Local school board elections: local no more.

Statewide political action committees (PACs) getting involved in local school board elections?

Somehow, it just doesn’t seem right.

On March 15, 2019, NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon’s PAC announced its endorsement of 15 school board candidates in the state. One was John Wallin who’s running for re-election to the School Board of Lake Oswego, where I live.


NARAL says it “works to advance the most progressive pro-choice policies in the nation.” All 15 of the candidates it endorsed “…have affirmed their commitment to advancing reproductive health equity for students in their school districts,” the PAC said.

“I’m very excited to have this endorsement,” Wallin said at an April 29 school board candidate forum. “This is a group that supports prevention of sexual violence and comprehensive health education. I sought it out, I met with them and talked about my beliefs. They stand for things I believe in.”


John Wallin

According to NARAL, it makes contributions to local elections such as for the Lake Oswego School Board because “Pro-choice school board members have the unique opportunity to protect and expand access to comprehensive healthcare, including access to contraceptives and evidence-based sexuality education for Oregon’s students.”

Wallin’s campaign website , however, says nothing about his views on NARAL’s positions. The only thing it says on student health and safety is:

 School should always be a place for learning and not fear and anxiety from concerns about physical safety, bullying, and schoolwork. We should work to strengthen the physical security of our buildings, mental health services, and student nutrition.”

Wallin’s submission to the Voter’s Pamphlet says nothing about his support for NARAL positions either.

Wallin didn’t say at the forum whether he also sought out the support of:

  • The United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 555, which has made an in-kind donation of $1390.40 for literature, brochures and printing, or
  • The Oregon School Employees Association (represents the school district’s classified employees) which made a $6,500 cash contribution to his campaign. or
  • State Senator Robert Wagner, D-Lake Oswego, who made multiple in-kind contributions totaling $2,395.22 for postage, plus a $1,000 cash contribution.

Taken together, the contributions above total $11,285.62, almost half of the $22,637.16 received by the Friends of John Wallin campaign committee as of  April 25, 2019.

What’s next, local school board races supported entirely by national unions and the Democratic National Committee?

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