The VEA: We Teach The Children, But We Still Need To Learn How To Read OurselvesAug 20, 2009
Oh, boy, this is too funny and the headline possibilities are endless. Feel free to suggest some on your own. This is what's gone down since Monday involving the Virginia Education Association Fund and the lieutenant governor's campaign: On Monday, the VEA Fund president, Kitty Boitnott, issued a statement announcing that organization's endorsement of Democrat Jody Wagner over Republican incumbent Bill Bolling. Big surprise there, huh? In the endorsement, Dr. Boitnott wrote this about the lieutenant governor's record when he was in the Virginia Senate:
Lieutenant Governor Bolling had a 49.66% VEA voting record in his ten regular sessions and two special sessions in the Senate of Virginia. Notable votes include:
• Voted against paying Virginia's teachers the national average salary (2004 - SB 1285)
Uhhh, small problem with that . . . as in, there was no SB 1285 in 2004. There was a SB 1285 in 2005, however, to raise teacher salaries, but . . .
Ooooops! . . .
Bolling voted . . .
You know, it's not real hard to read the vote totals of a General Assembly vote — especially when it was adopted unanimously! You see, they have one line for all the "Yeas" and another for all the "Neas" (see here.) When all names are listed in the "Yeas" and none are listed in the "Neas," it's pretty difficult to misread that.
Yesterday, the VEA Fund issued a correction by e-mail, but it's not posted on its Web site (unless it's in an out of the way place), while the original news release with the incorrect information remains. But, like all good comedies, there's more. The desperate Wagner campaign immediately jumped on the news release and began touting the incorrect information. As of a few minutes ago the VEA Fund's release, with the incorrect claim about Lieutenant Governor Bolling's record, remained prominently in place on Wagner's home page — without a correction.
We already knew Wagner couldn't do math — as Governor Tim Kaine's finance secretary she consistently missed revenue projections that have led to a cumulative budget deficit of around $6 billion, and required several in-year cuts. (As of yesterday, per the governor himself, another $1.5 billion in cuts will be announced in September, and the fiscal year only began on July 1.) But now, apparently, her campaign is proving equally inept at fact checking because it's being led by an organization for teachers that can't read.