Texas SBOE Election for 2012: Cargill v. Ellis

This is another post about the coming primary elections for the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE). Yesterday’s post (Texas State Board of Education Races for 2012) was ignored by almost everyone, so naturally we felt compelled to do one more.

Today we’ll discuss the primary race in District 8. The reason this one is important is that the incumbent is Barbara Cargill, the latest chairman of the SBOE to be appointed by Texas Governor Rick Perry. (See Is Texas Governor Rick Perry Insane?) As most of you know, Perry has appointed a string of creationists to lead that board, so our assumption — a strong assumption — is that Cargill is one of the most unqualified people in the universe to hold her position. We would probably support Cargill’s opponent if she were challenged by nothing more than a green cloud of swamp gas.

The District 8 race is reported in the Bryan-College Station Eagle located in Bryan, Texas — hey, that’s where Don McLeroy practices dentistry. Their story is Two vying for District 8 seat on State Education Board. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Two residents of The Woodlands are running against each other to represent District 8 on the State Board of Education. State Board of Education Chair Barbara Cargill is up against Linda Ellis in the May 29 Republican primary.

We already know everything we need to know about Cargill — i.e., she’s a flaming creationist — so let’s see what we can learn about Ellis. Unfortunately, the newspaper doesn’t ask the questions we would ask, so we’ll have to search elsewhere.

This is her campaign website: Vote Linda Ellis. She doesn’t flat-out declare that she’s against all the creationism and theocracy and madness that’s been promoted by the SBOE in the past, but she does say this:

[O]ver the past decade, I’ve watched in horror as ideologues took over the State Board of Education and used it as a platform to politically divide our citizens while at the same time ramming their personal beliefs down the throats of Texas students.

With blatant disrespect for educational experts and ignoring local voices, these ideologues have systematically dismantled our state’s once great public school system and turned Texas public schools into material for comedians on late night TV.

That’s it. Her website doesn’t specifically mention either science education or the SBOE’s theocratic tinkering with the state’s history standards. Except for what we just quoted, it’s all a bunch of timid, fluffy stuff — but at least she’s not Cargill.

Seeking a bit more information, we checked out Teach the Vote, run by the Association of Texas Professional Educators. That website promises: “Texas voters can research the education stances of candidates for the Legislature and the State Board of Education.” It’s a big disappointment. They don’t ask the candidates even a general question about science education, and there’s definitely no mention of evolution, so a visit to them is basically worthless for our purposes.

That’s all we’ve got. The two big assets Ellis has going for her in this primary election are these: (1) she’s probably above room-temperature; and (2) she’s not Barbara Cargill. By golly, that’s good enough for us! Your Curmudgeon enthusiastically endorses Ellis over Cargill.

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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7 responses to “Texas SBOE Election for 2012: Cargill v. Ellis

  1. Curmudgeon: “Except for what we just quoted, it’s all a bunch of timid, fluffy stuff — but at least she’s not Cargill.”

    She did specifically use the word “experts,” and called it “blantant disrespect” of them, not “standing up” to them. Subtle dig at Don the dentist?

  2. Ceteris Paribus

    A challenge to an incumbent in a party primary, or even just the threat of a primary challenger, is the tactic by which power brokers such as Grover Norquist and the theocrats have, in the space of a just few decades, taken over and remade the Republican party in their own graven image of ideology. So it is welcome to see Ellis, or anybody, in the primary contest with Cargill.

    To be credible, primary challenges require backing and support. So are there any reports from down there in Texas that there are still reasonable Republicans who contribute to Ellis and others who might work for restoration of reason? Or is Ellis off on some Quixotic personal mission?

  3. Frank J says:

    She did specifically use the word “experts,” and called it “blantant disrespect” of them

    I noticed, but she referred to “educational” experts, not science experts. It’s those blasphemous science experts that McLeroy was standing up to. “Educational” experts could be just about anything, so I wasn’t impressed.

  4. waldteufel

    I live in Texas, and based on what I’ve read, and the Curmudgeon’s endorsement, I’ve donated to Ellis’ campaign.

    Cargill is a brain dead theocrat who shouldn’t be anywhere near a classroom, let alone sitting on the state BOE.

  5. docbill1351

    Cargill is on record as wanting to scour textbooks for errors because many textbooks are “pro-Islam and anti-Christian.” Nothing to worry about, just your typical uptight, sexually repressed WASP.

  6. Ellis has a good pedigree. I noticed a PhD and employment at non-creationist universities in her “About” section.

  7. Ellis for SBOE 8 is definitely the way to go in today’s primary.

    She is highly opposed to Cargill’s cronyism and the havoc she and her creationist bloc have wreaked on the Texas education system.

    She has firmly stated at debates and Meet & Greets, “Religion should be taught in the home and the church. Science should be taught in the schools.”

    When she says experts, she means experts without the use of “quotes.” Real science experts — like science teachers and working scientists — not pseudo-experts who represent the slanted creationist views of certain members of the board.