Friday, November 07, 2008

Democratic Stealth Campaign in CCSD

Under the radar. Well, at least it was under my radar, but as usual one commenter has made sense of Tuesday's results for Charleston County School Board.

Here's a snippet plus my take on why the analysis makes sense:
"Good old fashioned dirty politics based on rumor and fear[. . .]. Add Altman to the ballot and he became a target in an already high profile election. The others just became collateral damage."

"Despite this being non-partisan, the two political parties are working openly for certain candidates. This only causes further partisan divisions."

Those of us who don't travel in educrat or partisan circles wouldn't realize how carefully Mayor Riley managed to get the word out. Certainly the P & C wouldn't cover that. It's believable because of the GOP-sponsored ad in the P & C just before the election for four recommended candidates--Stewart, Engelman, Kandrac, and Lecque.

When I saw it, I was a bit mystified why it had appeared. I didn't view all these candidates as Republicans. Now I know they simply were the ones not being pushed by the Democrats.

Do voters in Charleston realize that, in the large majority of states, non-partisan positions are voted upon on a different date than partisan ones?

How did South Carolina arrive at this crazy "system"?

"It really is ironic that the Democratic Party has gone out on a limb by backing the candidates they have. [. . .] Why any political party would want to claim 'ownership' of this board is beyond me. Maybe we should give out the personal contact information so parents with problems might be able to reach the party leadership and the mayor at home. They can’t expect Toya Green or Greg Meyers to be much help."

Maybe the question should be, what does the Democratic Party have to gain by backing these candidates? Unfortunately, corruption comes to mind.

Where do Mayors Summey and Hallman stand in this "non-partisan" effort? Were they on board as well? Do they care?
"To some extent the Republicans have painted themselves out of the picture by never having gained any real influence on the school board. AR’s isolation on the current board proves the point."

Now, here I must disagree. They never had a chance. Republicans have never gained any real influence on CCSD's School Board because any school board is the last refuge of Democrats in a generally Republican area. Democrats can run as "non-partisans," and most Republicans are none the wiser. I saw this disguise work all too well in the New Jersey suburbs.

Add to the previous remarks another commenter's observation that the North Charleston results reflect two black versus one white candidate, and the total finally make sense.

How someone as sensible and well-educated on school policies as David Engelman could be defeated while at the same time Chris Collins, a novice who thinks that the student population in Charleston County is down because some students have decided to attend schools in Berkeley County instead (well, that's what he said!) is, in fact, an example of the world turned upside down.

How school board trustees are elected needs to be reformed if the Charleston County School District, especially its downtown schools, is to become truly excellent.

No comments: