This past Sunday, many Janesville residents discovered an unusual flyer with their copy of the Janesville Gazette. Decorated with what the flyer calls “Local Education Facts”, the two-sided flyer features the names, positions and salaries of many WEAC members working for Janesville School District.
The quotes used for the “Local Education Facts” are looking to make the point that the district is struggling to deal with a multi-million dollar deficit and the community is besieged by foreclosures which are up 300% from 2008, while Janesville’s schools are doing better than in many other districts, at least judging by our teacher-to-pupil ratio. At the bottom of the flyer, a summary is given highlighting how many teachers are in what salary range. Finally, readers are being invited to learn about which Janesville School district employees signed the Walker recall petitions by going to www.iverifytherecall.com, and a form is included, which is to be mailed to the Janesville School District Superintendent, Karen Schulte, asking to have the child of the person who sends in this form, to have their child taught by a “non-radical teacher” during the next school year.
Subject of much conversation in our community and social media statewide, the confusion regarding the role played in the distribution of this attack on teachers and union members was only exacerbated by the flyer citing Janesville Gazette as source for its claims. It appears that the Gazette had nothing to do with distributing this anonymous attack. The flyers were put on top or underneath the Sunday paper, and were not limited in their distribution exclusively to Gazette subscribers. Nor were these distributed throughout the entire city of Janesville.
Following the initial shock at the brazenness of this act, let’s remember that Scott Walker described his approach to dealing with the unions and union members as “divide and conquer”. While there is nothing on the flyer that indicates who wrote, produced or distributed it, this story in Journal Sentinel provides some interesting insight, whoever stands behind this attack should be ashamed of their actions.
I believe strongly in the transparency and disclosure, and looking at this attack piece, my faith in those fundamental values is only strengthened. We can discuss and debate the fairness of any agreement in daylight, but there should be no room in our politics for anonymous attacks that cherry pick information while ultimately seeking to do nothing but divide us and win the recall election.
I urge the Janesville Gazette to do a full investigation into this incident, and to provide its readers with the most complete and expedient coverage about what happened, those behind this attack piece, and their possible motives. Our community deserves nothing less.
See the flier here: https://www.facebook.com/...