Civil rights activist Dolores Huerta has earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom despite being alive, the White House announced last week.

Huerta will receive the nation’s highest civilian honor at a ceremony later this year along with the still-living astronaut John Glenn, still-breathing former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, still-has-a-pulse musician Bob Dylan, still-walking-the-earth former University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt, and others.

Not long ago, in Texas, Huerta had a tougher time getting recognition at the State Board of Education. During the social studies standards debacle of 2010, some members of the far-right bloc on the state board argued that Huerta should not be included in the history standards because she is not an example of good citizenship and because — you guessed it — she is still alive.

Said board member David Bradley, R-Beaumont, at the time:

And then I’ve got another criteria that I use. I am very reluctant to include persons who are still alive. By definition of history you should be dead, because you never know when you might embarrass us later.

Two years later we still can’t find Bradley’s definition of history in a dictionary.

The living vs.… Read More

Because of redistricting, all 15 seats on the Texas State Board of Education will be up for grabs in the November 2012 elections. The results of those elections will determine whether the religious right’s corrosive influence over public education will weaken or grow as the board considers what the next generation of public school students in Texas will learn about sex education, social studies, science and other subjects. We plan to publish on TFN Insider candidate announcements for a seat on the SBOE. We will publish announcements in no particular order, and their publication does not constitute any sort of endorsement by TFN. We will redact requests for contributions or mentions of fundraising events from the announcements, but we will provide links to the candidates’ websites (if available).

Click here to go to TFN’s SBOE Election HQ, with in-depth information about state board districts, elections and candidates this year.

David Bradley, District 7, R-Beaumont (Incumbent)

David Bradley, first elected to the State Board of Education in 1996, is seeking re-election this year. Bradley is a leader of the state board’s far-right faction. We missed his earlier announcement about his re-election bid and are including that here.

David… Read More

The Examiner, a Southeast Texas newspaper based in Beaumont, calls the controversy over two State Board of Education campaign fundraisers last weekend “another embarrassment for David Bradley.” The editorial today recounts a list of shenanigans by a ringleader of the state board’s far-right faction over the years, including:

Bradley’s indictment on a charge of violating the state’s Open Meetings Act in 2002 Bradley’s support for new social studies curriculum standards in 2010 that even the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute has said are filled with “political distortions” Claims by a former state board member (and fellow Republican) that she felt so threatened by Bradley that her husband asked the Texas Education Agency to post an armed guard at board meetings

And now someone who publishes instructional materials, David Barton, has been a featured speaker at two campaign fundraisers for Bradley, who sits on a body that approves instructional materials for use in public schools across Texas. The Texas Freedom Network has called on the district attorneys in Jefferson (Beaumont) and Harris (Houston) counties — where the fundraisers were held — to determine whether Barton’s fundraising help violated state law.

You can read… Read More

The Texas Freedom Network just sent out the following press release:


TFN Asks for Investigation into Whether David Barton’s Support for SBOE Incumbent David Bradley Violates State Law

The Texas Freedom Network today asked district attorneys in Harris and Jefferson counties to investigate whether a State Board of Education (SBOE) incumbent’s campaign fundraising events feature the illegal involvement of a prominent political leader who also publishes instructional materials used in Texas public schools.

Republican SBOE member David Bradley’s campaign website touted David Barton, head of a political advocacy group called WallBuilders, as a featured speaker at two Bradley fundraisers on Saturday (March 31) in Beaumont and Houston. Among the state board’ s responsibilities is adopting instructional materials for public schools. WallBuilders publishes instructional materials. But according to the Education Code, “a person engaged in manufacturing, shipping, selling or advertising instructional materials commits an offense if the person makes or authorizes a political contribution to or takes part in, directly or indirectly, the campaign of any person seeking election to or serving on the board.” Violation of the statute is a Class B… Read More

Like Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst this month and Gov. Rick Perry for years, David Bradley is courting conservative evangelical pastors in his bid for re-election to office.

Bradley, R-Beaumont Buna, will speak on March 27 at a luncheon for the Beaumont Area Pastor Council, which is affiliated with the right-wing Houston Area Pastor Council. From a Pastor Council email today:

“David has been a bulwark against liberal forces who want to rewrite our history books and insert liberal causes into school curriculum. These forces are also working diligently to get access to the Permanent School Fund for their own agendas.”

Bradley supported new social studies standards in 2010 that even the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute criticizes as a “political distortion of history” with “misrepresentations at every turn.” One of the most divisive voices on the state board, Bradley also opposes sex education, wants to dumb-down instruction on evolution in science classes and rejects teaching social studies students that the Constitution protects separation of church and state. In 2008 he boasted that the state board “spanked” teachers who disagreed with its controversial decisions on curriculum standards. But the Pastor Council emails praises Bradley as supposedly being “on… Read More