by Dan Quinn

That seems to be the advice from the chairman of the Texas Republican Party to GOP candidates for two State Board of Education seats representing large swaths of Central Texas. As we reported last week, the League of Women Voters has invited all candidates for the District 5 and District 10 state board seats to a debate on September 28 in Austin. The debate will be televised by public television stations KLRU in Austin and KLRN in San Antonio. Evan Smith, CEO and editor-in-chief of the Texas Tribune, is set to moderate. But now Texas GOP Chairman Steve Munisteri has called on the two Republican nominees for those seats, District 5 incumbent Ken Mercer of San Antonio and District 10 nominee Marsha Farney of Georgetown, to skip the debate. Why? Munisteri  claims that the League of Women Voters isn't really a nonpartisan group because many of its leaders, at least in the Austin area, are Democrats who have voted for and donated to Democratic candidates for public office. But Munisteri's objections are painfully disingenuous. Read More

With the general election campaign moving into high gear after Labor Day, voters will have more opportunities to meet and hear from candidates. League of Women Voters of the Austin Area Education Fund and public television station KLRU in Austin already have one such event scheduled: a debate featuring candidates for the Texas State Board of Education on September 28.

Organizers have invited all candidates on the ballot for the District 5 and District 10 races.

District 5 (which stretches from San Antonio and the Hill Country to southern Travis County and up to Bell County) Ken Mercer, Republican (incumbent) Rebecca Bell-Metereau, Democrat Mark Loewe, Libertarian

District 10 (which includes northern Travis County, Williamson County and bunch of other counties between Central Texas and Houston) Marsha Farney, Republican Judy Jennings, Democrat Jessica Dreesen, Libertarian

Evan Smith, CEO and editor-in-chief of the Texas Tribune, will moderate the debate, which is set for 7-8 p.m. at the KLRU studios on the University of Texas campus in Austin. A press release from the League of Women Voters group says the public… Read More

by TFN

From today’s TFN News Clips:

“I do not wear high heels.”

— Ken Buck, the Republican U.S. Senate nominee in Colorado, telling voters why he should win his primary election. The opponent in his primary (which he won) was a woman. Buck’s quote was included in a New York Times editorial noting that the GOP “has nominated so many at the far right of the spectrum . . . that the Republican brand is barely recognizable.”

Stay informed with TFN News Clips, a daily digest of news about politics and the religious right. Subscribe here.Read More

by Dan Quinn

We just got a look at the new candidate questionnaire from Liberty Institute, the Texas affiliate of the far-right group Focus on the Family. None of the questions are particularly surprising -- they hit the list of issues typical for this group (such as abstinence-only/sex education, anti-gay discrimination, Ten Commandments in public schools, private school vouchers). But is it too much to ask that Liberty write questions that are based on, well, the truth? Example: "Do you support the current law which says the [State Board of Education] may reject a textbook if it believes the book is unsuitable?" There is no such law. Read More

July campaign finance reports show that Democratic challengers in two Central Texas State Board of Education races currently have sizable funding advantages over their Republican opponents -- at least on paper. But it's still very early in the general election campaign, and one of those Republican candidates dipped deep into her own bank account to win the GOP nomination for her district seat this past spring. Only four state board elections in November have both Republican and Democratic nominees. Four of five candidates backed by far-right pressure groups lost their Republican nomination battles in the spring. The following information is for the February 21-June 30, 2010, reporting period. The Democratic and Republican primaries were in March. One Republican nomination was decided in an April runoff. You can find each candidate's campaign finance report here. Read More

Texas Freedom Network

We can't thank Sonja enough for her six years of service with TFN. Just Texas wouldn't be what it is today without her. While Sonja's absence will be deeply felt, we wish her the best of luck as she begins a new chapter with Whole Women's Health!…