WE are delighted to see the major newspapers in Texas paying attention to the usually neglected elections for the State Board of Education. In the past, the press’ understandable neglect of “down ballot” elections for unexciting posts has permitted fanatics to slip into office, causing an astonishing amount of damage.
With publicity, however, the people will know who is running for these offices and what the issues are. If the voters of Texas, in their wisdom, elect a pack of foaming-at-the-mouth young-earth creationists, theocrats, and flat-earthers, then so be it. It’s their state, their schools, and they have the right to raise their kids to be ignoramuses and dunderheads. As long as the issues are well publicized, your Curmudgeon will accept the results — reserving, of course, the right to ridicule if the results are not to our liking.
In the Dallas Morning News we read Social conservative faces tough battle for state ed board seat.
In this context, the expression “social conservative” should be translated as “Noah’s Ark Nutcase.” Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:
The battle for control of the State Board of Education will largely be determined by Republican primary voters in four key races – and nowhere is the competition more fierce than for the seat that represents part of Collin County and much of East Texas.
The four races they’re thinking of are probably those we mentioned here: Texas SBOE: Primary Election Picks. But in today’s article the Dallas Morning News is talking about the race in District 9. Let’s read on:
No Democrat filed, so the GOP winner is expected to cruise to election in November.
Don McLeroy of College Station, one of the most outspoken social conservatives on the panel, is facing perhaps his toughest challenger since he was first elected in 1998.
If you’re new to this, we have some background information:
Don McLeroy is the creationist dentist whom Texas Governor Rick Perry had appointed as chairman of the BOE, but the Texas senate recently voted to reject that nomination. The disgrace of rejection was largely because McLeroy — a young-earth creationist — had presided over the Texas Science Chainsaw Massacre.
Also, see: The Mind of a Creationist Dentist. We continue:
His opponent is Thomas Ratliff, a legislative consultant and lobbyist who has won the support of mainstream public education groups as he tries to shake up the increasingly powerful social conservative bloc on the board.
“I want to take politics out of our public schools,” Ratliff said during a candidate forum in Richardson last week. The Mount Pleasant resident said Texans are tired of political posturing on the board as the social conservative bloc – led by McLeroy – tries to impose its views in history, science and other areas of the curriculum.
That’s good enough for us to favor Ratliff. If you’re still wavering, here’s more:
McLeroy, a former board chairman, was unapologetic about the actions of the social conservatives over the last three years, when they have held seven of the 15 seats on the board. Frequently – but not always – they were able to gain a majority by picking up an eighth vote from one of the other three Republicans on the board or one of the five Democrats.
“While my opponent says these last few years have been distractions, I look at them as being incredible accomplishments that will help our children,” he told the Richardson audience.
There’s additional information in the Dallas Morning News, including details about where the candidates stand on specific issues. Click over there to read the whole article.
And remember: The date for the primary election is Tuesday, 02 March.
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