Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Smear Tactics and School Board Campaigns

The Delaware Civil War over education continues, and the evidence suggests we have reached the point where any civility (or common sense) has left the building.

The case for the prosecution, a garbage hate site called:

Vote No on Val Harris 4 Christina School Board

Now, for truth in advertising purposes, I think I have met Ms. Harris once, with a large group of other people in an event at Delaware State University, hosted by our President, Dr. Harry Williams.  I have no idea about what she believes, who is funding her campaign, or exactly what she's done to so aggravate one WEEGEESQEEGEE to engage in this type of tactics.

What I do know is that this blog engages in character assassination, pure, simple, and vomitously vile.

Let's take a look, reading from bottom to top.

Valene Harris today appeared on Wilmington TV channel 28 to get a one sided endorsement from an education reformist who knows little about schools. She appeared concerned about PZ schools but offered no solutions.

No solutions = no vote.

OK WeeGee, let's count the ways:

1--Most endorsements are one-sided, or they are not endorsements.

2--Who was the "ed reformist" and how does WeeGee know they knew little about schools?  Don't know, but hey I generally trust my voting decisions to somebody who picks an internet handles named after a wet cleaning implement.

3--Ms. Harris was concerned about PZ schools.  You'd think this was a good thing.

4--But she didn't have any solutions.  If she did, we'd also like to see her part the Red Sea.  Everybody in Delaware understands that Partnership Zone Schools are in serious trouble, and pretty much nobody knows what to do about them.  That's, uh, why they are problems

Then there's there's a criticism of Ms. Harris's answers for the WNJ candidate poll as being too sketchy.

However, before one throws stones, one ought to examine the evidence.  Consult the View From Lower Delaware, where Milford School Board member Wolfe Gary makes a very important point about these questions:

First I was more then disappointed with your attempt at posting information about the upcoming school board elections in the Sunday News Journal on 22-Apr-2012. Your article did not even mention half of the questions that we were asked in the survey, and you posted some of that information out of context. 
In other words, we don't actually know what Ms. Harris said in her answers, because the paper didn't print all of them.

Next good old WeeGee accuses Ms. Harris of funding the notorious push poll that has been working its way around the state.  Notice those last words "working its way around the state."  No candidate in any district authorized it.  But WeeGee asserts that Ms. Harris is tied to it (without evidence--one does not need evidence when RIGHT is on their side, you know), and then accuses her of breaking election law by not filing a report of all the contributions that WeeGee knows must be there.

Newsflash, WeeGee:  if a school board candidate raises less than $2,000, they don't have to file a report.  It's called "the law."

Next, because Ms. Harris is honest about which "side" she supports in the ed reform war, WeeGee has her "spewing rhetoric" and "gulping down"--what did she do that was so horrible?  She supported Common Core Standards.  Yep, there's room for people to disagree over the Federal imposition of Common Core Standards, but just because Ms. Harris believes in them and says so doesn't make her an enemy of children, does it?  Oh, it does.  Never mind.

Love the next one, the accusation that Ms. Harris is a "Leadership Delaware Plant."  Usually, WeeGee, the term "plant" is reserved for somebody who is hiding something, not somebody who posts their status as a Leadership Delaware fellow on their campaign web page.  Great going, Sherlock.  You alleged a conspiracy over something the candidate is proud enough of to brag about.

As a matter of fact, WeeGee old fellow/girl, your current Christina School Board President Eric Anderson is also a former Leadership Delaware Fellow.

And while Leadership Delaware does have a politically conservative bent in its senior leadership, the reason you will find education reformers (Lillian Lowery, Paul Herdman and "Skip" Scheonfels) and and eclectic array of others on the speakers' list, including folks like Senator Chris Coons, Joseph Masiello (Teacher of the Year), Deborah Stevens of the DSEA, Councilman Jea Street, DSU President Dr. Harry Williams, and Tom "Tommywonk" Noyes.  All of these people, by agreeing to speak before this group have also thereby indicated their belief that this is a mainstream leadership development group--legitimate if tending conservative.

In other words, good ole WeeGee is attempting to sell you a conspiracy where none exists.

The next part is equally on the up-and-up, WeeGee--"Will Valene Harris bring church into schools?"

The source:  again, that super-secret document, Ms. Harris' campaign webpage, where she admits--OMG OMG OMG stop the presses--that she attends church, considers herself a Christian, has worked in church-related youth groups, and probably plans to bring back the Inquisition or have the Gideons pass out Bibles to your 2nd Graders.  (Those last two are in there to see if you are still reading.)

So Ms. Harris' abetting sin is that . . . she goes to church and participates in community service.

Damn her and all those like her.

What you got, WeeG?  Oh, yeah--your own little investigation discovered that she pays her taxes on time, but you think her sewer bill is too low.

Plainly a candidate with no tax arrears demands an investigation and should not be trusted.

Then the WeeG goes back to unfounded innuendo about Leadership Delaware trying to buy the election.  The amazing thing about this rhetoric is that it actually passes for public discourse in the current Delaware Education Civil War.

We end, bringing you up to date, with the WeeG demanding to see tax receipts and tax filings that no other candidate will be asked to show, and why?  Because she shows tax arrears?  No, every "investigation" (and I use the term loosely, as in loose screws) shows no liens, no defaults, and no delinquencies.  But the Wedgie cannot find more than two years of records on the County website, and  . . . wait for it . . . there must be a conspiracy.

So, according to the Wedgie, here's what's wrong with Valene Harris

She pays her taxes on time and in full.

She has a position on some educational issues that the Wedge doesn't agree with.

She's a Leadership Delaware fellow (shhh, don't tell anybody).

She goes to church.

She received an endorsement from somebody the Wedgie doesn't like.

She appeared on TV.

She's probably a female impersonator from Canada who does two shows a night at Rehobeth Beach every summer.  No, wait, that's Christopher Petersen.  You really should see his show.

But I digress.

Why do I digress?

Because I'd like to be able to say that dear old WeeGeeSqueeGee is some sort of anomaly in the Delaware Education Civil War.

But, unfortunately, he/she/or probably it isn't.

Disclaimer:  I have nothing to do with the Christina School Board race, and absolutely no idea whether Valene Harris would make a good board member or not.  And I am also working with the campaign of Joanne Johansen for the Red Clay School Board, which has absolutely nothing to do with this post.

What this post has to do with is character assassination and mudslinging of the vilest kind, that has suddenly become an acceptable tactic in Delaware.

1 comment:

Ed Diagnostician said...

Awful site, just awful.