Portlanders for Schools, flush with cash for two campaigns to increase property taxes for schools, today launched two TV ads designed to provoke maximum sympathy for the multimillion-dollar measures. (Sidenote: The latest figures from the state elections division show the Portland Association of Teachers union recently donated $100,000 to the campaign, bringing Portlanders for Schools' total to $1 million.)
Nowhere in the new TV ads is there any mention of how much the $548 million construction bond or $59 million-a-year operating levy will cost the average homeowner. (Answer: About $400 more a year for a house with a taxable assessed value of $143,000.)
Instead, the ads feature adorable children pointing to decaying features in unidentified Portland schools. (Purposefully or not, all of the children appear to be white.) Though the ads speak directly to Portland Public Schools' desire to upgrade the district's facilities, they also urge voters to approve the levy, which will pay for teachers' salaries, if approved.
Here are the ads: