked off by a briefing to SD49 Republicans by the CAE’s president, John Hinkeraker. The CAE, in turn, receives major funding from the Brothers Koch, according to Source Watch.

And according to the Sun Current’s reporting, there are three candidates for the school board, featured on the SD49GOP website (and only the three of them), who were also in attendance at the briefing and offered their own remarks: Owen Michaelson, Chad Bell, and Faisal Deri. The Republicans say they aren’t “endorsed,” but that’s parsing it a little; they clearly have the imprimatur of the SD49GOP, well, and the Koch brothers, too. And by being on a page of the SD49GOP website they have received material resources from it.

These three candidates also coordinated with a (theoretically) independent organization. None of them disclosed the relationship.

Whatever your politics, if you believe the words “local” and “nonpartisan” have any meaning, you will reject Michaelson, Bell, and Deri out of hand as unworthy of local and nonpartisan support.

Now is as good a time as any to tell the CAE and its national funders – or any other national groups that wants to stick their noses into our affairs – to just butt out, and take their lackeys with them.

 

Steve Timmer

Edina

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