After months of fear mongering, manipulation, and spending tens of thousands of taxpayers’ dollars on electioneering, the Conroe Independent School District managed to narrowly pass one of their bonds while being defeated on another.
Proposition A, an over $653 million boondoggle of mostly pork projects mixed in with a few new school buildings, squeaked by with 56 percent voting in favor and 44 percent voting against. However, Proposition B, which consisted of $23.8 million dedicated to artificial turf, was shot down 58 to 42 percent.
The two propositions were a pared down version of an $807 million bond the district unsuccessfully attempted to pass back in May. During the election in May, CISD tried to sell their bond to the taxpayers, attempting to cultivate broad public appeal. However, conservatives exposed the district’s propaganda, leading CISD to adopt a new tactic for round two.
Instead of trying to get the majority of the community behind the bond, CISD ran a very targeted campaign the second time around, focusing on turning out CISD teachers and administrators, as well as vendors who had a financial interest in the bond passing.
CISD waged a campaign of fear and misinformation among its employees, pushing them to vote for the bond. CISD employees then goaded their families and neighbors to vote for the bond, as well. Educators who would not jump on the bandwagon faced backlash from other CISD employees and were put under tremendous pressure to cave to the mob.
While conservatives put up a good fight, in the end, they were simply outspent. Bond opponents spent money out of their own pockets to print homemade flyers opposing the bond, while CISD spend tens of thousands of tax dollars advertising and advocating for it. An astroturf political action committee called “Community for Conroe ISD’s Future,” funded by vendors and engineering firms who will get the contracts for bond projects, spent tens of thousands of dollars to advocate for the bond, as well.
But apparently, no amount of money could make the artificial turf palatable, and voters soundly rejected the bond.