Republicans everywhere have been running away from debates, coming up with one excuse after another. Now Debate Anxiety has spread to the Texas Republican State Board of Education candidates as well.The Texas GOP claimed the League of Women Voters wouldn’t run a fair debate because LWV organizers had voted Democratic in the past. Now they are dodging a debate hosted by the League of United Latin American Citizens. Republicans are running away from any forum where they might face difficult questions. Anyone who doesn’t have the courage to face voters and their own record must be running scared.
It’s not surprising that District 5 incumbent Ken Mercer, an insurance man and one-term politician, doesn’t want to debate. We already know that when people learn what he’s done on the board, they don’t want him to stay in office and continue to inject politics and personal agendas into SBOE decisions. As a candidate for SBOE 5, I want the public to hear from Mercer, so voters can decide which candidate is truly qualified for the job. I doubt if he has the courage to defy his party and face public scrutiny, however.
Voters want to see the board return a more rational and sane approach to education. We should listen to teacher and curriculum expert recommendations, work to reduce the staggering dropout rate, and improve students’ preparation for 21st century higher education and better jobs.
Everywhere I go, Texans tell me how embarrassed they are by the current board and ask what they can do about it. Please help me win District 5 and Judy Jennings win District 10 in November. Also, support Michael Soto, who is running a great campaign in historically Democratic District 3. In 2011, we can have three new Democrats on the board, working productively with the Democrats and Republicans who care more about education than politics. We will return the curriculum to the review committees of teachers and experts to clean up the plagiarism and outrageous revisions extremists forced through in the last few sessions.
In order to do this, we need your help. For the next 24 hours Judy Jennings and I are hosting a “blog raiser.” We have a great lineup of Daily Kos writers and others who are going to write about the State Board of Education. Please help us out, and when you see one of these diaries give it a rec and a comment. Second, give a few dollars yourself. Every little bit helps, and $5, $10, or $15 at a time will help restore sanity to this board.