The Tom Torlakson for Superintendent of Public Instruction campaign, facing last-minute negative radio ads paid for by Sacramento lobbyists, aired a new TV commercial today detailing opponent Larry Aceves' failures as a former School Superintendent.
ACSA, the Sacramento lobbying interest that fights to protect the state's education bureaucracy, lashed out with the election's first negative attacks after pouring more than a million dollars into an effort to stop Torlakson—a classroom teacher and legislator. ACSA's radio ads were produced by Sacramento-based Republican consultants JohnsonClark who boast on their website their advocacy for big oil, insurance and pharmaceutical corporations.
Torlakson's TV ad, titled "Blackboard," demonstrates Aceves' troubled record as a former School Superintendent. During his time at Franklin-McKinley Unified School District, his district's failures were investigated by the San Francisco Chronicle, which reported in 1999 that most of his schools were classified "low-performing" after failing to meet state education standards. His failures at Franklin-McKinley were preceded by similar struggles at Alum Rock Elementary School District, which he quit after two years, later explaining to the San Jose Mercury News "I could see I was not making an impact."
The ad will run on broadcast television in Southern California and can be seen atwww.youtube.com/tomtorlakson. Torlakson's campaign, which offers a detailed plan for reform at tomtorlakson.com, has won bipartisan endorsements from California police, firefighters, nurses and schoolteachers, as well as editorial boards including the Sacramento Bee and the San Diego Union-Tribune.
A second-generation teacher, Torlakson has applied his experience as a science teacher and high school coach to reform the way public education works as a member of the State Legislature. Torlakson has acted to improve student nutrition and physical education, give schools the funding support they need to ensure academic achievement, and reduce the dropout rate. He has also worked diligently to protect education funding.