Further to our recent note about disinformation in California politics, another illustration was provided earlier this week by an article about a debate among participants in a Bay Area race for State Senate.

One candidate said that one of her top priorities is “moving California from the bottom 10 states in per-pupil spending for K-12 schools to the top 10,” yet she should know that, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, California ranks in the middle of states in per-pupil spending:

The LAO added that “given California has increased school funding significantly since 2014-15, its ranking likely will increase as new data are released over the next few years.”

That candidate doesn’t know the facts or is counting on voters not to learn the facts. Fortunately, the internet has made it easier than ever to consult primary or authoritative sources. But also, facts alone don’t carry the day when it comes to public policy. For that you need power. Unless you have it, policymakers won’t pay attention. As Upton Sinclair reminds us, “It is difficult to get [someone] to understand something when [their] salary depends upon them not understanding it.”