Texas SBOE: Tim Tuggey vs. Ken Mercer


THE creationists who currently dominate the Texas public schools may be in for a few surprises on election day. A couple of months earlier we summarized things here: Texas State Board of Education Contests. Our most recent report on the overall situation was here: Texas SBOE Election Update (09 Jan ‘10). If you want background information on the Texas creationism mess, check out those two posts.

The election for Ken Mercer’s seat on the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) keeps getting more interesting. Why? Because he’s a raging, flaming, full-blown creationist. See: Meet Ken Mercer, in which we quoted Mercer saying:

The controversial “macro” evolution was commonly understood as those major changes that could occur if one species jumped to another. For example, have you ever seen a dog-cat, or a cat-rat? The most famous example of macroevolution is the Darwinian “man from an ancestral primate.”

Realizing the weakness in macroevolution, Darwinists changed the meaning. Whatever their new definition, where is the evidence for one species changing to another?

Running in the democrat primary to challenge Mercer in the general election are Rebecca Bell-Metereau (we like her), Daniel Boone (nice name recognition), Josiah Ingalls, and Robert Bohmfalk. We’ve already written about some of those before. See: Texas Board of Education: Ken Mercer’s Seat, about Robert Bohmfalk’s entry into the democrat primary. He visited here and informed us:

the last part of my last name sounds like “walk” or “talk”.

And see Rebecca Bell-Metereau vs Ken Mercer. Rebecca accepts the theory of evolution. Bohmfalk says that he does too; but Rebecca laughs at our jokes (an indication of high intelligence), so she’s our pick in that primary contest.

Those are the democrats. Mercer also has a primary challenge on his hands. Today’s story is about his Republican opponent, Tim Tuggey. Here are some excerpts from Business leaders take sides in GOP education board contest, which appears in the Austin American-Statesman. The bold font was added by us:

A pivotal Republican primary for the State Board of Education has drawn an unusual amount of interest and money from some prominent business leaders. The support has helped the challenger in the District 5 race, Tim Tuggey, take a substantial fundraising lead over incumbent Ken Mercer, a member of the board’s conservative bloc. …

Tuggey brought in about $60,000, according to the latest campaign finance reports. That is more than seven times the amount Mercer raised and is considered a princely sum for a state board race.

Here’s his campaign website: Tim Tuggey for District 5. Let’s read on:

The 15-member board is sharply divided between Mercer’s conservative side and a more moderate opposition faction. Eight seats are up for election this year, and any change in board membership could tip the balance of power.


The brouhaha over the teaching of evolution in the science curriculum caught the attention of some in the San Antonio business community, said Carri Baker Wells, chairwoman of the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. There was a concern that decisions were being made based on ideology rather than sound science, and that affects how prepared Texas students are to compete, said Wells, adding that the chamber does not endorse candidates.

It’s not terribly difficult to see that churning out a population of young idiots isn’t good for business, and a school system run by idiots tends to discourage firms from choosing Texas as a location. Besides, free enterprise is like evolution — no one wants or needs an intelligent designer running the whole show. We continue:

Tuggey, an Austin business lawyer whose firm is based in San Antonio, has strong ties to the San Antonio business community through his professional dealings and as the former chairman of the local public transit board.

Jeepers, he sounds so normal, and he works with normal people. How could the Texas SBOE tolerate such a person among them? He just wouldn’t fit in. Here’s how the campaign dialogue is going:

Mercer is using those [business] connections to cast Tuggey as a member of the “education political lobby,” a derisive term Mercer says is defined by who it is not — “the moms and dads … the conservative educators.”

I’m a working guy, and my opponent is a registered Washington lobbyist. He’s a registered Austin lobbyist,” said Mercer, a former state representative who was elected to the board in 2006. “I’ve had the courage and strength to stand up to the education political lobby.”


Tuggey said it was ridiculous to paint teacher groups and others who care about education as members of a “nefarious lobby.” His lobbying work is not related to any issues before the State Board of Education, he said.


Tuggey said the board has been consumed with ideological battles and is not focused on the children.

There’s much more information in the article. Click over and read it all. It’s encouraging that the creationist fanatics on the Board are attracting so much opposition.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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11 responses to “Texas SBOE: Tim Tuggey vs. Ken Mercer

  1. To help get a rational Texas State Board of Elections, which sets textbook standards for the entire country, please support the following two intelligent, educated women:


  2. Our friends at Little Green Footballs have a link to this post. Welcome, green ones.

  3. Could Christmas come in early March this year? Ken Mercer and Don McLeroy both defeated in the primaries?

  4. I laugh at your jokes because they are clever! And, as always, I appreciate your support. I’m disturbed by the Statesman article that you are referencing for several reasons. While Democratic candidates do not have large economic interests weighing in on the race, there are four Democratic candidates running. I hope the Statesman will profile these contenders as well, since this year’s race stands in contrast to 2006, when Mr. Mercer had no Democratic opponent. Mercer received more than half of his money from Jim Leininger, who also funds Governor Perry. Democrats are much more disturbed about the State Board of Education than Red McCombs is, and the Statesman has an obligation to inform people that there are alternatives to moneyed Republican candidates.

  5. Hi, Rebecca. I assume the Statesman will get around to your side of the race. If not, I’m guessing you have the best shot in your primary anyway. Well, Daniel Boone is a question mark. In the general election, I donno. We’ll see.

  6. Aisley Thatchel

    I love science and scientists. But I am educated, with a Bachelor of Science and M.Ed. and it was scientists who once taught the world is flat. It was scientists who taught that there were 9 planets and that Pluto was one. Everyday we learn new things because it is an amazing universe. “…we don’t need an intelligent designer running the whole show”-? THE Intelligent Designer- is precisely who we need running the whole show. But he’s not only quite the scholar, he’s a gentleman – He lets us choose whether we want him in our lives or not. I admit that I am indeed too stupid to comprehend all that he has done. One thing I’ve learned about science is that nothing is exact. I think we need to keep the dialogue open. – Your friend, Aisley

  7. Aisley Thatchel says:

    I love science and scientists. But I am educated … THE Intelligent Designer- is precisely who we need running the whole show.

    Okay, Aisley.

  8. Even a broken clock is right two times a day. Ken Mercer makes a valid point when he argues that a lawyer lobbyist may have some conflicts of interest. I know from attending a forum with Mr. Tuggey that he wants the board to censor books such as Heather Has Two Mommies.
    He also asserts that history books in Texas must include material on Christmas and the Fourth of July. As an educator, I reject the notion that we should waste precious space in a textbook with information that every five-year-old already knows. Do any adults today recall “studying” Christmas or the Fourth of July in their history books? Of course not, because we had to actually study facts and important concepts when we were taking history, rather than a tired repetition of common knowledge.

  9. Rebecca Bell-Metereau says: “He [Tuggey] also asserts that history books in Texas must include material on Christmas and the Fourth of July.”

    I’m sure there’s a reason to mention the Fourth, but only in connection with a lesson on the Declaration. There are no reasons to mention — and certainly not to study — Christmas. The only occasion I can recall that Christmas was involved in US history was when Washington crossed the Delaware and beat the Hessians because they were all drunk from celebrating Christmas.

  10. Gee Aisley, thanks for playing but [GONG] you’re wrong. You don’t seem to have learned much about science from your “Bachelor of Science” degree. Tell the truth now, you really just stopped by because you are a friend of Ken Mercer. I see you just left a similar comment today at the TFN Insider (the blog of the Texas Freedom Network) article “More Silliness from Ken Mercer on the SBOE” ( http://tfninsider.org/2009/05/17/more-silliness-from-ken-mercer-on-the-sboe/ ).

  11. Gee Aisley, thanks for playing but [GONG] you’re wrong. Scientists have never believed the world was flat. They knew within a few miles the circumference of the earth, since the Greeks worked it out well before the birth of Christ.