‘Aren’t There 3,000 States?’ The Ad Wars for Calif. K-12 Superintendent

By Andrew Ujifusa — October 03, 2014 1 min read
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Less than a month ago, a new California political poll showed the race for California schools superintendent between incumbent Tom Torlakson and challenger Marshall Tuck to be a virtual dead heat, albeit with a very big chunk of undecided respondents. With the governor’s race between Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and GOP challenger Neel Kashkari not particularly close, the Torlakson-Tuck race could be among the most interesting races in the Golden State.

For Tuck, the former leader of the Green Dot charter schools in Los Angeles, the final phase of the campaign means bringing in the big, comedic guns. A campaign ad released late last month by Tuck’s campaign features Hollywood notables Kristen Bell, Joel McHale, Adam Scott, and Dax Shepard, who together sort of play Mel Brooks to Tuck’s Carl Reiner.

The four stars of the screen pepper him with sardonic quips, erroneous tangents, or goofball suggestions for improving education (“shorts on Friday”), while Tuck relentlessly reels off why he thinks Torlakson doesn’t deserve another term. Watch “Tuck Gets New Consultants” below:

The ad, which was released Sept. 30, got some media attention. But Torlakson’s campaign hasn’t let the video slide without comment. On Oct. 3, here’s how Paul Hefner, the spokesman for Torlakson’s re-election campaign, responded on Twitter:

Hefner linked to an article in EdSource, an education news website in California, that describes a new resource for school districts to use as they implement new accountability plans under the state’s Local Control Funding Formula. This resource was put together by the state education department.

No word yet if Steve Carell, Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt, and Andy Samberg have been lined up for a future Tuck campaign ad.

A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.