(JTA) — Charter school supporters in Los Angeles are targeting a Jewish school board member with attack mailers that some critics have called anti-Semitic.
The mailers portray Scott Schmerelson as greedy, corrupt and determined to score fast cash by exposing children to deadly vaping and McDonald’s French fries, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.
Schmerelson owned stock in Altria, the tobacco company that bought 35 percent of Juul, and owned stock in McDonald’s, according to the report.
One mailer shows Schmerelson wearing a gold chain with a dollar sign hanging from it and holding a fistful of cash.
The United Teachers Los Angeles union is putting money and effort behind Schmerelson, who opposes charter schools. Its president, Alex Caputo-Pearl, told the Times that the ads are an “attempt to eviscerate Scott, a lifelong educator and champion of our public schools. … Scott’s likeness is literally made into a caricature, with clear anti-Semitic overtones.”
Meanwhile, a California Charter Schools Association Advocates spokesman suggested to the Times that the other side also has used anti-Semitic stereotypes, saying it has depicted charter backers as “greedy, corporate billionaires,” and called the supporters “American Jewish philanthropists.”
The election is scheduled for March 3.