It is election time again and like clockwork, political mailers are filling your mailboxes.
Pushing political campaigns through the mail has remained a tried and true way to reach voters and solicit them to vote for a candidate.
However, some stick out, and some cause a major rebuttal.
In this case, Cara Pavalock-D’Amato Republican member of the Connecticut House of Representatives, representing District 77 in Bristol sent one of those mailers that caused local Democrats to say wait a minute.
The mailer says: Cara will fight to keep Edgewood School open.”
After learning about the mailer, Democratic challenger Kevin Fuller posted on social media:
“Last night and this morning I have been getting numerous calls regarding a mailer my opponent sent out in regards to Edgewood School. It said she is fighting to keep Edgewood School open. This was news to me so I went back 9 months of Board of Education minutes and found nothing about closing any schools in Bristol. I can not speak for her as where this information came from and in fact a State Representative has no involvement in local Board of Education decisions. If you share this with your Edgewood Family then everyone can rest easier. Thank you for calling me so I could get clarification for you.”
When asked about the mailer, Bristol Republican Town Chair Jeffrey Caggiano and member of the BOE said “The BOE first passed a plan to close two schools and build another large K-8 school, before getting public input. After considerable pushback from staff and citizens, the majority members moved on to Option 1. I voted against both plans.”
“Option 1 is literally titled “Do Nothing,” and I personally have asked publicly and privately for our leadership to address the lack of a plan, as we are adding another middle/high school (MBS A&M) to the district with slightly declining enrollments. Edgewood is a K-5 school.”
Additionally, Caggiano said “Tina Taylor is not only a sitting BOE Member but the chair of the Policy Committee. She should know it is against policy to be commenting on Board of Education Business in the paper or online, which she has done repeatedly and quite vociferously during this critical election cycle. Current BOE leadership and the DTC would be asking for my resignation again if I were to post as Commissioner Taylor. However, I am hopeful that we will not continue to kick this can down the road, and this item will be added to an agenda soon. A request for such a meeting by me has been ignored since the beginning of the year.”
“Cara Pavalock is the only State Representative from Bristol that sits on the Education Committee in the General Assembly, and also happens to be a resident a new mother, who resides in the Edgewood School District. She has every right to comment on her desire to keep her local grammar school open,” added Caggiano.
Caggiano expressed Pavalock runs her own campaign and in no way are these comments meant to speak for her.
BOE Member Tina Taylor said about the mailer “State representatives have zero control over whether local school boards close schools. Local jurisdiction. The BOE voted months ago to accept Option 1 of the feasibility study which included no school closings. 3. This would be similar to me running for re-election on the BOE and claiming that I would cut state taxes. Not my jurisdiction.”
Michelle Michele Roalf, former PTA President and frequent attendee at Board of Education meetings said she was quite taken aback to receive Cara Pavalock’s recent re-election mailer where she states that she will “Fight to Keep Edgewood School Open.” Considering that she has nothing to do with local education policy and does not attend local meetings – and has yet to reach out to the new Mayor and offer assistance – I have to tell you, this letter sounds a lot like desperate campaign tactics.
Political mailings are designed to create an emotional reaction.
Using the image of Edgewood School and the possibility of it closing based on the mailing looks menacing — it is what makes this mailing so effective. But not true.
Will it work? We’ll know next week.
Cara Pavalock-D’Amato was reached out to comment on this mailer. The Roundup did not receive a response by the posting of this article.
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