The Exploitation of Valentin


Even the man who wants to be president got into the act.

A Twitter campaign began yesterday morning touting a TV spot that would appear during last night’s Super Bowl which featured Miami high school sophomore, Valentin Mendez, who urged Floridians to “stop the teachers union” from ending Florida’s tax credit scholarship program. The ad was bought by the Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options (HCREO). It was the second time that HCREO had featured Mendez in its PR campaign.

Presidential candidate, Jeb Bush, joined the twitter campaign with this:

Great message from . Time for the unions to against parental choice in Florida: .

Like Valentin Mendez’ handlers, Bush knows that the Florida teachers union isn’t the only participant in the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the tax credit scholarship program. But did Valentin realize that the adults wanted to single out public school teachers in what serves as an attack ad?

It’s called exploitation.

Bad enough by a public advocacy group to do so. Worse for a man who wants to be president.

Joining the FEA in the lawsuit are the Florida PTA, and Florida School Boards Association and the Florida League of Women voters. Valentin Mendez’ was scripted to say as an aside “the teachers union and others” during the beginning, but singled them out at the end. Not as easy to demonize them. But to have Valentin Mendez tell the whole story wouldn’t have been as effective.

It’s called exploitation.

About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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