September 22, 2022

After MAGA candidate Tiffany Smiley shot a misleading ad in front of Green Lake Elementary School in Seattle, local parents protest Smiley’s anti-education platform

Green Lake parents: “I have four boys who all attended Green Lake Elementary School, and I was angry to see Tiffany Smiley using our school as a backdrop for her lies”

“When I saw this ad from Tiffany Smiley, I couldn’t believe how out of touch it was”

***WATCH: Press Call HERE***

(Seattle, WA) – Today, Green Lake Elementary school parents — whose children attend the school where Tiffany Smiley filmed a recent ad — joined for a press call slamming Tiffany Smiley as a disaster for Washington public education and families and calling her out for filming misleading attack ad outside their kids’ school. Washington State Senator David Frockt (LD-46), who represents Green Lake in the State Senate, also joined the call. Video of the press call is available here.

“Patty Murray has established herself as one of the strongest and most effective champions for children in the whole U.S. Senate, let alone right here in our state. Smiley stood in front of our neighborhood elementary school and she told lies about herself. She does not represent the views of Seattle moms,” said Molly, a Green Lake parent. “The fact is that Seattle parents and Seattle school staff from our public school district wanted to get back to school and do it safely, and Senator Murray helped us get there. She brought home $230 million to support COVID testing in schools and low-income communities. That meant that at Green Lake Elementary last year, anytime a student or family member didn’t feel well, they could go to Nurse Pat and get a COVID test. Since then, Senator Murray has been leading the charge to bring everyone back to school safely, address learning loss, and address kids’ mental health.”

“When I saw this ad from Tiffany Smiley, I couldn’t believe how out of touch it was,” said Jessie, a Green Lake parent. “You don’t have to look very far into Tiffany Smiley to see that she is nowhere near the moderate that she wants people to think she is. The people that she’s surrounded herself with show what she actually stands for. She is anti-public school, and she’s just saying what people want to hear so that she can win votes. I do not want her representing us or our kids in the U.S. Senate.”

“I have four boys who all attended Green Lake Elementary School, and I was angry to see Tiffany Smiley using our school as a backdrop for her lies,” said Lindsey, a former Green Lake parent. “She does not represent our community. She’s a MAGA candidate who is running on the national Republican campaign agenda that would defund the Department of Education and dramatically decrease funding for public schools. Senator Murray has so much policy knowledge, so much experience, and she’s always solution-oriented — she works effectively, even across the aisle, to bring home federal money again and again for Washington’s kids. The facts show that what Tiffany Smiley says in this ad is disingenuous. She’s an extreme, MAGA Republican, and I hope moms throughout Washington will see through her lies. I think moms are pretty good at that.”

“When I learned Tiffany Smiley had shot a campaign ad in front of my child’s elementary school, I was pretty shocked. She doesn’t represent my beliefs, or the beliefs of most of the school’s other parents that I know,” said Sarabeth, a Green Lake parent. “Patty Murray has always been a strong supporter of our public schools and our kids. She’s always fighting to make sure our public schools — just like Green Lake Elementary — get the funding that they need. I trust Patty Murray on education, not Tiffany Smiley.”

“Green Lake Elementary is a testament to the value of investing in public education. The people of North Seattle that I represent want strong investment and strong support of our public schools, and that is exactly what Senator Murray has done over the entirety of her career,” said Washington State Senator David Frockt, who represents the 46th Legislative District — which includes Green Lake. “So, I found it kind of ridiculous that Tiffany Smiley would come in and shoot this commercial right here in our community. Anyone who knows anything about Patty Murray’s record is not going to buy it. Patty Murray has been fighting for us by investing in public education, investing in Pell Grants, she has been the leader on early learning in the United States Senate — and I know this for a fact.”

Smiley’s education agenda, while light on substance or specifics, pushes an extreme agenda to voucherize public education. Pro-voucher policies have been shown to harm public schools, and often allow taxpayer dollars to flow to for-profit, unaccountable charter schools.

U.S. Senator Rick Scott, who leads Senate Republicans’ campaign arm, has been one of Smiley’s biggest backers; Scott has made defunding the Department of Education a centerpiece of Republicans’ campaign agenda. A recent report from Center for American Progress Action found that Senate Republicans’ education plan would cut the funding equivalent of 433,000 public school teachers — roughly 14 percent of the teacher workforce — zero out programs for students with disabilities, and eliminate Pell Grants, which 34 percent of undergraduate students depend on.

Smiley’s campaign has also received major financial backing from the family of former U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who repeatedly tried to cut billions in federal education funding while in office, and recently said that she thinks the Department of Education should be abolished. DeVos has called the public school system a  dead end” and a “monopoly and said she thinks Creationism should be taught in schools.