I’ve seen some terrible political ads, I’ve seen some dishonest political ads, and I’ve seen some desperate political ads. I’m not sure, though, that I have run across many that hit the trifecta of terrible, dishonest, and desperate quite as powerfully as the latest campaign ad from Ryan Zinke. Apparently fresh out of stock footage of commendations won by other members of the military, Zinke has released an ad attacking Superintendent Juneau, suggesting that she was somehow responsible for a small number of bus drivers hired by local districts having arrest records.
The ad is total garbage. As anyone from Montana knows, local school districts hire bus drivers, not the state, not the Superintendent’s office. Only someone who thinks OPI has 1000 employees would be ignorant enough to believe that local hiring decisions are managed by the state. And only someone worried that losing an election will threaten his opportunity to enrich himself would use schoolchildren to scare parents into believing that their school buses weren’t safe, and that drivers were not being screened.
Because if you read the story the Zinke ad flashes on the screen, Superintendent Juneau responded to the audit by recommending that the Board of Public Education mandate background checks:
The OPI will recommend to the Board of Public Education that it amend its administrative rules to require districts to perform criminal history background checks for school bus drivers.”
Those of us from Montana know that it’s the Board of Public Education who sets these policies. Those of us from Montana know that Superintendent Juneau has worked tirelessly to promote the academic development of Montana children and protect their physical and emotional well-being.
It’s quite clear that Congressman Zinke doesn’t have the interest of anyone in mind other than himself, and this latest ad makes it clear he’ll do and say anything to win an election—other than treat his constituents with respect and concern for their interests.