So this issue of the Kay Smith-Blum's billboards was bothering me. I reported that in two places on her public disclosure information, she spent about $6500 on billboards. One reader said he had been told by the campaign that they were $1200 each. It seemed puzzling to me that she would report one thing and her campaign say another. After a bit of detective work, mystery (somewhat solved).
The billboards were $1200 so that means there weren't just 2 but 10. Where they all are, I don't know except that clearly she didn't buy them to put them all in the Central district. So, in essence, she was already running for the general election in the primary. More power to her. I do find it hard to believe that she will run on just a website, some billboards and public appearances. (She is running a green campaign so no mailers or yard signs.) I predict we'll see some tv spots from her.
It's also a good example of how much money to expect to be spent in this election. Last election, Sherry Carr, Peter Maier and Steve Sundquist all raised and spent over $100,000 which pretty much was a coming of age for School Board elections. Spending money seemed to work for them.
However, I think that most people are smart and will be able to pick candidates based on their qualifications and what they say about being in office. Having money to get your name out there is a definite help.
But as Mike McGinn, spending only $40,000(!) on the primary has shown us, grassroots can still work. (Update: the Times says he spent $80,000 on the primary.)