Group behind Hickman Mills School Board campaign flyer doesn't exist

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Local school board campaigns don't usually include spending hundreds of dollars on a mailer to discredit other candidates.

But this past weekend, a campaign mailer went out giving an "F" grade to two former Hickman Mills School Board members. It also listed why they shouldn't be given a chance to serve again.

The candidates with the failing grades say the flyer is slanderous.

Among the mailer's claims: That Debbie Aiman was fired from a teaching position, doesn't live inside the district and owes delinquent taxes,

"I have never been fired from a teaching position," Aiman said, but she did learn there was some truth to the taxes allegations.

"I was shocked to find out that I owe delinquent taxes in Kansas City, Jackson County," she said, adding that it was a $60 bill from 2003. Aiman said she's paid what was owed.

"I have the receipt to prove it, so now all of my taxes are paid up," she said.

The other candidate slammed on the flyer, which was paid for by the group Parents United to Save Our Children, is George Flesher. He spent 21 years on the school board.

The flyer stated Flesher used a district credit card to charge thousands of dollars for personal use, and did not return district property at the end of his last term.

"It was all lies," he said.

Flesher and Aiman believe the negative campaigning cost them the election.

41 Action News reporter Mitch Weber did some investigating on who was behind the flyer. Printed right on the front, it says it was paid for by Charlotte Messer Birney, president of Parents United to Save Our Children.

The Kansas City Elections Board said that person is not a registered voter. Further investigation couldn't find anyone in the metro with that name.

When asked who he thought would spend the time and money to publish the flyer, Flesher said he doesn't know for sure.

"I could only speculate, and that would be just an influence of power and taking control of the district out here," he said.

41 Action News also did some digging into the group Parents United to Save Our Children. The group doesn't appear to exist, either.

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