Monday, October 27, 2014

In The Public's Interest!

By Jeff Simpson - Cross Posted at Purple Wisconsin

There are 426 School Districts in the State of Wisconsin, that currently serve over 800,000 public school students.   In each of these 426 school districts, there is a democratically elected school board that represents the community in running the School District(approximately 3000 elected School Board members in WI).
 In 1921, the Wisconsin Association of School Boards(WASB) was formed.  WASB seeks to advance education through supporting the tradition of local school board control of the state’s public schools. The Wisconsin Association of School Boards is a member-driven organization that supports,
promotes and advances the interests of public education in Wisconsin.   WASB offers various services, from advice, to training, to advocacy and information.   One thing WASB also does is send out questions to candidates running for elected office that focus on education. 
This year was no different....well it was a little different(amphasis mine):
As it has done for a number of years, the Wisconsin Association of School Boards (WASB) has conducted a question-and-answer with the gubernatorial candidates, in this case Walker, the incumbent, and the challenger Mary Burke.
According to the WASB website, “In keeping with our past practice, we posed a series of questions to the candidates on a range of education issues. Governor Walker’s response to the survey request stated ‘our campaign will not be completing any interest group surveys or interviews.’”
WASB did publish Mary Burke's responses and they can be found here!
Scott Walker has time to be interviewed by Hugh Hewitt, The right wing American Spectator Magazine, The right wing talk tank Hoover Institute, the despicable Rush Limbaugh, CNN, New York Times, and GQ, where this was revealed:
Back when Scott Walker was a young politician on the make, he was known in media circles as a guy only too happy to supply quotes. Today the governor rarely does interviews. (At the outset, his staff would only promise me two or three of what they called "pullouts"—a chance to ever-so-briefly grab him after an event and on the way to his car—though ultimately I was granted two sit—downs of about twenty minutes each.) Instead, Walker's preferred vehicle for conveying his opinions is supplied by Sykes and other (right wing)talk-radio hosts, since their deference to him is almost vassal-like. As Walker's former chief of staff, Keith Gilkes, told me, "It's a medium where the governor can go on the air and deliver a message unfiltered."
We also found out in the #walkerdocs drop, that Scott Walker enjoys telling our local right wing talk radio jocks what they should be talking about:
In 2008, after the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorialized in favor of light rail, Walker turned to his talk radio allies to make clear his opposition to government-funded rail transit.
He frequently dropped conservative talkers Sykes, Belling, Weber, Jeff Wagner and Vicki McKenna emails with talking points about major issues before the county, and often distributed treats.
“County Executive Scott Walker plans on making his rounds next week to deliver his own special holiday treat — Frosted Pecans (I have already heard just about every nut joke, but you can try) to thank his radio friends for getting the word out throughout the year on the Executive’s Ride, the Budget, and other county-related issues,” spokeswoman Fran McLaughlin wrote in a December 2007 email.
Then of course if he filled out questionnaires to let people in Wisconsin know where he stands, it might cut into his time running around the country campaigning for others!  
It is hard to be "open for business", when you consider public education a special interest and have no time for it in your busy schedule of campaigning.  
As Derek Bok says "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance." 

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