“Motley Crew” Attend Ratliff Campaign Debt Fundraiser
Hillel Aron | June 26, 2013
According to sources who attended the lunch, the roughly 20 to 25 people who were there comprised a “motley crew” from both sides of the public education debate — including not only union leaders such as teachers union President Warren Fletcher and UTLA General Counsel Jesus Quinonez, but also charter school operators such as Dixon Slingerland of Youth Policy Institute, Dr. Jacqueline Elliot of PUC, and Liza Bercovici of Gabriella Charter School.
There were also a few education reform donors — perhaps most notably Frank Baxter, the Republican ex-diplomat who gave $100,000 to the Coalition for School Reform, the independent expenditure committee that supported Ratliff’s opponent, Antonio Sanchez.
Baxter told LA School Report that he found Ratliff to be a “very impressive woman. She seems really committed to children-first in LA Unified.”
One other notable attendee was Jefferson Crain, the Executive Officer of the LAUSD School Board, who is in charge of calling the roll, recording votes and making sure that the Board follows proper procedure.
The event was at least partially organized by independent consultant and ex-Board member David Tokofsky, who served informally in Ratliff’s “kitchen cabinet” during the election. A source that was there said the candidate was introduced by Tokofsky, then made a speech which lasted under three minutes.
According to the last campaign finance statement submitted before the election, the Ratliff campaign had nearly $12,000 in debt, although one source said it was closer to $14,000.
Having debt like this is not unusual for a campaign, but fundraisers held after an election to retire the debt presents an early opportunity for people to donate money to a candidate who’s already won.