On October 15, 2010, I received two campaign fliers from Representative Judy Stiegler. The first flier emphasised Oregon State Trooper strength and was discussed in my last post. The second flier proclaimed that Judy cut state spending by $2 billion dollars but, in doing so, she protected funding for our public schools. She provided her standard source: www.oregon.gov/transparency which is worthless without saying where specific information can be found on that website.
Assuming that Judy did protect funding for our public schools, do not make the mistake of assuming that the saved money will be used to educate our children. It won’t be. It will be used to pay the huge increase in PERS employer assessments that our schools will be required to pay next year. The Bend LaPine School District’s PERS assessments will increase by at least $3 million per year. The money that Judy says she protected for the schools will be used to fund the retirement benefits for the school districts employees. That’s the law. The legislature has made PERS funding the highest financial priority for school districts and all other public employers. PERS gets paid before our children are taught anything. Judy, as a legislator and as a PERS member, knows that.
Rep. Stiegler’s campaign flier then says that her opponent, Jason Conger, said he would have voted NO on the bills that kept our schools open for a full year. She cites the Bend Bulletin, 9/30/10, to prove that claim. The 9/30/10, Bend Bulletin article about Jason Conger’s position on school funding, however, does not say that. It say nothing even remotely close to what Judy described in her flier.
The unsubstantiated statements contained in Judy’s Stiegler’s fliers of October 15, 2010 regarding her accomplishments and her opponent’s positions on the issues might be accepted by those who blindly follow what she says. A voter attempting to verify those claims, though, will find that Judy’s statements are consistently unsupported by her sources. That is disappointing but she still has time to set the record straight. Let’s hope she does so.