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Crossposted on 43rd State Blues

Canyon County, Idaho has not sent a Democrat to the capitol since the early 1980s when Terry Reilly unseated a Nampa Republican.

Times have changed.

And one overriding and particularly heated issue through this entire election season has been the education reform referendums. See Audios: Did Idaho's Superintendent of Public Instruction Grab and Curse Out A Legislator?  Idahoans will vote to keep or trash Propositions 1, 2, and 3. These laws, ironically called "Students Come First,"  would reduce the number of classroom teachers in favor of technology purchased under questionable circumstances. They also virtually eliminate collective bargaining.

Travis Manning is currently an English teacher at Vallivue High School where he has taught for seven years. He is Executive Director of the Common Sense Democracy Foundation of Idaho, an Idaho grassroots think tank formed in June 2011 in response to radical education reform measures in Idaho. He is a member of the Idaho Council of Teachers of English and active participant with the Boise State Writing Project. Travis is active in his local teacher’s association where he has led and been engaged in numerous committees. He supports all of his fellow teachers and all of the hard work they do. In 2011 he spoke out at the Idaho House and Senate Education Committee hearings in support of Idaho public schools, and has since published a number of editorials across the great state of Idaho supporting the voices of all Idaho citizens in the legislative process. He supports the needs of all learners in public schools and works hard in his teaching to reach out to help struggling students. He is an advocate for parents and teachers, believing they are critical stakeholders in the success of Idaho’s children.

Here is an excerpt from the Manning endorsement in the Idaho Press Tribune:

Republican Brandon Hixon has been a good party worker, even leading the charge for the county GOP caucus.

But in a period where elected officials have disgraced the Grand Old Party — particularly in Caldwell where then-Sen. John McGee twice brought shame to the Legislature, and a long and expensive legal battle (on the taxpayers’ dime) involving former Canyon County Prosecutor John Bujak, voters may be more inclined to vote for candidates with untarnished records.

When answering this pre-election question: What standard should elected officials be held to, Hixon said this: “Much higher standard than average, with the understanding that even elected officials are imperfect humans.” ... Many people have a few mistakes that could haunt them if running for office, but only one candidate – 31-year-old Brandon Hixon – has five misdemeanors, 15 infractions and three civil actions for financial failings. Hixon says his court history is not a reflection of what will happen in the future. But let’s face it, his standard of expectations is low. That’s not the way to start a political career.

I wrote more about this troubled young man here: Candidate Brandon Hixon: The Newest Face of Canyon County Republican Corruption.

From the Idaho Statesman:

Manning was drawn into this race because of Students Come First; he is a teacher opposed to the laws. But Manning, a Democrat, isn’t a one-issue candidate, and we were struck by one difference between Manning and Republican Brandon Hixon.

Where Hixon downplayed ethics issues, saying most of the complaints are coming from Democrats, Manning says the issue resonates with Canyon County constituents who have followed the McGee case and the saga of former prosecutor John Bujak. In this open race, Manning offers a stronger command of the issues, and gets our endorsement.

All the pundits now agree. Travis Manning is the right choice on November 6.

Originally posted to The Book Bear on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:12 AM PDT.

Also republished by Koscadia.

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