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The WakeEd blog is devoted to discussing and answering questions about the major issues facing the Wake County school system. How will the new student assignment plan balance diversity, stability, proximity and stability? How will Jim Merrill replace Tony Tata as the new superintendent of the state's largest district? How will voters react to a $810 million school construction bond referendum on Oct. 8 ballot? How will this fall's school board elections impact the future of the district?

WakeEd is maintained by The News & Observer's Wake schools reporter, T. Keung Hui. While Keung posts information and analysis on the issues, keep us posted on your suggestions, questions, tips and what you're doing to cope with the changes in Wake's schools.

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Wake Citizens for Good Government reports raising nearly $28,000

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The Wake Citizens for Good Government PAC is looking like it could be a big player in this fall's Wake County school board elections.

As noted in today's article, the PAC has reported raising $27,803.28 with $25,671.54 on hand. In contrast, the Wake Schools Community Alliance has reported raising $268.92 an having only $1 on hand.

There's a strong connection between Wake Citizens for Good Government, the five Democratic school board candidates and the Wake County Democratic Party. A number of people are giving money to all three groups, similar to how some of the 2009 donors gave money to the four winning school board candidates, the WSCA and the Wake County Republican Party.

The donors for Wake Citizens for Good Government include many of the familiar names who've criticized the GOP majority on the school board.

The biggest donors for Wake Citizens for Good Government at $4,000 apiece are John Campbell, Ann Campbell and Gerda Stein.
 
Other donors include Duke University Professor Tim Tyson, school board candidate Susan Evans, WakeUP Wake Executive Director Karen Rindge, former school board members Beverley Clark, Susan Parry and John Gilbert, former school board candidate Lois Nixon, Wake County Democratic Party chairman Mack Paul, the campaign committee of U.S. Rep. Brad Miller, state Rep. Jennifer Weiss, Wake County Clerk Lorrin Freeman, J.B. Buxton, Colethia Evans, Adrienne Lumpkin, Neil Riemann, Amy Womble and attorney Swain Wood.

One other interesting donor is Bertis Downs, the manager of the rock band R.E.M.

Click here, here and here to view the group's latest campaign finance report.

As you guys may recall, the PAC was formed late in the 2009 election cycle by Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling. The group hastily put together a TV attack ad against Debra Goldman, Chris Malone and Deborah Prickett. What it would do in 2011 remains to be seen.

PPP has been conducting polls in the individual school board races, like it did in 2009, but hasn't released any results.

While Wake Citizens for Good Government has already raised more money than it did in 2009, don't expect the same from the WSCA, which raised more than $50,000 in 2009.

Joe Ciulla, a leader in the WSCA, said they'll soon be holding fundraisers to gear up for the school board races. But he acknowledged that endorsing Jennifer Mansfield in the District 3 race over Heather Losurdo means the group doesn't expect to get some support from individual GOP donors.

But Ciulla said not as much cash will be needed now because he said most people support the current direction of the school board and don't feel as passionate as they did in 2009 to make a change. 

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About the blogger

T. Keung Hui covers Wake schools.
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