Last week, I wrote about the on education and the state budget.
The mailer which aims to confuse voters, has sparked a response from education leaders and unions. Wait, a union supporting someone who caves to Republicans? Yes, that's because Torie Osborn's mailer is not telling the whole story. The state budget that Betsy voted for was the same one that every single Democrat voted including the only two Assembly members who support Torie (Julia Brownley* & Cathleen Galgiani). However, Torie only aims fire at Assemblywoman Betsy Butler, why? Because it is convenient for Torie to do and because it is election time! I agree, the Budget is a mess but it is not fair to attack and blame Betsy for it. She has only been there for a little over a year and California's budget woes go back a long, long time.
Kathryn Lybarger, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 3299, which represents University of California workers, hits back in a written statement given to LA Weekly:
"The mischaracterization of Assemblywoman Butler's support of education was taken right out of Karl Rove's Republican playbook. This swift boat attack is false, misleading and says nothing about the fact that Republicans were responsible for the cuts in this budget and refused to let voters decide on additional revenues. Assemblywoman Butler has been the legislature's top educations ally."
Mitra Moassessi, president of the Santa Monica College Faculty Association who has endorsed Betsy Butler, told the LA Weekly:
"Assemblywoman Butler stood up to Republicans and voted to protect our community colleges from devastating cuts that would have denied access to thousands of students to community college. Her continued progressive stance on education funding is why Assemblywoman Butler is endorsed by the Santa Monica Community College Faculty."
Allan Clark, president of California School Employees Association, adds,
"This attack on Assemblywoman Butler's budget vote could not be farther from the truth. The Democratic budget was passed only after Republican leaders refused to put up one vote for a compromise budget, because the cuts weren't big enough."
The bigger question here (and not asked in Torie's mailer) is this: Would Torie vote with Democrats (just like Betsy Butler) for Governor Brown's budget or would she have joined the Republicans in opposing it? According to Torie Osborn's own press release given to the LA Weekly, she would have:
"If I'd been in the Assembly, I'd have stood up against these cuts and voted no."
Democratic voters in the 50th Assembly District: The only Assemblymembers that voted "no" for the Democratic budget presented by Governor Brown were Assembly Republicans. Is Torie Osborn really telling this District that she would have joined Republican Assemblymembers and opposed the budget presented by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown? A fair question.
Meanwhile, education leaders continue to line up in support of Butler's re-election campaign in the 50th Assembly District. California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, announced his endorsement of Assemblymember Betsy Butler a few months ago:
“We need leadership and commitment to education and Assemblymember Butler has demonstrated her ability to address the tough challenges our public schools face. Like me, Betsy wants to ensure that every child has a safe environment in which to learn and that our teachers and school professionals have the resources they need to effectively prepare our children for success in the 21st century."
In addition to Tom Torlakson's endorsement, Los Angeles Unified School Board Member Marguerite LaMotte has also endorsed Asm. Betsy Butler's re-election campaign. And just recently, the Los Angeles Community College Trustees endorsed Asm. Betsy Butler in her re-election campaign for Assembly. You have a choice on June 5th, to re-elect a progressive champion to the Assembly or someone who will do and say anything to win an Assembly seat. I hope you vote for Betsy Butler.
*Assemblywoman Julia Brownley has dual endorsed Betsy Butler and Torie Osborn