Education. Education. Education. That’s what the U.S. Senate race in Virginia is all about this year. And boy, are we voters getting a heckuva education on politics!
Incumbent Senator Chuck Robb and challenger George Allen are both former governors. They know very well that the federal government provides little money to the state’s school system just lots of bossy mandates. Only 6 percent of Virginia’s public school funds come from the federal government. Still, both men are campaigning as the savior of Virginia’s public schools. They can’t fulfill that role from the U.S. Senate, but to win votes they’re pretending they can solve everyone’s problems.
George Allen is being helped by almost $1.2 million dollars in TV ads paid for by Virginia taxpayers. Allen’s buddy, Republican Governor Jim Gilmore is running ads talking about the great success of the Standards of Learning tests. These student tests, designed to ensure accountability in public schools, were Allen’s major educational achievement as governor.
Now accountability is a good thing, sure. But everyone knows that these ads are running right before the election to boost Allen. Needless to say, taxpayers aren’t thrilled with being forced to spend a million dollars on campaign ads. The governor’s spokesman Mark Miner defended the ads, saying, “People have a right to know where their educational dollars are going.” He’s right; people should know that our tax dollars are going to politics. And the politicians should know we’re sick of it.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.