RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Days after questioning why a Richmond School Board member helped organize a campaign event for Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli at a public school, School Board Chairman Jeff Bourne defended – with caution – a similar event for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe.
“Mr. Cuccinelli had an event at one of our schools and the McAuliffe campaign asked if they could use one of our buildings, so, we do want to be fair,” Bourne said about Sunday afternoon’s event scheduled to take place at Richmond Community High School
“As long as we’re not endorsing a candidate or endorsing a religion— we’re going to treat these, going forward, as general facility rentals,” Bourne added.
The school system’s policy on using facilities for political campaign events was ambiguous, thus tough to interpret and enforce, Bourne said.
CBS 6 obtained documents stating school policy when it comes to advertising, sales and solicitation, but the policy for campaign events wasn’t clearly defined. It only said “candidates for public office may not distribute campaign materials on school grounds.”
Earlier this month Richmond School Board member Tichi Pinkney-Eppes helped facilitate a campaign event for Cuccinelli at Elkhardt Middle School, a school in her district.
“We learned there was a political event at one of our schools, so we learned that perhaps we need to tighten up our policies and we’re going to look at those,” Bourne said upon learning about the Cuccinelli campaign event.