Texas Creationist Don McLeroy: Decision Day!

THE saga of Don McLeroy, the creationist dentist whom Texas Governor Rick Perry has appointed to continue as chairman of the Texas Board of Education (BOE), is reaching a climax. The Texas senate’s confirmation vote on his nomination should be Tuesday, 26 May. (The legislature adjourns on 01 June.)

The Houston Chronicle reports: McLeroy opposed as board of ed leader. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:

Senate Democrats say they have more than enough votes to remove Don McLeroy as chairman of the State Board of Education Tuesday when McLeroy’s confirmation reaches the Senate floor.

Sounds good, but we shall see. Let’s read on:

“This particular State Board of Education under the leadership of Dr. McLeroy has been divisive. It’s been dysfunctional, and it has been embarrassing to the point of having commentary on this in the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal,” said Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus. McLeroy’s leadership, she said, had made Texas “the laughing stock of the nation.”

McLeroy and the other creationists on the BOE don’t care about that. They’ve got The Truth. We continue:

It takes 11 votes to block a gubernatorial nomination. Van de Putte said all 12 Senate Democrats plan to vote against McLeroy

No Republicans? It’s insane that science has become a partisan issue. Here’s more:

At a confirmation hearing last month, McLeroy said he had no regrets about his leadership and emphasized he has not pushed his religious viewpoints into public education policies.

Somehow, that reminds us of a certain President who said: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” Moving along:

There is speculation in the Capitol and within the Texas Education Agency that Gov. Rick Perry might elevate Cynthia Dunbar, R-Richmond, to lead the board. Like McLeroy, Dunbar also holds strong Christian beliefs and recently authored a book that advocates more religion in the public square.

This may be difficult to believe, but Dunbar might be worse than McLeroy. See: Meet Cynthia Dunbar. One last excerpt:

“We believe that Texans deserve better than divisive, destructive, extreme leadership,” Shapleigh said. [Sen. Eliot Shapleigh, D-El Paso, has been a strong critic of McLeroy.] “If the governor chooses to appoint someone more extreme and more divisive, we’ll have to deal with that at the appropriate time.”

That’s the latest. Texas may reject McLeroy and end up with Dunbar as chairman of the BOE. And McLeroy would remain a member of the board.

Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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One response to “Texas Creationist Don McLeroy: Decision Day!

  1. I’m with Sen. Shapleigh – McLeroy should be dealt with now, otherwise it sends a message that his experts-be-damned extremism is OK. I have no doubt that Gov. Perry will choose someone else from the creationist bloc, but rejecting McLeroy would serve as a sword of Damocles over the head of the next chair.