Don McLeroy has some explaining to do. Texas Monthly's Paul Burka reports this revealing quote from McLeroy, a Republican seeking re-election to the Texas State Board of Education, at a recent campaign debate: “One of the first real breaches of limited government was public education.” What in the world? Someone who has been on the State Board of Education for a decade, who served one term as its chairman, and who sent his children to public schools now tells us he thinks public education violates the principle of limited government?…… Read More

When it comes to lies at election time, many voters point at mistruths they hear from candidates. But voter guides put out by far-right pressure groups in Texas are hardly good examples of honesty themselves. Consider, for example, this question for Texas State Board of Education candidates from the current voter guide put out by Liberty Institute, the renamed Free Market Foundation (the Texas affiliate of the far-right Focus on the Family): Do you support the current law which says the Board may reject a textbook if it believes the book is unsuitable? Actually, the law doesn't say that at all. Read More

by Dan Quinn

The religious right portrays itself as a champion for biblical values, but the movement's political leaders often have no problem breaking one of the Ten Commandments -- "thou shalt not bear false witness" -- in the pursuit of power. Texas State Board of Education member Ken Mercer, R-San Antonio, is now doing his best to demonstrate that basic truth. As a 2008 Texas Freedom Network Education Fund report pointed out, the religious right rose to power on the state board with vicious smear-and-lie campaigns against opponents. As early as 1994, for example, religious-right candidates attacked board incumbents as allegedly promoting masturbation for kindergartners, anal and vaginal sex for older students and homosexuality for just about everybody. They included those lies on campaign fliers that featured pictures of half-naked men kissing -- and for good measure, one man was black and the other white. Now Mercer appears to be employing a new smear-and-lie campaign in a desperate attempt to hold on to his District 5 board seat. Read More

We have two more Texas State Board of Education candidate forums to tell you about:

On Feb. 18, three Republicans, one Democrat, a Libertarian and a Green Party candidate seeking the District 10 state board seat are scheduled to appear at a candidate forum in Bastrop. The forum begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Bastrop High School cafeteria (1614 Chambers Street). District 10 stretches from Travis and Williamson counties to west of Houston. Incumbent Cynthia Dunbar, R-Richmond, is not seeking re-election.

On Feb. 27, District 15 incumbent Bob Craig of Lubbock is scheduled to debate his challenger in the Republican Primary, Randy Rives of Odessa. The event starts at 9 a.m. at the Cinnabon (3719 19th Street) in Lubbock. District 15 includes the Panhandle and much of northwestern Texas.… Read More

Video segments from today’s Republican and Democratic debates between candidates for the District 5 seat on the Texas State Board of Education are now available online here. It appears that an audio file of Wednesday’s District 9 debate between Republican incumbent Don McLeroy and his opponent in the GOP primary, Thomas Ratliff, is not yet available online. The two candidates debated on KEOS radio in Bryan.

UPDATE: Audio-only segments of Thursday’s District 5 debates are available 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! twitter.com/wearejus…