Jefferson County School Board President Ken Witt mysteriously gave notice last night that he would make a “big announcement” this morning. Since the report aired on CBS4 Denver last night, Jefferson County politicos have been scratching their heads trying to figure out what Witt was about to announce. Would he resign from the school board? Something else equally dramatic, justifying a presser at the Denver West Sheraton and camera crews from all the local networks?
As the Denver Post reports, not so much:
Ken Witt, board president of Jeffco Public Schools, announced at a news conference Thursday that he has file an ethic complaint against himself.
He has asked the Colorado Ethics Commission to investigate whether Witt was involved in breaking any open meetings laws.
Witt, a conservative member of the board, said the decision was in response to a recall effort seeking his ouster.
“I’m just calling their bluff,” Witt said Thursday…
That’s right, folks! Witt just self-inflicted this nigh-on unbelievable headline:
Now, the first problem here is that Witt filed his “complaint” with an entity that has no jurisdiction over school boards. Because it’s not a paid position, the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission ruled in 2009 that board members are excluded from the definition of “public officers” under Amendment 41. And if that’s not bad enough, the IEC isn’t even scheduled to meet again until after the election.
In short, this was about the most perfectly-engineered waste of the media’s time Ken Witt could have possibly come up with. If we had been a reporter suckered into showing up to this farce of a press conference, we would actually be very upset about the time and expense of dispatching busy camera crews and journalists to an event way out in the suburbs with absolutely zero news value.
The only thing we can add is that drawing attention to one of the principal allegations leveled by recall proponents against himself, especially in a way that makes him look like a uninformed clown while failing to refute anything regarding the allegation in question, is just laughably bad PR strategy. “Hey, look over here! They’re accusing me of something bad and instead of disproving it, I’m pulling this lame stunt!”
Whoever dispenses this kind of political advice needs to find a new career. Right now.