Update: Waukesha School Board Member Appears on Pro-Walker Advertisement

Karin Rajnicek is the newest member on the school board and defends Wisconsin's governor.

Waukesha’s newest school board member has been on the board since April, but her face is about to become well known as she appears in an advertisement supporting Gov. Scott Walker as Democrats look to begin the recall Wisconsin Democrat following his controversial bill limiting union rights.

The video starts with Karin Rajnicek, who was sharing her views about Walker’s initiatives since he was sworn into office in January.

“We were worried when the state budget was going to mean less money for our school district. And we have 25 schools,” she said in the ad. “But Gov. Walker - he gave us options that reduced our biggest costs so that we could put more money back into our classrooms.”

Fifteen elementary schools, four middle schools, three high school and five charter schools are listed on the school district’s website.

compared to the previous school year under the school budget.

Rajnicek, in a April 2 letter to the editor, asked the community to support her in the election but

A voice message was left for Rajnicek by Waukesha Patch freelancer Amy Gilgenbach, who covers the Waukesha School Board.

Waukesha School Board President Dan Warren told Patch he had no comment about the video as he had not yet seen it and was not aware of it. Warren also confirmed he was not approached by the Walker campaign to appear in an advertisement.

Amy Gilgenbach contributed to this report.

Keith Best November 15, 2011 at 01:57 PM
@Phil Scarr--you are correct, I am a proud member of the executive committee and I am free to express MY OPINIONS as I see fit. I have no problem sharing the FACTS . The FACTS are that Gov. Walkers reforms are working. No use in denying reality.
Phil Scarr November 15, 2011 at 01:58 PM
Nice try but sorry, not correct. She IS entitled to HER opinion, but she is NOT entitled to express her opinion as a BOARD MEMBER without concurrence from the other board members and the superintendent. She's in hot water now. http://bit.ly/uQMUpf
Keith Best November 15, 2011 at 02:01 PM
There are many instances of teacher's spewing propaganda to their students against Gov. Walker. One teacher from Portage went so far as to have her class of grade school kids join in the protests in the capitol rotunda in Madison. Once again, I applaud Karin R. for having the guts to tell the truth.
Phil Scarr November 15, 2011 at 02:04 PM
"The reforms are working" is an OPINION. The FACTS say otherwise. Keith, when Walker's recalled, Don Taylor can hire him at his private piggy bank (aka Waukesha State Bank) as a teller. I'm sure he'll fit in fine.
Vicki November 15, 2011 at 02:04 PM
Keith if that teacher in Portage did that, then she should be reprimanded just like this school board member should. Rules are rules and she violated one and there are repercussions for that. No different than if another school board member stood outside the next school board meeting with recall Walker petitions - it simply doesn't belong in this setting.
Phil Scarr November 15, 2011 at 02:14 PM
Keith, awesome attempt at deflection, but last time *I* looked, two wrongs don't make a right. Or did you miss that lesson? Karin missed math apparently, maybe you missed logic.
Phil Scarr November 15, 2011 at 02:15 PM
Shouldn't we be shocked that a *SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER CAN'T ADD???* I mean seriously, people. What does that say about Waukesha schools????
Keith Best November 15, 2011 at 02:16 PM
Phi Scarr-- you don't have to take my word for it. As I stated before, hear it from school district and municipal officials here: www.reforms.wi.gov or are you willing to deny reality? You source "Blogging Blue" a liberals opinion, I source the horse's mouth. Common sense tells those whom to believe.
Chris B November 15, 2011 at 02:24 PM
@Phil Scarr The concerns she expressed are concerns every School District probably had. The simple truth: Waukesha School District WAS able to balance their budget in part because of ACT 10. What are you pissed because you have to pay???
Phil Scarr November 15, 2011 at 02:28 PM
If you're concerned as I am with the politicization of this non-partisan school board position, please reach out and let Todd Gray the Waukesha Superintendent of Schools, at 262-970-1012 and let him know what you think.
Phil Scarr November 15, 2011 at 02:31 PM
Chris B. Try READING what I WROTE before you reply. I have two concerns. First, Waukesha benefited from a $10.4MM settlement which helped offset the cuts this year so if you take that away, the cuts would have been much more severe. Benefiting from a windfall does not constitute a Walker "win." Second, and more concerning, is that she represented herself as a school board member in a political ad which is in violation of district policy. This is what we should all be upset about.
Phil Scarr November 15, 2011 at 02:35 PM
The reforms site has been challenged as a piece of propaganda and electioneering which has been widely debunked for it's careful spin and selective facts (http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/132528313.html). And yes, BB is a "liberal" opinion site and states so very clearly in the masthead. But that doesn't mean that it's wrong...
Keith Best November 15, 2011 at 02:39 PM
Phil Scarr- quit the holier than thou act. If she came out against the reforms, you wouldn't mention a peep. But she was not going to lie. I applaud her honesty. Did you check out the website with the videos from school district and municipal officials yet, or are you close-minded? (afraid of the truth) www.reforms.wi.gov
