Thursday, November 17, 2011

New Front in Culture War at the SBOE

I was shocked in 2010 when George Clayton defeated Geraldine "Tincy" Miller for the GOP nomination for the District 12 seat on the State Board of Education (SBOE). Clayton was an unknown. Miller was the longtime incumbent. Most attributed his victory to an indiscriminate anti-incumbent attitude by the voters. I personally was lukewarm (lukecool?) to both candidates, but I sided with Miller because at least I knew what I was getting with her. I was concerned with what I was hearing from Clayton.

Since the 2010 election, I have heard little about George Clayton's service on the SBOE. In recent years, I've considered no news to be good news when it comes to the SBOE. Usually the SBOE makes news for pushing Creationism in the science curriculum or Christian revisionism or McCarthyism in the American history curriculum. So, if George Clayton and the SBOE were keeping theirs heads low, they couldn't be doing too much damage, right?

Well, George Clayton has now raised his head, on a surprising matter that is likely to become a factor in his bid for re-election. After the jump, the story by Ross Ramsey in the Texas Tribune.

Apparently, there have been some rumors circulating that George Clayton felt compelled to address. Ross Ramsey:
State Board of Education member George Clayton, R-Richardson, says he wants to cut short a rumor campaign about his sexual orientation. He sent an email to several news organizations about it.

"So as to avoid the tyranny of misinformation and innuendo in this political race, I wish to say that I, in fact, do have a male partner who lives with me in my home in Richardson, Texas. ... All of us can now move on with discussions concerning education instead of being overly occupied with my personal life," he wrote.

Former SBOE member Geraldine "Tincy" Miller is running against Clayton. His efforts to put to rest any question might instead have made his partner a central issue in the race. Donna Garner, who has been involved on behalf of social conservatives in past SBOE races, cited his announcement as the reason she is renouncing her endorsement of Clayton's re-election bid.

In an email to reporters and copied to Clayton, she wrote, "If Clayton is indeed a homosexual, then we as voters must be concerned about re-electing him to the SBOE since the Board will soon begin the process of writing and adopting Health curriculum requirements for all Texas public school students."
Source: Texas Tribune.
Whether Clayton's housemate is male or female is irrelevant to the business of the SBOE. If it's a deal-breaker for Donna Garner and other social conservatives, it suggests to me that they have a different agenda than improving public education in Texas. I'm with Clayton on this one.

1 comment:

Mark Steger said...

Morgan Smith, in this story in the Texas Tribune, has much more on the upcoming SBOE races.