WINTERS RESIGNS FROM SPECTOR CAMPAIGN

After nearly a week of silence on the matter, Don Winters, campaign Manager for Joe Spector’s School Board Campaign came forward last night and released a statement both admitting to using class time to stuff approximately 300 campaign envelopes for Joe Spector and resigning as campaign manager for Joe Spector’s campaign.

On Friday of last week, the Davis Enterprise reported that former School Board Member BJ Kline had accused Don Winters, a teacher at Davis High, of using instructional time to stuff campaign envelopes. The Vanguard on Saturday, based on conversations with several students, reported that those students claimed that this had never happened. However, during the course of the week, it became more clear that the students I spoke with had in fact not been in the class in question, the first period Economics Class. And those denials turned out to be wrong. Other information received by the Vanguard about this matter has been incorrect as well. Thus the Vanguard’s reporting on this matter has been inaccurate.

According to statements released to the press by both Joe Spector and Don Winters, Joe Spector was unaware of the nature of the incident and only became aware in the last day and a half.

However it was becoming increasingly clear to both Joe Spector and Don Winters that this issue would not only not subside, but that it would distract from the key issues of the campaign. Key issues faced by the next district in the next few years.

The heat was turned up on Tuesday by Davis Enterprise Bob Dunning. Bob Dunning in this case strongly and correctly called Don Winters to task for his vague and evasive answers.

Winters, responding to my short e-mail that asked simply “What happened or didn’t happen?” never got around to answering the question of whether students used class time to stuff envelopes for the Spector campaign.

In his e-mail, Winters wrote: “I guess what the highly educated voter in Davis will have to decide is not so much ‘did it happen,’ but does it matter?”

It matters, Don, it matters.

Added Winters: “One would have to wonder how much larger the headline and how much bigger the photo on the front page of Davis’ only paper would have been if I robbed a bank to level the financial playing field of lobbyists, attorneys, developers and out-of-town special interest groups contributing to Joe’s opponent(s)?”

Is he hinting that stuffing envelopes during class time might be justifiable to level the playing field in this campaign? If so, my answer would be “no.”

So, after all this, we’re left with two simple questions. First, did it happen? And second, as Don Winters asks, does it matter?

I guess that’s for you, the voters, to decide.

What follows is the full statements from both Joe Spector and Don Winters.

Joe Spector’s Statement:

Over the past week, I have been asked to comment on a parent complaint against my campaign manager, Don Winters, who is a teacher at Davis High School.

Because the complaint related to his duties as a teacher, the complaint became a personnel matter to be resolved by the school administrator. So, up to this point,
it would have been inappropriate for me to comment on the personnel process.

As of today, the school personnel issue has been resolved and Don Winters has given me explicit permission to discuss this matter.

As I understand the situation, Don used classroom time to have students do campaign work. Specifically, the concern relates to a part of a class period when some students worked on envelopes that would be used on behalf of my campaign.

Don has acknowledged that the activity occurred for about ten minutes during the end of a class period. He understands that this violates a school policy prohibiting students from working on particular, ballot – related activity during school instructional time. He also knows that I have established an internal policy prohibiting campaign work during class time. Don acknowledges that he broke these rules. He has resolved this issue with the high school principal.

As a result of this breach of policy, Don has submitted his resignation from my campaign, which I have accepted.

Don has been a tireless advocate for students and teachers. I hope that this incident will not detract from his important contributions to our community.

I am very sorry that this situation has taken attention away from the important issues that I am trying to promote in this campaign. I look forward to returning to the key issues of this school board race.

Sincerely,

Joe Spector
Candidate for Davis School Board

Don Winter’s Statement:

Effective Wednesday, October 24th, I resign as manager of Joe Spector’s Board of Education campaign. I accept full responsibility for a mistake in judgment I made last week in allowing my students in the final 10 minutes of one class at Davis High School to prepare 300 campaign flyers for mailing. I regret this action. I have met with the high school principal and have accepted appropriate disciplinary action. I apologize today to Joe Spector and to our campaign team, neither of whom had any prior knowledge of this activity. I also offer my sincere regrets to my students and to the Davis community.

By resigning from Joe’s campaign, I hope to bring this matter to a close. I believe Joe’s candidacy is vital to the interests of our school district and to the education of our children.

Joe Spector’s campaign is focused on important issues needing a strong voice and a champion on the school board. I fully support Joe’s effort to win a seat on the Davis Board of Education this November 6th.

Sincerely,

Don Winters

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

Author

  • David Greenwald

    Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Categories:

Elections

232 comments

  1. Vanguard, while the community will appreciate your continued coverage of this event, one bit of information needs to be clarified. Private personnel practices in the DJUSD require a 10 day period of silence while internal disciplinary investigations proceed. The parent complaint was lodged on Monday, October 15th. Mr. Winters broke his “silence” on Wednesday, October 24th, exactly 10 days into this “controversy”. You the readers will decide. Did Mr. Winters do the right thing to go public with what happened at the very earliest possible date? Did he do the right thing to sever his campaign relationship with Joe Spector for the benefit of his candidate at considerable public embarrassment to himself? Joe Spector still has my only vote on Nov. 6th.

  2. Vanguard, while the community will appreciate your continued coverage of this event, one bit of information needs to be clarified. Private personnel practices in the DJUSD require a 10 day period of silence while internal disciplinary investigations proceed. The parent complaint was lodged on Monday, October 15th. Mr. Winters broke his “silence” on Wednesday, October 24th, exactly 10 days into this “controversy”. You the readers will decide. Did Mr. Winters do the right thing to go public with what happened at the very earliest possible date? Did he do the right thing to sever his campaign relationship with Joe Spector for the benefit of his candidate at considerable public embarrassment to himself? Joe Spector still has my only vote on Nov. 6th.

  3. Vanguard, while the community will appreciate your continued coverage of this event, one bit of information needs to be clarified. Private personnel practices in the DJUSD require a 10 day period of silence while internal disciplinary investigations proceed. The parent complaint was lodged on Monday, October 15th. Mr. Winters broke his “silence” on Wednesday, October 24th, exactly 10 days into this “controversy”. You the readers will decide. Did Mr. Winters do the right thing to go public with what happened at the very earliest possible date? Did he do the right thing to sever his campaign relationship with Joe Spector for the benefit of his candidate at considerable public embarrassment to himself? Joe Spector still has my only vote on Nov. 6th.

  4. Vanguard, while the community will appreciate your continued coverage of this event, one bit of information needs to be clarified. Private personnel practices in the DJUSD require a 10 day period of silence while internal disciplinary investigations proceed. The parent complaint was lodged on Monday, October 15th. Mr. Winters broke his “silence” on Wednesday, October 24th, exactly 10 days into this “controversy”. You the readers will decide. Did Mr. Winters do the right thing to go public with what happened at the very earliest possible date? Did he do the right thing to sever his campaign relationship with Joe Spector for the benefit of his candidate at considerable public embarrassment to himself? Joe Spector still has my only vote on Nov. 6th.

  5. I don’t think Don Winters meant any harm by his actions but I gather he is the type of person who has problems with what he apparently regards as silly rules. This attitude occasionally gets him in trouble and in this instance certainly doesn’t serve the interests of his candidate.

  6. I don’t think Don Winters meant any harm by his actions but I gather he is the type of person who has problems with what he apparently regards as silly rules. This attitude occasionally gets him in trouble and in this instance certainly doesn’t serve the interests of his candidate.

  7. I don’t think Don Winters meant any harm by his actions but I gather he is the type of person who has problems with what he apparently regards as silly rules. This attitude occasionally gets him in trouble and in this instance certainly doesn’t serve the interests of his candidate.