Messenger: Teachers for Kennedy

Candidate: Cary Kennedy

Contest: Governor

Affiliation: D

Date delivered: May 29, 2018

Click here for message

Message type: tv ad

Message tone: contrast

About the message: This initial TV ad from Teachers for Kennedy contrasts Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cary Kennedy with two of her three competitors in the June 26 primary, Congressman Jared Polis and former state Sen. Michael Johnston. Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne isn't mentioned in the ad.

The ad says Polis supported a voucher program to take money from public schools. According to documentation supplied by Teachers for Kennedy, Polis said he didn't support the final version of a 2003 voucher bill that was struck down by the state Supreme Court.

The ad accuses of Johnston of pushing "conservative anti-teacher laws that experts say hurt students." He sponsored a 2010 bill that tied teacher evaluation to student performance. On Wednesday, Johnston's campaign accused Kennedy of violating the Clean Campaign Pledge signed by the four Democratic candidates because of the ad. But candidates are prevented by law from coordinating with independent spending committees such as Teachers for Kennedy.

KDVR's Truth Check concludes the ad is misleading in its claims about Polis and Johnston.

The ad then notes that's why teachers endorsed Kennedy, saying she "offered the law that helped protect education funding" and "helped restore over 380 schools." A KDVR analysis of one of Kennedy's TV ads noted that the she wasn't the only one behind the measure to rebuild schools, which required legislative approval.

Delve further into the Democratic debate on education reform with this Chalkbeat news article.

About the messenger: Teachers for Kennedy is an independent expenditure committee, the Colorado equivalent of a super PAC that can take unlimited donations and spend unlimited amounts without coordinating with a candidate. It is supporting Democrat Cary Kennedy in the four-way June 26 primary gubernatorial primary.

The messenger's money: Teachers for Kennedy received $619,000 from the NEA Advocacy Fund and another $400,000 came from the Colorado Fund for Children and Public Education, both teachers unions.

The group also received $800,000 came from Women Vote!, a super PAC run by Emily’s List. Colorado donors include Laurie Michaels, of Woody Creek, and Judi Wagner, of Littleton, at $50,000 each. And $228,,000 came from Love Colorado, another state-level independent spending group supporting Democratic women.