Last time, I talked about who I wanted you to vote for in the Primary Election for Governor. This time, I want to talk about another state wide race, with peculiar results for a primary. In this case, the Primary is the General Election.
The lady on the right is our current Superintendent of Public Instruction. To say that she has been an embarrassment and a joke is to put frosting on the cake. When you look at her qualifications for the job--she is a woman with a Latino surname--you begin to understand why her much touted application for 200-million dollars in federal funds under the "Race to the Top" program was such a laugh fest and embarrassment to the state.
This work product, under Superintendent Castillo's direction was a national disgrace. From her "update" numbered 316--no word from the Rock--is this tidbit of self-aggrandizement;
"Our application reflects the work of nearly 200 Oregon education stakeholders who participated in the Race to the Top design team and work groups. We consulted with school districts, ESDs, researchers and experts around the state to produce a strong proposal that aligns with the work already under way here in Oregon. It is quite incredible what they were able to pull together in just a few short months. "
Yep. Quite incredible. 200 of Oregon's best "education stakeholders" put this travesty together. It is truly "incredible what they were able to pull together in just a few short months."
Out of 40 applications received by the Education Department, only six were worse than Oregon's. You can read the entire application here. "One reviewer dismissed Oregon's plans to improve educator quality as 'vague,' while another explained why Oregon seemed to deserve a grade of zero: 'Oregon's application does not describe any strategy to ensure equitable distribution of effective or highly effective teachers or principals.'"
Let's review Susan Castillo's qualifications. Hispanic surname? Check. Woman? Check. Former television news reader? Check. BA, Communications? Check.
Education background? Went to school. Children of her own? Nope. (You can read her entire, rich, lifestory here.)
In fact, on paper, there is nothing to recommend Susan Castillo for the job she holds in state government. She has neither the temperament nor the training for the job.
But, we do not need to cry for her, Argentina.
First, she'll be retired with a hefty retirement package. Democrat politicians take care of their own. So, she'll be appointed to some lofty state board, probably, with her credentials, to the State Board of Higher Education. Nothing succeeds like success.
Second, she'll be replaced by someone with a little more depth, better training and experience than the incumbent Superintendent.
And his name, is Ron Maurer. (Pronounced "mau" like "now". Or, mau-mau. Political mau-mauing in progress? Mau-er. )
What makes this guy think he's qualified for such an important position? Let's start with his BS in science education. He's a Beaver. He received his Masters in continuing education from KSU. Received his Ph.D. from Northern Illinois. He was an officer in the Army. Med-evac pilot. Spent time in healthcare administration. Owns and operates the Rogue River Health Clinic. Served on the Grants Pass school board. Elected to the House of Representatives. He and his wife have four children.
Saw first-hand the utter incompetence and inability of Susan Castillo. Decided to make a difference. Became a candidate for the position of Oregon's Superintendent of Public Instruction.
There are few instances in political life where such stark differences are recognized. Susan Castillo doesn't simply deserve to be replaced. She's earned it.
HERE ARE 4 THINGS TO DO.....TODAY.....TO PUSH MAURER TO A WIN:
1. Get some Maurer buttons and stickers. Wear one yourself, give one to your spouse, carry them around with you and hand them out. Voters don't even know about this race. The name they see is what they will remember subliminally when they fill out the ballot. Put the name Maurer in front of them. Instruct everyone you know to wear a Ron Maurer sticker.
To get the stickers and buttons by email or phone from Patty Glenn, campaign manager here:
Don't wait......do it now. Get 200 stickers and 50 buttons to start. Give them all away. Then come back for more.
2. Contact ALL the candidates running for office in your county. Tell them that everytime they speak to voters they should ask voters to vote for them and for Ron Maurer. This gives all your candidates an opening to talk about with voters about schools. Mrs. Castillo has been in office for 8 years.
Simple question: Have the schools improved or deteriorated in those 8 years?
Want a change in schools? then vote for ME and for RON.
3. Phone your friends. Don't ask them for a million bucks. Ask them to give $25 to Ron Maurer. This is not a big ask.
OK, that was easy --- here's the hard part:
4. Go through your PERSONAL EMAIL LIST. Send an email to 75 people on the list.
Write a short message from yourself, then ask the question: Are the schools better or worse than 8 years ago?
Put this link in your email: www.ronforschools.com Ask your friends to forward the link to their email list. Don't leave out the Democrats. They do not love Castillo.
They just don't know there is an alternative.
Don't forget to mention that Ron Maurer has been endorsed by the:
OREGON BLACK POLITICAL CONFERENCE (in Portland) Wow, the D's think they "own" these folks. The president of this organization, Mr. C. Henry was a solid supporter of the teacher's union just 2 years ago.
The OREGON BUILDING TRADES COUNCIL (the Laborers' Union!
The President of this union is a charter member of the Kuolongoski Crony Club. His wife is on the Multnomah County Commission. This is a big break in Labor unity.
How bad is Susan Castillo that two pillars of the Democratic Party have dumped her for a Republican!!
(Bonus points if you can identify where this picture was taken and the event!)
Whenever you hear the word, recommended, remember that someone wants you to take a direct action, but with "recommend" one not needs say, "please."
It's an almost cheery word, recommend. It fills oneself with undeserved feelings of self-adulation, since having an ability to recommend must be proof of ones ability to see clearly the road ahead. And I pride myself on my road-aheadedness seeing.
So here we go:
I've met and spoken with all three candidates. I really like John. He makes me laugh. And, he is a very sincere, dedicated man. Six months with Professor Higgins would make a big difference on his future electability. Shy of that, we do judge people on how they speak, not on what they say. If elected--doubtful--I'd work hard to see this man elected. Honesty and integrity. A ruthless drive to serve. He's mensch. In my book.
Chris? I was going to title this post "Chris Dudley" "Princeton" and "Economics" so that this posting would hit near the top of a Google Blogsearch. Not much competition. This would be one of 26 such posts.
After watching Chris, I whispered to a dean of the political world, "Kinda hard to put Chris Dudley, Yale and Economics in the same thought, isn't it?" Good enough for a sidelong glance and a chuckle. I hear teh kidz are supportive of the guy. Which isn't surprising, since this same demographic remains staunchly supportive of the empty suit that is our President. Teh kidz, it seems, vote on the basis of image not substance. To be fair, substantively, Chris has said things that are substantively in line with my beliefs. Where I find myself searching around for my shutter shades is when I remember the role being played in his campaign by Dan Lavey and Kent Craford. It could turn out to me all Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and all, but the last time Oregon literally sent a Mr. Smith to Washington, things turned out badly. Oh, and did I mention Dan Lavey's role in Senator Smith's political legacy?
After spending time with John and Chris, the idea that we might have a candidate who is articulate formed. After decades of stuttering top-of-the-ticket "conservatives," the idea that we have a bright, articulate candidate with business bona fides is extremely appealing to me. And the appearance versus substance view is important to remember. For a fair amount of voters--who view elections as a horse race--there is a feeling that we need to "elect a candidate that is winnable." And you're going to hear a lot about Chris' winnability. But his surface electability is thin; when you scratch you quickly find out the depth of skin deep. Allen, on the other hand, has years of experience taking flack, dealing with real, substantive problems, and leading others toward common goals. They are the skills you pick up in the private sector. It isn't enough to have an appropriate platitude. You need to make decisions, explain your decisions and implement your decisions. It's guys like Lavey and Dudley who will give you creative ideas. It's guys like Alley who will implement them. (I still teach staff that there is a significant difference between creativity and innovation. Creativity is easy. Getting new ideas accomplished is difficult.)
Allen Alley is not restricted to pretty ideas. He is committed to implementing change for the State of Oregon. The biggest difference between the two is, in my estimation, Dudley's call for a committee to recommend changes in state expenditures, and Allen's call for Zero-based Budgeting for the state. This is a total reversal of decades of budgeting policy for Oregon. Chris wants a study group. Allen Alley wants to drop it all down to zero, and then see how much needs to be returned. And he will lead the discussion, not a committee.
Committee versus leadership.
Hands down, it's easy to see clearly why Allen Alley is my choice for the Republican nomination as Oregon's next Governor. Regardless of who wins, I believe Oregon will be better off with any of our candidates rather than The Boot.
"The TARP inspector general, Neil Barofsky, bluntly told the Senate Finance Committee during a hearing last week that the repayment "is just other TARP money" and lawmakers should not 'exaggerate' the feat. 'It sounds like they're kind of like taking money out of one pocket and putting it in the other to do that,' Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., said at the hearing. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., expressed similar concerns Sunday on NBC's 'Meet the Press,' saying it's 'misleading' for the administration to claim the company has paid back its loans." (Is That Wise?)
