YOU all know the news, which we reported here, that the Texas senate voted to reject the nomination of creationist dentist Don McLeroy, whom Texas Governor Rick Perry had appointed as chairman of the Texas Board of Education (BOE). It was McLeroy — a young-earth creationist — who presided over the Texas Science Chainsaw Massacre.
You also know that Governor Perry will be appointing another BOE member — probably yet another creationist — to serve as chairman, and that McLeroy will continue to be a member of the board. Does this mean that nothing of any significance has happened? Not necessarily. As the social conservatives like to say: Actions have consequences.
The Dallas Morning News reports: Former SBOE chairman draws challenger in GOP primary. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:
The son of former Lt. Gov. Bill Ratliff announced Wednesday that he will challenge State Board of Education member Don McLeroy of College Station in the GOP primary next year. Thomas Ratliff, a lobbyist and legislative consultant for the Ratliff Co., has filed paperwork with the Texas Ethics Commission to seek the Republican nomination for the SBOE District 9 seat in East Texas.
Interesting. He’s a lobbyist. But is he a creationist? Let’s read on:
“I am running because I want to work with educators and other SBOE members to provide leadership for Texas’ neighborhood schools, help mend the fractured relationship with the Texas Legislature and restore the public’s confidence in the State Board of Education,” Ratliff said.
Our question remains — is he a creationist? One final excerpt:
Although he is out as chairman, McLeroy retains his seat on the state board. But Ratliff said the board under McLeroy’s leadership has become a “distraction” to neighborhood schools and a “liability” to the Republican Party. “I strongly believe we need to take the politics out of kids’ education,” said Ratliff, whose two children are in the Chapel Hill ISD.
That sounds lovely, but our question remains unanswered. A challenge to McLeroy is an interesting development, but swapping a creationist dentist for a creationist lobbyist won’t be an improvement. We’ll be watching this one.
Update: See Thomas Ratliff, Don McLeroy’s Opponent, Speaks. Comments should be posted there.
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