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Graphic Political Mailing Raises Eyebrows. Will It Change Voters’ Minds?

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.

Image from “Gender Queer”

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.”

New PAC Formed to Support Central Bucks Republican School Board Candidates

There’s a new PAC in town: Stop Extremism in Central Bucks Schools.

Bob Salera, a political strategist, heads the political action committee (PAC), whose mission is to defend candidates who want to keep what they believe is inappropriate content — such as depictions of sex acts — out of public schools.

Front and center in its first email is a picture of the five Democrats running for school board: incumbent Karen Smith, Dana Foley, Suan Gibson, Heather Reynolds, and Rick Haring, along with the slogan “The Corrupt Five.” They are posed with the books “Gender Queer” and “This Book is Gay,” opened to pages that illustrate a graphic sexual act and a cartoon of a man’s genitalia, along with the caption: “Bum: Up your bum you have a prostate gland which feels nice when massaged. The anus is also sensitive and responds to being played with.”

The ACLU and others have attacked the current Republican-controlled school board for the misnomered “book banning” for enacting a policy that allows school library books to be challenged and reviewed if they have gratuitous sex, violence, or pornographic illustrations. In CBSD and other Delaware Valley districts, parents have objected to those books and others that they deem unsuitable, especially for younger children.

The Democrats, using the title “Neighbors United,” did not respond to requests for comment. The GOP candidates–Dr. Stephen Mass, Board President Dana Hunter, Glenn Schloeffel, and Tony Arjona could not be reached for comment.  Aarati Martino said that she had never heard of the group.

“Everyone already knows about the disgusting agenda being promoted by the extremist Democrats running for Central Bucks School Board,” said Salera, who described the sex acts promoted in these books. “But what isn’t as widely known is their corrupt actions that have simultaneously been occurring. These morally bankrupt extremists can be assured that we will be relentless in shining a light on all of it between now and Election Day,” said Salera.

He added, “This has nothing to do with sexual orientation or sexual identity. This is about smut like this not belonging in school libraries. If The Corrupt Five think it is inappropriate to share these images on a website, then why do they think it is acceptable to share them with 11-year-old children? These are very sick people.”

Salera is well-known in GOP circles.

Before starting his firm, Salera was Dave White’s campaign manager when White ran for governor in 2022. He is a Pennsylvania native who worked for former Gov. Tom Corbett, worked on his gubernatorial campaigns, and worked on GOP presidential campaigns in Pennsylvania. He has also helped shape the NRCC’s messaging strategy as a senior communications team member in 2020 when the GOP made history by flipping 15 House seats when race prognosticators predicted the GOP would lose “dozens of seats.” Salera was also a senior NRSC communications team member when it defeated four incumbent senators (Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, Joe Donnelly in Indiana, Bill Nelson in Florida, and Claire McCaskill in Missouri).

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