Have you seen the big yellow bus of insinuation parked by Murphy’s on the bypass? The intent, obviously, was to make people think Clark County Public Schools was endorsing Bill Taulbee for the school board seat district 1. What Mr. Taulbee did not count on was the backlash of his outlandish act. I spoke with Superintendent Paul Christy who strenuously denied the insinuation. Mr. Christy stated the bus in question is not now nor has it ever been a part of the CCPS fleet. In fact, he received multiple phone calls from angry citizens demanding to know why a school bus was used in this political stunt. It certainly implied that the tax dollars you spend in our schools go to support Mr. Taulbee’s campaign, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth.
Mr. Taulbee’s choice of placing a sign on a bus not only nullifies any message he hoped to have but also toys with the boundaries of zone signage ordinances. Section 11 of Winchester’s Zoning Ordinances deal with the specifications of signs. Vehicle signs exempt from the ordinance are those painted or affixed to vehicles, contain only business/owner name, are on vehicles used in the business not just merely for displaying a sign, and are parked in an area appropriate for the business and in a manner that minimizes street visibility. None of those apply to Mr. Taulbee’s bus stunt.
When Mr. Taulbee posted the picture of his infamous bus stunt to his campaign page he only incited more anger. Again, using the tactic of insinuation, he implied employees of the school system aside from teachers were forgotten. The facts are that other employees received raises alongside teachers. It was just another smokescreen intended to conflict rather than clarify. The campaign trail is where the candidate puts his best foot forward. So what does that say when the candidate’s campaign tactics are deceit, misrepresentation, insinuation, and outright excuses to avoid constituents one one one? Well, you don’t need a bus to tell you what that is a sign of!
Prior to this misstep, Mr. Taulbee was reported for exploiting his position as football booster president for political gain. It has been said that Mr. Taulbee while presenting awards, working concessions and engaging in other booster activities he was simultaneously campaigning. A bit frowned upon. His own Facebook posts have alluded to such controversial campaign tactics. Even as he used his booster position to benefit him politically, he also uses it as an excuse to shirk his duties. His political mailer states, “I would personally would (sic) have liked to speak to every voter in the District. Unfortunately, due to working a full time (sic) job and performing my duties as the George Rogers Clark Football Booster President, I may not make it to your house before the election on November 6th.” In my opinion, that is code for if you’re involved with football I’ve talked to you and if you’re not then why bother?
When I discussed these matters with Mr. Taulbee’s opponent, Patti Columbia, she understood the anger and frustration of her supporters but remained true to her eternal optimism and commitment. She will continue to run a clean positive campaign centered on how she can serve the community. That comes as no surprise to her supporters because it is classic Patti.
Patti Columbia didn’t just decide one day to run for school board. For years, people have asked her to run. Typical of her nature, she would only run if she believed she was the best person for the job. She invested her time in educating herself about procedures and needs, attended countless board meetings, interacted with the community and a plethora of other things no prior board candidate has done before tossing her proverbial hat in the ring.
Patti Columbia doesn’t blur lines of integrity, she happily engages in the tiresome footwork of door to door campaigning and orchestrated her life to make the board seat a priority rather than something to try to make time for. That is why the best choice for District 1 and all of Clark County is Patti Columbia. Because integrity and insinuations really do tell the tale of the candidate.