I saw on KVIA where they lay out the many tax increases you're being asked to vote for/face HERE. I've got a few thoughts that are really questions because I'm just not sure about a few things.
1. Is the timing of the vote in November perfect? Or, is it the worst timing ever? I'm not sure.
Part of me thinks that sliding this onto the ballot with little time for an opposition team to be built is pretty smart. Had they announced at the same time, but slated the vote for May 2017, I think it would have given opposition time to organize an effort against the measure. Being the only voice out there is always an advantage.
I do know that they were likely looking to dilute the kind of voters who vote in May elections - you know, the "we're pissed at everybody so we're going to vote everything down" bloc. Remember - happy people generally don't vote unless there's a presidential contest. Unhappy voters vote all the time. With a ballot issue like this you have to try and get those happy people coming out to vote for president to cancel out the Negative Nancys out there.
I wonder if most of those folks who only vote every four years are going to pull that straight ticket lever and walk out. As you know, a lot of non-partisan ballot questions get heavily undervoted in presidential years. Undervoted means that ballot was cast, but no vote logged for that race. I remember seeing that some judicial races in Alabama during the primaries where the undervotes outnumbered the actual votes cast for the candidates.
I think the teams working with EPISD for the bond have a big job to do when it comes to making sure those every four year voters stay and vote for their bond.
2. Speaking of messaging...
Not sure you want School Board Trustee Susie Byrd our there in front. Byrd is great in the community, but doesn't have a lot of fans in the anti-government spending crowd around town. She tends to motivate them. I'd go with a teacher everybody likes.
I'd also try to keep the adjectives "record" and "biggest" out of the conversation. People like to set records, but not of that kind.
I do wonder if there are certain projects in the bond that can stand out as more acceptable than others they can lean on. We all know those bond issues usually have a ton of things nobody in their right mind would finance. It would be smart to keep the conversation off of the bad things.
In fact, it might be a good strategy to stay away from hostile news outlets that ask tough questions. Stick to the El Paso Times where you can control the message. Stay away from the evening news where they like to take the sensational side of things and say things like "record bond" and "biggest bond."