Tangi School Tax Update – 5/5/11

Social media used by foes to beat taxes

The April 30 school tax election in Tangipahoa Parish was historic for two reasons: the record turnout and the large margin of defeat.

Approximately 87 percent of the voters rejected each of the four tax proposals in a resounding defeat that was the biggest Dufreche could remember.

In Tangipahoa Parish, the “organized opposition” used the Internet, especially sites such as YouTube and Facebook, to make their case time and time again.

The locus for much of the anti-tax activity was the website http://www.an17.com (ActionNews 17), run by Independence-based Ken Benitez.

Benitez boasted on his site the Monday after the election that an17.com was getting 12 million hits per month, and he claimed the impact could be seen in the election results.

Benitez posts numerous video interviews with local politicians and public figures, many of whom were against the tax proposals.

The site also hosts forums that invite users to comment on various topics. As of Monday morning, about 700 replies had been posted to the site’s “Tax Propositions” forum.

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