Like most voters, I want to be educated when I cast my vote on Aug. 26. I have been reading the local articles and the public comments on the school board candidates, and I feel like the Pigpen character from Charlie Brown entering the room and clouding things up with a perpetual mess of dirt.
I have done some research to assist me in sorting the facts from fiction.
The Manatee County Supervisor of Elections has a website (votemanatee.com) and all of the candidates who are legally qualified to run for office are listed on this site. If you look to the left side you will find a section that reads: Candidate Information.
After selecting that choice you can select: Local Candidates and Committees. This section gives you a great deal of insight into each candidate including his/her financial information, complete with the individuals or corporations that have financially contributed to the campaigns of each candidate.
Some candidates have a lot of small contributions from individuals and small businesses, and some candidates have larger contributions, and there even seems to be some candidates with multiple corporations all from the same address.
For me, seeing who contributes indicates where the candidate may feel more prone to pledge his/her duty.
The school board election is closest to my heart, because I am entrusting those elected with my children and my children's future. I owe my children more than picking a candidate based on his/her tagline or based on the seemingly endless amounts of rumors and slander.
My grandmother said, "Be careful of the dirt you throw when you are sitting on the whole mound."
Hopefully, this tip will assist you when you exercise your right to vote in August.