Editor’s Note: OKGrassroots will be releasing a feature series on Education Policy and the recent Election Cycle in Oklahoma. We will take time to explore ideological differences and how those are playing out in – not only the political realm – but the public square as well as we publish information we have collected on the ‘Teacher Caucus’. Not everyone in politics tells the truth. Not all sources are reliable. Do your own homework. Follow the money. OKGrassroots hopes these articles will help people to connect the dots and make informed choices at the ballot box. Decisions are still being made in run-offs around the state./sc
This is the fifth article in our feature series on OKGrassroots:
Though very close in the Senate (50% to 46%) Democrats dominated OPE’s House candidate slate (63% to 35%).
All of the candidates determined as Black Triangles (against public education) by the OPE list were Republicans (16 Senate, 23 House), save one Libertarian. No criteria was provided for this designation on the OPE endorsement list. In August, 6 run-offs will occur in the Senate with Black Triangles pitted against OPE endorsements. In the House, there are 2 races.
Dallas Koehn, Tulsa history teacher and member of OPE’s board, has used his blog, Blue Cereal, to write reviews of candidates in these Senate run-offs.
A Facebook post from OPE.
The main ‘foes’ of public education appear to be Oklahoma Council for Public Affairs, ALEC, ROPE – anyone who supports ‘school choice’ or ‘vouchers’ that would ‘remove money from schools’. Claudia Swisher provides a study guide for Pro-Education Candidates.
DISHONESTY and INCONSISTENT LOYALTIES
Paul Blair is running for Senate in District 41 in Edmond. He now faces a run-off with Adam Pugh. Superintendent Rick Cobb created a blog about Blair’s candidacy.
OPE and OPE administrator Angela Clark Little have posted to Facebook about this race. Blair was marked as a Black Triangle on the OPE endorsement list. Little has advocated for both Kevin McDonald and Adam Pugh. OPEPE (Oklahoma Parents and Educators for Public Education) and Edmond Parents are closed Facebook groups. No one is able to post, see posts or comment on posts unless they are a member of the group.
ACL: “Please support Kevin for SD 41….would make a great senator!”
Rick West is a listed administrator on the OPEPE Facebook page.
In another OPEPE Facebook thread, Angela states that Blair is, “…just as extreme but more aggressive” and connects him to Jenni White of ROPE.
Angela then posts a comment indicating Paul Blair hosted the Westboro Baptist Church at his home church, which is Fairview Baptist Church in Edmond.
Angela then writes, “Paul Blair is a pastor. When westboro came to Edmond to protest something back when he hosted them at his church. I can’t find online proof but many have reminded me that it occurred.”
The group then begins to search the internet for evidence that Paul Blair hosted Westboro Baptist Church with the idea that this information “should be enough right there to bury his whole campaign if it’s made public.”
Little – and other posters – admit they can’t find the information necessary to corroborate this lie. It was posted as a fact on a closed Facebook site where no one could report the truth or suggest it wasn’t true without getting blocked from the group, nor was anyone from the campaign or Paul himself able to defend himself without getting blocked – which seems to happen frequently.
Angela Clark Little is apparently working with Clark Jolley, “I know Senator Jolley attempted to find proof of this in 2012 but had no luck. I haven’t had any luck either.” June 10
This is a picture of Jaime Minter and Angela Clark Little of OPEPE and OPE during the 2014 elections.
Adam Pugh is a member of the closed OPEPE Facebook group. Pugh has publicly thanked Baxter and Clark for their support though both have personally attacked others inside the group – one, having nothing to do with the campaign in any capacity but is simply a member of the church.
This is not Adam Pugh’s first foray into the world of politics. In 2014, he ran in District 81 for the House seat occupied by Kevin Calvey. Pugh makes bid for House district 82, Everything you need to know about Tuesdays primary. Pugh has since moved into Senate District 41.
Is it ‘fair’ or ‘ethical’ to post information about a person or group to a closed Facebook page where those being discussed are not allowed to defend themselves?
Is a ‘closed’ Facebook page a ‘private’ environment? Is anything truly private on the internet? If so, is it private among 20 thousand members? Can information from inside the group be shared outside the group to influence others?
What does it say about a person who would thank those who post personal attacks about others? Can that person be judged to be impartial?
Is ‘guilt by association’ a rhetorical devise or a logical devise? What about ‘character assassination’?
Should we hope to have representatives in government who are logical and impartial?
And yes there will be a test, the next time you vote!
Photo credit: Orange and Apple
In a series of blogs over the next few weeks, we will take time to explore these ideological differences and how those are playing out in – not only the political realm – but the public square as well as publish information we have collected on the ‘Teacher Caucus’.
For additional information see also: