Friday, February 01, 2008

Civics Lesson Plus a Little Extra

Capital Confidential reports today that the Senate Majority has created a taxpayer-funded video, aimed at fourth graders, that explains how ideas become law in New York. The video seems like a slightly less fun, New York-specific version of Schoolhouse Rock's "I'm Just a Bill"--that is, until you get to 3 mins 20 secs when the narrator encourages viewers to contact Senator Bruno and explains that Bruno "is always looking for ways to make our towns the best possible places to live, work, and raise a family." The video later flashes the mailing address for Senator Bruno's office.

CapCon reports that the video has also been personalized for Senators Volker and Trunzo but notes that it is unclear whether the Senate Minority even knew that the video was being produced.

We're all for civic education, but is it really necessary (or indeed, ethical) to include a plug in taxpayer-funded materials for specific office holders in an election year? The lesson could have been conveyed without featuring any legislators and Bruno's mailing address could have been replaced by the URL to the Senate's "Who Is My State Senator" page.

No comments: