Thursday, April 26, 2012

SBOE: It's George Clayton by Elimination

This week, I've reviewed two GOP candidates for the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) -- Gail Spurlock and Tincy Miller -- and found their candidacies wanting. That left me, reluctantly, leaning towards endorsing the incumbent, George Clayton, on the grounds that I haven't heard anything about him contributing to the stupid antics of the SBOE. But, to be fair, I couldn't leave it at that without spending some effort trying to find out what Clayton is up to in his own campaign.

After the jump, I'm still trying, but what I'm finding isn't helping.

First, you have to realize that George Clayton is running an unconventional campaign, to put it kindly. First, he announced he wasn't running for re-election to the SBOE at all, but instead would challenge Angie Chen Button in her own re-election bid in Texas House District 112. That didn't turn out too well for Clayton. No sooner did he announce than the courts released new maps for the 2012 election and Clayton learned that he doesn't even live in House District 112. Announcing a change when he knew the redistricting wasn't finalized is not a sign of competence. So, it was back to the SBOE race for Clayton.

Maybe this history explains the odd URL Clayton chose for his SBOE campaign website: He told The Dallas Morning News that his campaign website is but that URL leads nowhere. The website he does have shows as little thought and effort as the URL. The page's title is good enough: "ReElect George Clayton -- State Board of Education -- Collin, Dallas Counties." And then, ..., well, that's it.

The home page contains a large portrait of Clayton in front of a book shelf, and his resume, mostly positions he's held at unnamed schools, including "Coordinate Sat. School." Then there's a row of menu links across the top of the page, labeled:

  • New Contact Us Widget 1
  • New Text Widget 2
  • New Text Widget 2
  • Schedule of Events
  • Page 2
  • Page 2 [sic]

The only page with any content is the Schedule of Events:

  • Return from Break
    Mon Jan 7th at 8:00am-5:00pm
  • Carnival Meeting
    Tue Jan 15th at 8:00am-9:00am
  • Martin Luther King Day
    January 22
  • 2nd Qtr. Report Cards
    Thu Jan 24th at 6:30pm-7:30pm
  • PTA Meeting - January
    Mon Feb 4th at 5:00pm-8:00pm
  • Spirit Night - February
    Tue Feb 5th at 2:30pm-5:00pm
  • Talent Show Rehearsal
    2/7/2008 8:00 AM
  • Parent/Teacher Conferences
    Fri Feb 8th at 7:00pm-9:00pm
  • Talent Show
    Thu Feb [sic]
Come on, George. I already said I was leaning towards endorsing you, but you have to try just a little bit. Tincy Miller presents me with a deal-breaker in her association with Bill Ames, and I believe a potted plant would be a better choice than Gail Spurlock, but come on, George, your website doesn't show evidence that you rise even to the level of a potted plant.

To end this review on a more positive note, I did find this answer from Clayton in The Dallas Morning News's Voter's Guide:

The standards must be the product of experts in their particular field, of which teachers are certainly a part. Standards should never be the product of political ideologues, from whatever perspective.
Yay, George! Now you're talking. How about getting a little more of that up on your website? Don't make me feel like a complete fool for thinking of endorsing you.


Adam W said...

Curious as to your thoughts on Pam Little and Lois Parrot.

Mark Steger said...

Adam, thanks for the question. I'll have something to say about Pam Little tomorrow. As for Lois Parrott, she is running as a Democrat, so she isn't in the GOP primary. I'll have something to say about Parrott in the fall before the general election.