A course Goldman Sachs is getting grilled today. No word on when GM will be put on the spit. (Of course, the fact that GM is owned by the federal government and the United Auto Workers will help to mitigate any appropriate grilling, won't it?)
It's about a quarter of nine. I've been watching the Goldman Sachs hearing for about forty-five minutes on CNBC. If you have the time, or inclination, it's worth watching.
The senators are attempting to make hay. For them, the sun is shining.
What is instructional, is the feeling that the senators have of what "is" appropriate behaviour for investment firms. Buy something and then never sell it. That is, if the value of the asset goes down, any attempt to stave off losses to the firm is an act of challenged ethics. Goldman could have escaped this inquisition by merely taking the losses represented by an asset class. It was the act of mitigation that is questionable. I guess the rule that will be developed out these hearings--star chamber--will be that once you buy a thing, it's yours.
So much for market efficiencies.
The question I have for Senator Levin is simple; did you ever buy a car?
I get the feeling that he is a car salesman's dream.
Goldman held assets it wanted to sell. It offered those assets for sale. Some of those who were offered these assets declined to purchase those assets. It is this syllogism that is at the crux of Senator Levin's inquiry.
That the assets weren't sold as offered is proof that the assets were questionable. Under the Senator's syllogism, if this were the sale of a used car that had been declined, that would be prima facia evidence of fraud! He, the Senator, I suppose, believes that failure to make a deal on a used car is evidence of ethical connivance.
The poor Senator is unable to grasp the concept of price. I would suggest that any car can be sold, given the price of the vehicle.
Remember the 1974 Vega?
What would you pay for a 1974 Vega? 14-hundred dollars? Two-thousand bucks?
The correct answer is, it depends.
You'd have to pay me for me to own a Vega. That means, the Vega would have a negative price.
Same things true with certain financial assets. Sometimes you walk away losing money. But, if you don't want to lose money, you find that one potential customer who sees beauty where the rest of the world would suggest none exists.
It's how markets work.
I don't see how a rule that recognizes the role price plays in markets can be constructed from the detritus of these hearings. But the reason for these hearings clearly isn't about reasonable rules. This is a political show trial.
Enjoy the show.
UPDATE: I'm not the only one who sees this as "show."
When the wheels of your state government are making noise, sometimes you should just listen.
Salem, OR—Proclaiming Arizona’s new law as an “open floodgate for blatant legalized discrimination,” Jose Ibarra, Chairman of the Oregon Commission on Hispanic Affairs, condemned Governor Jan Brewer’s (R-AZ) recent action of signing into law Senate Bill 1070 on Friday.
The new law provides for enhanced police enforcement against both citizens and noncitizens by local police based upon “reasonable suspicion” that a person is without proper citizenship.
“This new law contradicts the values and compromises the integrity upon which America was founded,” said Ibarra. “In lieu of the right to ‘the equal protection of the laws’ of the State guaranteed by our Constitution to ‘any person within its jurisdiction,’ any Hispanic in Arizona now faces legalized bigotry and severe disparate treatment, which will inevitably result in rampant violations of civil rights.”
Ibarra called on Hispanics everywhere to boycott Arizona as a tourist destination as long as the new Arizona law remains a threat to our freedom.
Oregon constituents are urged to contact their congressional representatives and demand that Congress and the White House act immediately for a just and comprehensive reform of immigration law, before another act of copycat legislation ensues in other States. “Without a shadow of a doubt, Arizona’s new law is inhumane, ineffective, and a shameful page in American history,” said Ibarra. “We cannot stand by the sidelines and allow this to happen.”
Ibarra called on Hispanics everywhere to boycott Arizona. Yeah, that's going to leave a mark. The dealeo is, the Feds have sat on their hands for decades. The folks in AZ have had enough. And, I would assert, the only protection an illegal visitor to our country--guaranteed by our Constitution to ‘any person within its jurisdiction,’--should depend upon, is the quick deportation of that person (at their own expense.)
Of course I'm sure there will be claims of retaliation, as the millions of US citizens attempting to cross the border into Mexico illegally will come under attack by that country's immigration enforcers. But this is only to be expected. I am just as opposed to the illegal immigration of US citizens to Mexico as I am the illegal immigration of Mexican citizens to the US.
Fair, after all, is fair. By the way, who pays for the Oregon Commission On Hispanic Affairs? You do.