Sunday, April 01, 2012

Progressives Introduce Class Warfare Into Anchorage School Board Seat G Race, Portray Natasha Von Imhof As A Plutocrat Because Her Middle Name Is Rasmuson

The race for Seat G of the Anchorage School Board has been a model of decorum so far. Both the candidates, Starr Marsett, who enjoys the support of the unions and the professional education nomenklatura, and Natasha Von Imhof, who has garnered her support from ordinary rank-and-file voters, have spent their campaigns telling the community what's right about their respective visions rather than what's wrong with their opponent's vision. Positive, proactive campaigns -- which, unfortunately because of their lack of controversy, don't get the media attention they deserve even though the school board controls a budget which will top $736.8 million for the 2012-13 school year.

On March 30th, 2012, each candidate had a Compass piece published in the Anchorage Daily News. In her essay entitled "Changes needed to make schools shine", Starr Marsett puts forth five worthy ideas: Do away with social promotion, extend the life of existing schools whenever possible, expand our alternative programs and/or charter schools in response to under-usage of some elementary schools, provide an incentive program for more of our students to become teachers here in Alaska, and conduct an external Curriculum Management Audit before next school year to determine if the achievement gap amongst students is widening. All praiseworthy ideas -- a very electable platform. The Anchorage Daily News has also published a last-minute profile on the school board candidates.

In her essay entitled "City has real opportunity to improve local schools", Natasha Von Imhof followed up the Anchorage School District's adoption of the Common Core Standards by putting forth five ideas to reduce administrative redundancy and focus more on curriculum: Review No Child Left Behind to determine how it could be further pared down, promote more efficient collaboration with non-profits, put all kids in a demanding curriculum, seek additional opportunities make education a priority as often as possible, and hire the most effective teachers while giving them plenty of leash and holding them accountable. All praiseworthy ideas -- also a very electable platform.

So who shows up in the comments section of Von Imhof's essay? None other than one of our infamous progressive bloggers, Linda Kellen Biegel. However, Biegel seems more offended by the fact that Von Imhof's middle name is Rasmuson and she lives in a $1.5 million house rather than her platform:

--I wonder how someone with Natasha Rasmuson Von Imhof's combative attitude...proudly proclaiming at the HALO debate that she has absolutely no education experience so that means she "hasn't drunk the Kool Aid" and won't take the opinions "the School District has given me" ...plans to work civilly with the School Board, the School District, parents and the rest of the public?

--I wonder at someone who, each time she's asked about her outsourcing ideas for the School District, doesn't mention snow removal, IT services or even security. She uses as an example...I'm not kidding...a Middle School Honor Orchestra (Junior Youth Symphony) that is currently free for all participants through the School District, but she wants to have the Alaska Youth Symphony take it over...a program that charges $375.00 per student. Though she admits it "wouldn't save much money" (definitely not for the parents) as the program has two people on staff & the rest volunteers, it just somehow makes sense to her. (Perhaps the reason is that her friend and donor to the campaign happens to be the President of the Board of Alaska Youth Symphony.) If they give her a few more contributions will she try to outsource the entire music program?

-- I wonder at someone who (at the HALO debate) promises that only after she's elected she will go visit the schools and the departments of the Anchorage School District while her opponent has years of volunteer experience and service in education.

I suspect that Ms. Rasmuson Von Imhof has gotten bored sitting in her $1.5 million home now that her children are older and in school and is trying to find the best way "in" to conservative political ladder-climbing. The fact that her campaign sign for this "non-partisan" race is sitting in the front window of the Republican HQ is probably a good indicator.

Find photos, audio and video regarding everything I mention here:

Biegel's insistence on referring to the candidate as Rasmuson Von Imhof on two separate occasions reminds me of the practice by a few conservatives of referring to our president as Barack HUSSEIN Obama -- it's strictly intended to have an inflammatory effect. But why would she be offended by the name Rasmuson? It's because Von Imhof is "rich", and we know that progressives tend to think the rich are evil simply because they're rich (unless their name is Soros). So Biegel has introduced class warfare into the race.

