RBTV pulls pro-referendum ad — 3-8-2011

3/8/2011 10:00:00 PM  Email this article • Print this article 

RBTV pulls pro-referendum ad 
Bonnette decides to ‘err on the side of caution’

Contributing Reporter

Was it a campaign ad or just a public service announcement?

That’s the question regarding a commercial urging a yes vote in the upcoming Riverside-Brookfield High School District 208 tax referendum. The spot had been running on RBTV, the high school’s television station, until Thursday when Interim Superintendent David Bonnette pulled the plug on the spot.

On Friday, after consulting with the school district’s attorney Bonnette decided that the spot would be permanently taken down from RBTV.

“We are not going to run that any longer,” Bonnette said Friday. “In talking with the school district’s attorney, while there isn’t necessarily any legal violation here, his advice to me was just not to proceed down that path and just to err on the side of caution here and just to not air those kinds of public service announcements.”

Bonnette told Gary Prokes the supervisor of RBTV, to take down the ad on March 3, one day after former school board candidate Chris Robling questioned the legality and the propriety of the RBTV spot at a forum about the referendum and one day after the Landmark first began asking questions about the spot.

The spot, which ran as frequently as four times an hour for the last couple of weeks, urged voters to vote yes in the April 5 referendum

[Full article @ http://www.rblandmark.com/main.asp?Search=1&ArticleID=7211&SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&S=40.


3/8/2011 10:00:00 PM 

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Board president: We didn’t authorize ‘Vote Yes’ ad 

Members of the Riverside-Brookfield Township High School District 208 Board of Education say that they had no role in the decision by the school’s television station, RBTV, to produce and broadcast a spot urging a yes vote in the upcoming referendum.

“There was no board action to authorize that,” said District 208 school board President James Marciniak. “There was no board discussion of it beforehand. I was not aware of its existence until I heard about it sitting in the Komarek forum last Wednesday night.”

Marciniak said that he did not know of the spot before last week even though even though his wife, Lisa, chairs the community outreach committee of Communities United for RBHS District 208, the group campaigning for passage of the referendum.

“It was a surprise to me, but as a board member it got me thinking we need to have a better understanding of this situation,” Marciniak said.

Marciniak called the spot that ran on RBTV for a couple of weeks “questionable.”

State law prohibits using public resources to advocate for votes for or against a referendum.

“It’s a serious situation, and I don’t think the board should condone violations of the law. And when we think they might have occurred, we’re inclined to investigate,” Marciniak said.

Explore posts in the same categories: Education, Riverside Brokfield High School -- Referendum, Riverside Brookfield High School -- Turnaround

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