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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Louella Givens gives a very short, largely pointless press conference

Posted By on Thu, Nov 3, 2011 at 4:29 PM


Summary of a five-minute press conference: Louella Givens, the incumbent in the race for the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education's 2nd District is (1) still running for reelection, despite what you may have heard, and (2) being lied about, so Givens says, by her opponent, Kira Orange Jones, and the Alliance for Better Classrooms (ABC), a political action committee run by Baton Rouge businessman Lane Grigsby.

Why is this worth a whole press conference, you ask? Well, two points.

Point 1: Givens' most recent full campaign finance report shows $11,000 in campaign receipts in September and October, $10,000 of which she had loaned to herself. She reported $9,640 cash on hand at the time. That was nearly a month ago, and she's only reported one $2,500 contribution since, from the Louisiana Association of Educators.

Jones, on the other hand, has ABC backing. ABC — which is characterized by its supporters as pro-reform and by its opponents as pro-privatization and anti-teacher — has been spending a lot of money in these BESE elections. It's also been collecting a lot of money, including from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who gave $100,000 to the PAC on October 18.

Jones reported $96,000 in receipts from September to October — most of which came from Louisiana, but a sort of odd amount of which came from people with New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, and California addresses. She had nearly $75,000 on hand by the end of the reporting period. And she's reported receiving nearly $40,000 since — including $5,000 from Bloomberg, the day after his ABC contribution. Only $2,000 of those recent contributions, by the way, come from someone living within the state of Louisiana.

Point 2: Advertising costs money. The press conference will be on your TV tonight.

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