Sunday, September 05, 2010

State Board of Ed.: Why Republicans Take Cover

The League of Women Voters have invited local (to Austin) candidates for all levels of state office to debate the issues. A debate that will be aired from the studios of KLRU on the UT campus.

Judy Jennings
Both Rebecca Bell-Metereau and Judy Jennings, candidates for State Board of Education seats in District 5 and 10, respectively, have accepted their invitation to debate.
Rebecca Bell-Metereau

As they should. All candidates for public office owe their participation in debate to the voters so they can make informed decisions on the issues and the candidates they have before them in the November election. The League of Women Voters, an organization founded in 1920 to allow newly enfranchised American women to make more educated decisions on their newly won responsibility, has always been, to my mind, a group that has always produced impartial political forums for the candidates.

No one, up to now that is, has ever questioned the integrity of this organization.

But now the integrity of the Austin-area LWV has been questioned, no really the word is indicted, by Republican Party of Texas Chairman Steve Munisteri.

“In Austin, the League of Women Voters should really be called the 'League of Women Democrats,'" Texas Republican Party Chairman Steve Munisteri said, explaining why he advised Ken Mercer and Marsha Farney — Republican candidates for the State Board of Education in Districts 5 and 10, respectively — to skip the debate, which is scheduled to be taped Sept. 28 at KLRU studios at the University of Texas.” 
“Munisteri said the league's leaders have ties to the Democratic Party, and he provided a list showing that all six of the league's elected officers have voted in Democratic primaries in recent years and other leaders have contributed money to Democrats, including the ones in the debate. (In Texas, voters do not register a party affiliation but indicate it when they vote in a party's primary.)”
Now granted the data that Munisteri had was no doubt true, that is all in records that anyone with access to the databases can access. And frankly, it does not surprise me that the Austin-area leaders have Democratic leanings simply because they are interested in hearing both sides and letting both sides show the true differences between them.

It doesn’t surprise me because this year more than anything else it will be up to Republicans to keep voters in the dark over their positions and simply use the smoke and mirrors that have become their trademark to deflect attention away from themselves. Directing attention instead toward that Black, racist Nazi, communist, Kenyan Muslim sleeping in a bed in the White House that only white men should sleep in.

So it makes sense to me that the forum organizers be Democrats. What doesn’t make sense to me is that in being Democrats these people then by definition possess such a low degree of integrity that they will fashion a forum for debate exclusively in order to ambush the Republican debaters.

Munisteri provided ample evidence that they are Democrats, but not one shred of evidence that the debate organizers are artful, deceiving liars.

My guess, therefore, is that he arrived at this rather unearned accusation because he knows that if Republicans were organizing a debate forum like this, that this is exactly what they would do: lay an ambush for the Democrats.

There is no other explanation.

Either that, or Munisteri is simply conjuring up a reason for Republican SBOE candidates not to debate because to do so allows Texans to make informed decisions on Republican candidates, and that, in the end, is the last thing he wants them to do.

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