This, of course, is the same Linda Kellen Biegel who participated in the two-year ethics jihad against then-Governor Sarah Palin. However, her one and only ethics complaint against Palin had nothing to do with Palin's behavior -- it was simply because Palin wore an Arctic Cat logo on a windbreaker during a public event. I'm willing to bet that if Biegel had been living in Palestine during the time of Christ, she would have filed an ethics complaint against Him for healing the sick on the Sabbath.

The Rasmuson family may be "rich", but they're hardly plutocrats. The Rasmuson Foundation started in 1955 dispensed over $33 million in awards and grants in 2010, for a total of $215 million since 1955. They seek to support not-for-profit organizations that are focused and effective in the pursuit of their goals, with special consideration for those organizations that demonstrate strong leadership, clarity of purpose and cautious use of resources. The trustees look most favorably on organizations which demonstrate broad community support, superior fiscal management and matching project support. Perhaps the lefties would be more favorably disposed towards the Rasmuson Foundation if it was to cut $1 million checks for Planned Parenthood, Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, and GLSEN.

The Seat G School Board race, which is citywide, has nothing to with candidate income or lifestyle. It has everything to do with vision and platform. Both Starr Marsett and Natasha Von Imhof would make worthy additions to the school board; the choice is not easy. Both candidates endorse Proposition 1, alhough Von Imhof's endorsement is a bit more conditional. What propels me towards Von Imhof is the fact that she has none of the union endorsements which would makes her more vulnerable to union demands, she's earned an endorsement from the conservative Anchorage Daily Planet, and in the comments section of the Von Imhof essay, Seat E School Board candidate David Nees has posted his own endorsement of Von Imhof.


  1. I change my vote,it is now definitely for Natasha!

  2. My vote went straight to Natasha as well.....

    1. Excellent. I'll be casting my vote for Natasha tomorrow.

  3. Ms. Von Imhof has been repeatedly portraying the fact that she is on the board of the Rasmuson Foundation as a huge accomplishment…one that should be considered in her selection for Anchorage School Board Candidate.

    However, in my experience it is absolutely no accomplishment to get a board position if you are a child of the head of the Foundation.

    Equating identifying her as a member of the family for which the Rasmuson Foundation is named with the attempts in 2008 to associate Barack Obama with the murderous dictator who shared his middle name is beyond ludicrous.

    Your TRUE agenda is revealed in your reference to me regarding Palin…if anyone has absolutely nothing to do with this Anchorage School Board race, it’s her.

    I would like to thank you for letting me know one thing…the issues that I pointed out regarding Von Imhof have clearly struck a nerve.

    Linda Kellen Biegel

  4. Okay. I like reading your stuff, although I tend not to agree a lot.
    But I stopped short on the bit about Palin. She wore an Arctic Cat logo on a windbreaker at a public event?
    Uh, you know better than that. That's a little artificial, isn't it?
    Her husband has an undisclosed lucrative multi-year endorsement contract with a corporation. The governor was formally on official duties (paid for by the State) and appeared (with her child) in full Arctic Cat colors from head-to-toe, custom-made for her and her children by the corporation.
    That, my friend, in the marketing and promotions department, is called "endorsement." Advertising. That's what sponsorship is; that's what the contract speaks to.
    Does anybody, anywhere, not get it?

    Guys, you might not think it, but even the SledHead snowmachine world felt a little sick about that one.

    Following up several years later shows that Arctic Cat sales jumped sharply. It worked.

    Badly done, Governor Palin. Would I have done the same, given a sweet sponsorship package dangling in front of me? Boy, hard to say no, that's what everybody wants.
    But no. I would not have done the same. Not because I'm noble. Because it's clearly against the rules and cheating. I'd be afraid of getting in hot water over it.
    'Nuff said.

  5. By the way, is Natasha von Imhof sponsored by Red Bull? Is that going to be a conflict of interest?
    Is she going to be promoting it during school events?