With a less than a week before voters will head to the polls in the 41st Delegate district, members of the FEA held a press conference yesterday to discuss the budget and its impact on education. While the focus of the press conference was opposition to Bob McDonnell’s plan to balance the budget on the backs of students, there was also some discussion about the upcoming special election and the differences between Kerry Bolognese and Eileen Filler-Corn.
Both candidates have made education a big part of their campaign, which isn’t too surprising because one of the reasons many families move to Fairfax County is the high quality of its school system. Parents therefore want to make sure that the school system remains at the same level that caused them to move to the area in the first place. Realizing this, Bolognese has been using campaign lit that says he opposes cuts to education so that the general public thinks he’ll fight for maintaining the programs that make our schools so successful. In a questionnaire for the Northern Virginia Tea Party (paid for by the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance), however, his answers to three separate questions said that the school system’s budget was “excessive.”
During yesterday's press conference a local special education teacher and FEA member pointed out that Bolognese’s decision to say one thing in his campaign literature and another in his questions to the extreme right is “two-faced.” It also suggests that he's willing to say whatever he thinks will score him some political points with particular constituent groups. Since we need leaders in the House of Delegates who will work hard to produce actual results while we’re trying to recover from these tough economic times, Bolognese’s inability to be straightforward about where he stands on the important issues like education goes to show why the voters rejected his candidacy in November and should do so again on March 2.
For those of you who are interested, here’s a video of Kevin’s remarks. I think they’re important to watch because they make the connection between Bolognese’s various campaign promises directly contradict themselves and how we therefore can’t trust him to protect funding for our schools if he’s elected to the House of Delegates. As a side note, I also think it's important for groups like the FEA to hold elected officials and candidates accountable for what they say. This is a prime example of how their membership is truly taking the time to educate the public about the contradictory statements that a candidate is hoping won't receive too much attention.