Some of the 17,000 Bucks County voters who received a political mailer with lewd images were shocked. The real shock for others, however, was the fact that all the lewd content came from books until recently found in a local school library.
The Stop Extremism in Central Bucks Schools PAC sent the mailer and featured a warning on the envelope that it contained graphic images. That sexually explicit content came entirely from the pages of two books that previously were in the school libraries in the Central Bucks School District.
The mailer also names five Democratic candidates for school board who oppose a new policy adopted by the Republican-controlled school board that allows parents to challenge age-inappropriate content.
So far, just two books have been deemed unsuitable for the students out of some 60 reported: “Gender Queer” and “This Book is Gay.”
Political consultant Bob Salera founded the PAC. Though currently based in Arlington, Va., Salera grew up in Pittsburgh and has been involved in Pennsylvania politics for years, including working on Dave White’s gubernatorial campaign. He told DVJournal he was approached by some Bucks County residents to get involved with the Central Bucks School Board race.
The mailing also included an application for a mail-in ballot and a postage-paid envelope.
Asked if he was concerned about a backlash from voters who opened the envelopes and saw the lewd pictures, Salerna said the message was too important not to share.
“Our thought is that parents and voters should know what these Democrat candidates want in their kids’ schools. Some of the Democratic candidates compared people who don’t think these types of images should be in middle schools to Nazi book burning,” said Salera. “So we wanted to make sure that voters were aware of exactly what it is that they’re defending, and the only way to do that is to show them.”
He noted that they pushed the Nazi smear of these school board members despite the fact that the president, Dana Hunter, is Jewish.
Chalfont parent Jamie Cohen Walker said, “I think it’s an informative mailer because the Central Bucks School Board was being called ‘book banners’ and anti-LGBTQ.”
The PAC, which Salera said has multiple donors, plans to continue its campaign against the five Democratic candidates until the election.
Salera asked why he was interested in a school board race, saying, “I think people are seeing how important local races are, school boards and local councils. (They) really impact your day-to-day life more than any other level of politics because these are the people that are dealing with your day-to-day life, with your kids’ schools.
“So it’s important to take them seriously, and when folks came to me, wanting to do something about the school board in particular, I was more than happy to start this PAC,” Salera continued. “And to help with that effort to beat these extremist Democrats at the local level.”
As for whether conservative voters will be turned off by the mailing, he said, “I certainly don’t think that receiving this is going to make them vote for the people that want to put it in their schools.”
Walker said, “If people are shocked at the pictures, they should remember that Democrats are strong advocates to keep these books in school. They will be right back on the shelves if they are elected to the board.”
As for the criticism of the mailing, Walker said, “If they want the books, I don’t understand why they are upset.”