Sunday, August 13, 2006

At Least It's on the Editorial Page This Time

"School board candidates should stand on their own," lead editorial, The Post and Courier, Sunday, August 13, 2006.
Showing its true colors, the editorial staff of the Newsless Courier blatantly revealed today that it would like to be in a blue state, or shall we say, a Democratic one. Under the guise of showing how a "slate" of candidates is unfair to the voters, they shot their second (or third depending on how you count it) salvo at the "A-Team" running for Charleston County School Board.

We are a loooong way from the days when the local paper was the FIRST in the nation to endorse Barry Goldwater for President. Then, believe it or not, most voters in the Low Country were Democrats. Unfortunately, many, if not most, Low Country residents (now Republican) still think of it in those terms, and the staff, nurturing that illusion, is careful not to go overboard in endorsing Democrats. Of course, nurturing Democrats is much easier when the election is non-partisan and candidates can hide their liberal opinions behind that label! Thus, the staff feels free to take aim at the "Republican" slate for the non-partisan school board elections.

Apart from being confused (the writer gives the impression that a bill can never become law in South Carolina unless the governor signs it), the editorial makes some rather duplicitious assumptions.

  1. "This is a non-partisan election. Candidates for the board should stand on their own." Why? No rule exists that prohibits candidates running as a team, nor does the editorial suggest one. In fact, that it is non-partisan has nothing to do with running as teams (on a legal basis, that is).
  2. "The measure [to make the races partisan] passed the Legislature three years ago over the objection of groups such as the League of Women Voters ...." Wow! If they object, we know it must be bad [not]. I don't think they're complete idiots at the Newsless Courier; they know that the LWV has been a lackey of the Democratic party for DECADES.
  3. "[passed] without the signature of the governor." My previous point ... if not vetoed, and the legislature adjourns, it will become law. See, the Newsless Courier subtlely intimates that the governor [Sanford] did not approve. SHOW ME THE EVIDENCE.
  4. "... the U.S. Justice Department ... contend[ed] that partisan elections would make it more difficult for minorities to be elected to the board" and thus "thwarted" efforts at partisan races for Charleston County. Well, yes, because the bill set up races in exactly the same fashion that was struck down by the federal courts regarding partisan races for Charleston County Council, where now candidates run in partisan races from DISTRICTS.

The solution to this nonsense is so obvious that, of course, the editorial does not mention it. The editorial also does not mention that in FOUR counties in South Carolina today, school board races are PARTISAN, yes, PARTISAN. Didn't know that, did you? One of them is nearby Georgetown County. The editors don't want you to think about why it's okay there and not here.

You see, the CCSD already has eight constituent districts. Obviously, the Feds would have no problem with partisan school board races in DISTRICTS; that's what they approved for the County Council, which serves the same population!

Truly laughable is the conclusion of the ACLU in this matter (yes, the editors of the Newsless Courier wholeheartedly agree with the ACLU--check for yourself). THEY concluded that implementation of the legislation for partisan school board members in Charleston County would "insure white control of the school board."

As opposed to the black control we have now??? With ONE black school board member out of NINE? No, what the ACLU was worried about was that Democrats would lose control of the school board if they had to identify their true colors.

I'd like to see a school board election in 2006 where every candidate, running as a non-partisan, is forced to identify his or her political party. Then voters would at least have an inkling of what they're getting.

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