Clarifying state representative forum story

Published 6:41 am Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Dear Editor,

Thank you for covering the forum for State Representative from the 54th and 55th districts. There are a couple of clarifications I would like to make:

1. Democrat Anne Streeter did file before the deadline to run against Rep. Elliott but had to withdraw due to family responsibilities. That is why Lydia Coffey filed as a write-in.

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2.  Indivisible Danville organized the forum because no other group or organization was going to do so; we checked before going forward. We secured a non-partisan moderator and had the questions come from the audience members. Although Indivisible’s purpose is to oppose the Trump agenda, we also take civic responsibility very seriously and thought the Republican incumbents should have the opportunity to defend their voting records as well as introduce voters to their Democratic opponents.

3. The invitation quoted in the paper was not sent to the candidates and was only issued after the Republican incumbents did not respond to the non-partisan invitation to participate. The invitation quoted in the paper was sent to teachers, retired teachers, state union members (the stakeholders) and Indivisible supporters only after the Republican incumbent’s non-responses by the deadline (and my follow-up call to Elliott went unanswered). 

4. Daniel Elliott’s “nothing could be further from the truth” claim about accusations that he voted to cut public education and state pensions are in fact, the truth. Elliott voted for the pension bill (the wastewater bill) at the end of March and although the worst “reforms” to current pensions were not in that bill, it does impact new teachers with the 401(k) retirement plan and was opposed by the stakeholders.

In addition, Elliott voted yes on HB520, which paves the way for private charter schools.  Charter schools have less oversight and their teachers do not need to be certified.  Charter schools take much needed funds from public schools and so that is a vote to cut public education.

How do we expect to attract the best and brightest to teach in our schools when our representatives have so little respect for the profession? After researching Daniel Elliott’s voting record and Lydia Coffey’s platform, I believe that Lydia Coffey is the best candidate to stand up for public education, unions and workers, and the people of Boyle and Casey counties. Do your research and join me in writing in Lydia Coffey on Nov. 6.  Thank you.

Julie Pease