Phil Scarr November 15, 2011 at 02:42 PM
If you want to know what's really happening with Education in Wisconsin, read the official report from Scott Walker's own DPI: http://bit.ly/sKs87t
Phil Scarr November 15, 2011 at 03:02 PM
Keith: Thanks for bringing a straw man to the debate. "A straw man is a component of an argument and is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position, twisting his words or by means of [false] assumptions. To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the "straw man"), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position. Generally, the straw man is a highly exaggerated or over-simplified version of the opponent's original statement, which has been distorted to the point of absurdity. This exaggerated or distorted statement is thus easily argued against, but is a misrepresentation of the opponent's actual statement." (http://bit.ly/3P9WUj) When you have no ideas of your own, project a fallacy onto your opponent. Well done! It's a common enough GOP tactic that it's easy to spot. Why don't you tell me what my favorite color is now? How about my favorite food? Republicans: So predictable it's pathetic.
jimmy November 15, 2011 at 04:52 PM
Absolutely love her!
Phil Scarr November 15, 2011 at 06:05 PM
So what is it you love about her? Her lying or her contemptuous disregard of school board policy?
Chris B November 15, 2011 at 06:24 PM
@ Phil Scarr Lying?? She is telling the truth . Said Todd Gray, Waukesha School Superintendent, in a prior Patch article, "I think it’s a good budget overall.” He also thanked others throughout the district for their sacrifices regarding changes in their benefits that resulted in savings for the district. The recent changes at the state level in teachers' benefits has been cited as a substantial savings mechanism for the district. The budget amounts to $160 million in expenditures, a decrease of nearly 14 percent from last year. You cannot argue with the FACTS! Do you even reside in the Waukesha School District????
Phil Scarr November 15, 2011 at 07:20 PM
1. She's lying in that the cuts were not as severe as they could have be due to a windfall of $10.4MM from a legal settlement. Without that unanticipated windfall, Waukesha schools would have been more damaged than they were under Walker's budget. It certainly doesn't qualify Waukesha as a "win" for Walker. Overall, Wisconsin's educational system has suffered a serious blow and it will reduce our state's future competitiveness. Unless you *want* more WalMart and McDonalds jobs at the expense of high-tech and manufacturing. 2. Yes, I do. And have for many years. You can find me at Sprizzo Caffe the first Monday of every month as a co-host of Drinking Liberally Waukesha. And why is my residency status relevant? Are you planning to ask me for my papers?
tootsieraul November 15, 2011 at 10:11 PM
Phil: You're a very motivating person. I just wrote out two checks. One to the Walker campaign and the other Republican party. Thanks for inspiration.
tootsieraul November 15, 2011 at 10:22 PM
"This is a partisan ad intended to sway people away from voting in favor of the recall." Phil Scarr from Blogging Blue. http://bloggingblue.com/2011/11/15/pro-walker-school-board-member-violates-policy/ Excuse me? Did I miss something? Did someone submit 540,000 signatures to initiate a recall election?
James Wigderson November 16, 2011 at 01:50 AM
I'm sure Phil Scarr will encourage nasty phone calls to Tom Barrett for using his non-partisan office to make partisan pronouncements. Scarr's ignorance of government is telling. Walker's DPI? Does he understand that the DPI Superintendent is an elected position? The $10 million he keeps babbling about is part of the school district's failed investment scheme to cover retirement benefits. That $10 million is spent and then some. School board members aren't answerable to the superintendent. The superintendent is answerable to the school board. However, I do encourage Scarr to call Todd Gray so Scarr can learn how Act 10 in Gray's opinion benefited the Waukesha school district this year and will benefit the district in the future. I had a great conversation with Gray on that very subject. http://maciverinstitute.com/2011/08/waukesha-district-uses-the-tools-to-fix-budget-improve-schools-for-kids/
Phil Scarr November 16, 2011 at 01:25 PM
There's that amusing straw man logical fallacy again. The TeaOP seem to rely on that as their primary debate tactic despite the obviousness of it's absurdity. Once again: "A straw man is a component of an argument and is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position, twisting his words or by means of [false] assumptions. To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the "straw man"), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position." (http://bit.ly/3P9WUj) So, let's get to the heart of the argument, shall we? Yes, I *incorrectly* referred to the State Superintendant as "Walker's DPI" Superintendant. Mea culpa. I should have realized that if he really WERE a Walker appointee, the damming report (http://1.usa.gov/sI6Pvk) released by the DPI which showed a wide swath of devastation to our educational landscape would never have seen the light of day. My mistake. But the real issue at hand, and the on that I expect to continue to hammer, is that Ms. Rajnicek clearly violated school board policy by appearing in a partisan advertisement for Walker. Even Patch has the story now. (http://bit.ly/tz7dRl) and I'm curious to see what the school board will do about it.
Tina November 19, 2011 at 03:01 PM
