Monday, December 3, 2012

Daniels Continues Attack on Public Educators

Mitch Daniels
His educational reforms rejected at the 2012 ballot box; Mitch Daniels besmirched the reputation of Indiana educators and accused them of using illegal means to help Glenda Ritz win election as Superintendent of Public Instruction.  The report appeared online on Saturday in the Indianapolis Star.

Despite the fact that Mitch's chosen one, Tony Bennett, had all the money, slick campaign ads, and the attention of media outlets across the state, Bennett fell short and Ritz won the election with 1.3 million votes.  This amounted to more votes than Governor-Elect Mike Pence received.  For a "down ballot" race, this is remarkable.

Daniels alleged, without evidence, that teachers were sending campaign e-mails on Ritz's behalf during school time using school resources.  He also alleged that teachers used back-to-school nights to talk about the Superintendent of Public Instruction race.

The only place I saw many teachers posting was on their own personal Facebook and Twitter accounts.  Before and after hours, teachers and future teachers took to the web to sound the alarm about Dr. Bennett and his policies.  It was a brilliant social media strategy.

Glenda Ritz
When I talked with a few of my former students who were going to go into teaching, they were all aware of Ritz and Bennett and the stakes of the election.  That certainly surprised me.  Even my mom knew.

Now, tell me how does that work when Ritz had only enough money for a few ads...mostly on the radio?  That's good word of mouth and social media campaigning.  Ritz also found an unlikely group of supporters in Tea Party activists upset about Bennett's push to overrun publicly-elected school boards as well as his love of the common core curriculum.  I doubt this was 1.3 million votes, but it did help.

Instead of congratulating her on a great campaign, Ritz's opponents are acting like they are afraid of what she might do in office.  Abdul-Hakim Shabazz wrote another critical column on his Indy Politics site on Saturday.  He's been hanging on her like glue.  Daniels has also been loose-tongued about all of this, and there are signs that the Indiana General Assembly is going to try to strip Ritz of all her powers before she has a chance to speak up.  I'd advise them to be careful.  That Twitter and Facebook campaign that helped elect Ritz can be put into play to help send home politicians that refuse to listen to what the voters have said with their ballots.

What are they so afraid of in trying to silence her?  Republicans like Daniels hold all the legislative cards.  I think it's crystal clear that they are trying to marginalize Ritz and attach her as a mouthpiece of the teachers unions so that people will stop paying attention to what she says.

As far as Daniels goes, you have to wonder why he's so bitter?  Makes you wonder if Daniels may be regretting taking that job at Purdue University that essentially put him on the sidelines the entire General Election season.

1 comment:

guy77money said...

Short guys hate to lose! :)