How to Watch a Bill Welch Ad
By Lee Nichols,
4:09PM, Mon. Nov. 6, 2006
You may have noticed a sudden upsurge in ads for Republican state House District 47 candidate Bill Welch over the weekend. That's because, as we've previously blogged, he received a last-minute infusion of almost $700,000 in the month leading up to Election Day, including almost half a million from "Voucher Sugar Daddy" (as the campaign of Democrat Valinda Bolton put it) James Leininger. To express their displeasure at Leininger's attempt to buy yet another election, Education Austin – the union for Austin teachers and school staff – held a press conference Friday at Kocurek Elementary, where Bolton said, "In my opponent's ads, he keeps saying that I'm opposed to merit pay for teachers. You're darn right I am; the high-stakes testing pressure is so much, and it's unfair to tie teachers' pay to it." Teachers unions have historically opposed what proponents call "merit pay" because, they say, it leads to in-school politics determining who gets raises.
The Bolton campaign offers up other ways to interpret Welch's words on its Web site with something it calls The Official Bill Welch Translator. It's one of the best examples of interactive (in the online sense) political campaigning we've seen this season.