I'm concerned that the ad doesn't provide full disclosure: Karin's been a school board member since April and ran as anti-union. A believable commercial would be a non-partisan/impartial school board member who ended up concluding that Act 10 actually did help. Many districts squeaked by with the current budget, mainly because of all the retirements. Many school districts started the next budget sooner than normal to try to find more cuts for the next yrs. budget. Check out the Institute of WI's Future report on the economic and job effects of Act 10/32. http://www.wisconsinsfuture.org. When Waukesha county loses $47 million in local spending, how many jobs will the equate to? These reforms are only partially impacting local economies as the local budgets don't take affect until January. In next 6 months: we'll see more job losses (9700 lost in Oct), next group of school employees get contract non-renewal notices, more houses are foreclosed due to job losses, houses lose value causing property tax revenue decreases. State agencies have been told to find more budget cuts because tax revenues are going down. Recently state agencies have been told to find an ADDITIONAL 3-5% cuts due to expected revenue decreases along with the same amount as an additional contingency for more revenue losses. These agencies have been cutting & cutting for years. Anyway, we need truth, not fiction & there's been so much fiction this year. Research for yourself, don't accept blindly!
Keith Best November 19, 2011 at 04:24 PM
Hear it from the horse's mouth...real school district and municipal officials here, left side of page, then click on any county on the state map. Here's some research for you: www.reforms.wi.gov
Jennifer November 21, 2011 at 01:05 AM
Thank you Phil! Just because they recovered their irresponsible investment doesn't mean they should publicly support any politician.
hedy November 22, 2011 at 01:17 AM
.gov Can we trust what the government says anymore? I voted for Walker and I feel violated. The reports in which DPI surveyed administrations of school districts tells you the direction schools are headed toward if this problem doesn't get fixed. Teaching every child by following the law FAPE is difficult in todays society, so difficult many schools including the school mentioned in the commercial currently doesn't follow without excuses. Teachers every day struggle to differentiate for 30 students in a classroom, wait until that number becomes 60 similar to what schools in Michigan are facing. Does your child need support to learn todays concept? I hope you can teach them patience because they have to wait in line behind 59 other students before they can get that help. As a teacher, I struggle to have lunch on a daily basis because your children come first, and I only wish I could spend the entire weekend prepping for the next day, week, month, but unfortunately to pay for losses, I had to keep my part time job as well as continue to beg my husband to get a part time job. I don't need anyone to pitty me, the point is my personal opinion is that the republicans have lost my vote thanks to walker. Good bye republicans, good morning democrats. Walkers wimpy kitten tap to my face was enough to wake me up, and I'm not sleeping until I help the little kitty get fired, no problem! PS @ republicans, my parents moved out of state, that's 3 less votes your way and counting...
Steve Johnson November 29, 2011 at 05:46 AM
Phil Scarr: 1) You reference the "damming report released by the DPI”... blah, blah, blah. If Karin Rajnicek missed out on math skills and Keith Best missed out on logic skills, it would follow that you have missed out on grammar skills. In the same condescending fashion as you do it, I will define “damming”: (verb) to furnish with a dam; obstruct or confine with a dam. I think that you probably meant to use the word "damning". By the way, thanks for defining the “straw man” for all of us conservative types with lesser intelligence than you. By graciously taking the time to educate us about this concept, we might just recognize the tactic the next time we see the master of it (Barack Obama) using it. 2) You make several references to the $10.4 million settlement being the major factor that helped the school district with their budget. Graciously again, you were kind enough to provide Superintendent Todd Gray's phone number for people to contact him. When you call Mr. Gray, be sure to ask about that $10.4 mil. He'll tell you that it went to pay down debt related to the bad investment. None of it went toward this year's budget.
Phil Scarr November 29, 2011 at 02:06 PM
1. Spelling troll? Really? <facepalm> 2. Last time I checked, debt service was part of the county balance sheet which reflects the budget. So how did the $10.4MM not help the budget again? Oh yeah, that's right, it DID help. Nice try though.
michaelm February 10, 2012 at 04:36 AM
I don't fault her for estimating, people do it all the time, something costs $1.75 people say it cost me two bucks big deal. I was more concerned with the clearly partisan tone of the Patch. If the Patch had done the opposite and sided with Walker many of you would be going bizarre. You can't have it only your way, other people's opinions deserve fair representation and equal time. Each time the liberal left and union flunkies try to shout down, threaten, intimidate and harass to support your positions it only strengthens the opposite position as you further confirm your insecurities and thuggish behavior to the citizens in the middle and right of you. Want everyone to listen to you, stop yelping, threatening, intimidating people's children, act like adults who are in control of themselves on juvenile bullies whose only argument is I'll hurt you if you don't give me your lunch money.


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