Letter to the Editor: Teachers, Politics and PACs

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On October 26, Mr. Bob McCaffrey wrote a letter to the Indy, in the context of the recent City Council Election, criticizing educators because they received  “paychecks every two weeks” and a “retirement from taxpayers,” both of which are half-truths.

I wonder if he realized that one of the candidates that he was prominently backing, Mayor Will O ‘Neill, has a very close family member who was a teacher. This information is stated on the City website and I am sure that Mr. O’Neill is very proud of that fact. But alas, Mr McCaffrey is probably one of those students who didn’t always do his homework.

Teachers have money taken out of their paychecks for their retirement and cannot collect Social Security in California. Also, they get paid monthly. Both Jeff Herdman and I (targets of Mr. McCaffrey’s criticism) have advanced degrees, strong academic backgrounds and could have gone into any number of professions and been successful.  In our generation, professions like teaching and medicine were looked upon as opportunities to serve the community.

We certainly did not go into teaching to get rich. And if teaching were such a lucrative field, there would not have been teacher shortages in the last 30 years. Out of curiosity, when I polled my students several years ago about their job choices, not one wanted to be a teacher. They knew that it was a difficult job and the pay for the last 50 years has not been commensurate with other professions, especially considering the extensive education that many teachers have.

If Mr. McCaffrey thought it was such a great deal, I am surprised that he did not become a teacher himself.

But since he seems so focused on money and so interested in criticizing Jeff Herdman, we should look into what role Mr. McCaffrey’s money played in supporting the team of Avery, Blom and O’Neill in the recent City Council election.

The Residents for Reform PAC, which he runs, filed a Form 460 (required campaign disclosure documents, all publicly accessible). This form shows income and expenses for the period ending on 10/17/20. It shows income of $17,500 from another PAC, entitled the Atlas PAC, listed address Granite Bay (which has been linked to a Newport Beach Planning Commissioner in the past), and a $1,500 donation from Bob McCaffrey among other donations. McCaffrey also donated $4000 to the Atlas PAC.

Besides listing contributions and expenditures supporting the team of Will, Noah and Brad, the aforementioned forms list over $40,000 expended to that date on mailers and emails against their opponent. After the next round of Form 460’s are filed in late January, there will be a more complete picture of who donated to the campaigns and what was spent after 10/17.

Looking at these official public campaign donation and expenditure reports  reveals interesting and valuable information about the City Council Election, just as they do about any public election.

However, with this information, we are only skimming the surface of that which is revealed on these forms, which tends to be very complex and circuitous.

Lynn Lorenz / Newport Beach

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