There was a remarkable and blistering editorial published last week in the Longview News-Journal. The paper’s editorial board writes about an email distributed by JoAnn Fleming to members of the influential East Texas tea party group she leads, Grassroots America-We the People (GAWTP).

In the email, Fleming complains of “the politics of personal destruction” as some members of her group reportedly lashed out at her, with insults, after GAWTP voted to withdraw its endorsement of controversial Texas State Board of Education candidate Mary Lou Bruner. Bruner subsequently lost her SBOE District 9 Republican runoff in late May.

Here’s the blistering part. Of the attacks on Fleming — she’s been told she’s “going to hell” for being a “turncoat” and a “Saul Alinsky acolyte,” among other things — the paper’s editorial board writes:

And this surprises her?

Over-the-top tactics have always been a part of her group’s playbook. There’s nothing new there. Of course, the words usually are directed at moderates or liberals (though there are few of the latter in East Texas).

Now, Fleming is learning firsthand that once the weaponry of personal destruction is used, it becomes the tool of choice.

In other words this is like far-right Republicans who have… Read More

Bruner: I Ran to Expose the ‘Evil’ Actions of ‘Cock-Roaches’

An update has been added to the end of this post.

One more (possibly final?) thing on Mary Lou Bruner. As far as we can tell, she has not returned phone calls from reporters seeking comment on the election results that saw her lose the Texas State Board of Education Republican primary runoff to Keven Ellis of Lufkin.

But she still has the Facebook account where she made the many controversial comments that first made the SBOE District 9 race a national story. A few hours after the race was called, Bruner took to Facebook and offered a dignified concession:

While campaigning and traveling across the beautiful rural counties of Texas SBOE-9, I have been blessed to get to know so many wonderful families in North and East Texas.

I want to thank all of the faithful volunteers and friends who supported my candidacy and shared my dream of Texas schools returning to the traditional knowledge and skills that made the USA the leader of the world.

But then, the following day, she added another post in which she appears to call those who opposed her as “cock-roaches” and “evil.” She first refers to them as the “Establishment”… Read More

Rabbi Neal Katz, a TFN board member who lives in the Texas State Board of Education district Mary Lou Bruner was running to represent, asked us to share this message.

I’m breathing a sigh of relief today, and I hope you are too: Mary Lou Bruner, the State Board of Education candidate who peddled wild conspiracy theories and insulted teachers, was defeated last night in District 9’s run-off election.

That’s my district. My children go to public school here. That’s why I’m relieved she was defeated, and why I’m incredibly proud to serve on the board of the Texas Freedom Network.

Bruner was on a fast-track to the SBOE until TFN broke this story. And their relentless efforts ultimately derailed her campaign. Will you join TFN today as a member to sustain these crucial efforts in our state?

Truly, I’ve been worried the past few months about the possibility that Mary Lou would have any say in my children’s education — much less the five million students in Texas schools. Can you imagine science textbooks that tell students dinosaurs might still be around if Noah’s Ark had been bigger?

There’s no doubt in my mind Mary Lou Bruner… Read More

Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller released the following statement regarding tonight’s loss by Mary Lou Bruner in the runoff for the Republican nomination for State Board of Education District 9:

“Texas escaped an education train wreck tonight. If Bruner had ultimately won election to the board, she would have instantly become the most embarrassingly uninformed and divisive member on a board that already too often puts politics ahead of making sure our kids get a sound education. We commend the majority of East Texas voters for their wisdom in this particular race.”

The State Board of Education sets curriculum standards and adopts textbooks for the state’s more than 5 million public school students.

The victor in the GOP runoff was Keven Ellis, a chiropractor and president of the school board in the East Texas town of Lufkin. Bruner, a retired educator from Mineola, drew national attention to the race with outrageous statements made on her Facebook page, in public forums and in media interviews. Among them:… Read More

Buyer’s Remorse? Tea Party Group Pulls Bruner Endorsement

An influential East Texas Tea Party group has taken back its endorsement of Mary Lou Bruner, the controversial Republican vying for the District 9 seat on the Texas State Board of Education.

The group, Grassroots America-We the People, took issue with Bruner’s refusal to address the numerous inaccurate statements about public education she made at a gathering of school superintendents earlier this month. On the other hand, though, the group doesn’t seem to have much of a problem with Bruner’s many, many other inaccurate claims and her peddling of outlandish conspiracy theories, which Grassroots America surely knew about when they first endorsed her months ago.

In a press release issued Wednesday, Grassroots America executive director JoAnn Fleming announced that a majority of the group’s board of directors voted to pull the endorsement. It was the first time Grassroots America had taken such a step in the organization’s seven-year history, she said.

From the release:

One of the reasons we endorsed Mrs. Bruner was because of her long years of experience as a teacher. We believe the practical classroom experience of teachers is not respected or valued enough by many public school administrators, trustees, and legislators attempting to “fix”… Read More

Texas Freedom Network

Senate Democrats, we need you to continue to vote NO on Greg Abbott’s @TXsecofstate nominee @gdwhitley! #PurgeWhitley #VoterSuppression #txlege bit.ly/2GOia31