Why doesn’t Governor Ducey want reporters to ask about charter schools?

02 Mar 2017 05:21 pm
Posted by: Donna

It is 5pm Thursday evening as I type this and #CharterSchoolsAtTheCapitol is the 4th trending topic on Phoenix twitter right now, referring to an event held today with the Governor and people who run charter schools. My guess is the overall theme of the event was, uh, charter schools are great. And that probably being the case, I’m sure the Governor and his staff didn’t want nosy reporters around asking their poky questions such as “Why don’t charter schools have to comply with the same standards as traditional public ones?” and whatnot.

Matt Benson, Ducey’s spokesman (CORRECTION: Matt is not the Governor’s spokesman, he is the Director of lobbying firm Veridus, of which the Arizona Charter Schools Association is a client) attempted to deny that media were barred from the event in a response to Brahm Resnik, to which Brahm was all “nope”.

I’m sure Matt is telling the truth that “media” were there. Like the “Charters Schools 4 Life Gazette” or similar. Maybe Center for Arizona Policy (big proponents of “school choice” and getting tax dollars for religious schools) sent someone over there who will do a breezy write-up about it in this week’s Five Minutes for Families newsletter. But no actual reporters from mainstream news outlets, at least not per the press advisory (Editor’s note: Matt Benson tweeted me that mainstream media such as KTAR and Capitol Media Service’s Howie Fischer were present. Still doesn’t explain the Governor’s press advisory.)

Obviously whoever was in charge of promoting this on Twitter did their job well but it’s hard to tell if this was a big success with the public or not. One thing is clear though: Ducey is a master propagandist. Almost daily now there’s a puff piece on the local news that’s basically the anchor reading a press release about how the Governor personally saved a bunch of adorable puppies or whatever. His PR team is almost as good as Joe Arpaio’s was.

Democrats, lacking Ducey’s access, have no power to replicate that at this time but we need to be pushing back on it, hard. Truthfully, I don’t know what the strategy should be but I’ll certainly be calling it out when he’s propagandizing and shutting the press and public out.

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