Huttlinger Alliance reports election expenses

The Huttlinger Alliance for Education, a local parent group that supports public education, has been active during campaign season, mounting a fundraising effort and endorsing candidates for the Los Altos School District Board of Trustees, the Los Altos City Council and the Santa Clara County Board of Education.

Many community members have received mailers from the group and read their advertisements in the Town Crier, prompting some to question just how much the nonprofit organization has spent on Tuesday’s election.

Huttlinger Alliance officials filed their Campaign Disclosure Statement last week, reporting that they have raised and spent approximately $15,000 on the local elections this year.

The Alliance endorsed Pablo Luther and incumbent Steve Taglio for the school district board; Jeannie Bruins, Jan Pepper and Jerry Sorensen for the Los Altos City Council; and Los Altos resident David Cortright for the county board of education.

The group spent $8,312 on print advertising and printing and postal expenses for mailers. The group also contributed $1,000 each to the Taglio and Luther campaigns. Huttlinger Alliance President Elena Shea said the group raised an additional $5,000 that was not reported during the current filing period.

Local parents founded the Huttlinger Alliance earlier this year to protect and promote their neighborhood public schools. The group has a 501(c)(6) designation, which is nonprofit without a tax-exempt status. The Alliance has filed arguments in the ongoing legal battle between the Los Altos School District and Bullis Charter School, an effort to promote parents’ rights in the fight for school facilities.

Shea attributed the group’s fundraising success to personal donations from community members. She stressed that the Alliance developed its advertising and mailers separate from the candidates’ individual campaigns, and that the candidates had no input on the materials.

Shea added that the Huttlinger Alliance took a conservative approach to fundraising, recognizing that fall is an important time for the Los Altos Educational Foundation and local PTAs to solicit a large portion of their funds for the year.

“A contribution to the Alliance is a ‘third check’ donation, prioritized after support for PTA and/or the Los Altos Educational Foundation,” the Huttlinger Alliance website states.

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