The Texas State Board Of Education Needs Your Help! Action Required!
by Sonja Harris on May 6, 2011 at 5:04 PM
It is apparent that our Republican representatives have not listened to the cry of the many Texans who have asked to support the State Board of Education members. Instead this HB600 was passed that will hurt our SBOE members and the future of the Texas student caught in this political battle. This ACTION I am afraid is meant to destroy the conservatives on the SBOE.
Keep in mind that there is an action pending in the Texas Attorney General’s office against RINO SBOE member Thomas Ratliff who should not be on the board because of his lobbying, which is a definite conflict of interest. Funny thing about this Ratliff, he testified FOR HB600 so we all know that this HB600 will help and not hurt his chances of being reelected. We also know that he will be a mouthpiece for…
If HB600 is signed by Governor Perry it will hurt our conservative members Ken Mercer, the lone Hispanic Charlie Garza and SBOE Chairman Gail Lowe. It is a shame that when we finally vote in a conservative Hispanic we then tell him he cannot represent Anglo Republicans. I personally contacted Garza and he confirmed that most of his Anglo counties have been taken away from him. This is an affront to all Hispanics that work hard to represent all Texans. This action alone is insulting and offensive and should make all of us angry, very angry. Makes you wonder about Senator Kel Seliger.
I have taken SBOE member excerpts from Donna Garner’s very lengthy explanation to give you a short summary of the situation that we presently have with our SBOE. We certainly do have a problem; there are NOT enough CONSERVATIVES in the Republicans that we voted in November 2, 2010.
PLEASE, I urge you to contact Governor Perry and ask him to VETO HB600.
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION MEMBERS SPEAK OUT(excerpts)
District 5 – Ken Mercer (R – San Antonio)
My concerns are twofold. First, the input of the conservative members of the SBOE map E118 was purposely ignored by Sen, Seliger even though I personally called Seliger's office as did a multitude of conservative groups to support map E118. Absolutely no SBOE members nor organizations called to support Seliger’s rogue 120 map because that map was not even available when Seliger began his public hearing at 8:00 A. M.
Suspiciously, lobbyist and SBOE Member Thomas Ratliff arrived at Seliger's Redistricting Committee meeting to testify FOR map E120 when that map had never been posted for public viewing.
District 1 – Charlie Garza (R – El Paso)
Prior to April 28, 2011, several maps were introduced to redistrict the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) for the next ten years. All SBOE seats are open in 2012. Neither the House Redistricting Committee nor the Senate Redistricting Committee asked for any input from the lone Hispanic Republican (me) on the SBOE. Given that the state holds a majority in both houses, you would think that prudent.
Districts 1, 2, and 3 (under E118 or E120) ALL have higher numbers than was deemed acceptable in 2002. If one analyzes that data it is clearly evident that the Hispanic percent population in District 1 was 72.7%. So why is that NOT the starting point for retrogression measurement, rather than the 76.9% that was used?
So all of this extends the question of just what is retrogression, what is the baseline, and "how much is enough"? With multiple conflicting goals of various Voting Rights Act (VRA) decisions, the mathematics are such that you cannot satisfy all goals simultaneously. The primary goal was (and hopefully is) "one man one vote." E120 is woefully pitiful in this regard, particularly as compared to E118.
Sen. Seliger determined that the “fix” to my District 1 was to remove “the white counties.” The end result under the Seliger plan is that District 1 is now approximately 60,000 less in population than the number of people needed to give me an opportunity at being re-elected in 2012.
On April 28, I initiated a call to Senator Seliger’s office and asked to speak to someone who was working on the SBOE redistricting plan. In my conversation with a staffer, I expressly asked why I had not even been given a phone call by a fellow Republican since Sen. Seliger’s plan had changed SBOE District 1 more than any other district in the state. Moreover, I requested to know why Odessa (Ector County) and Midland (Midland County) had been switched. Especially when I already have name recognition in Midland!
District 14 – Gail Lowe (R – Lampasas)
The Solomons’ House map (E111) is particularly bad for me because my four most populous counties are given to four other board members:
1. I lose Wichita Falls area to Bob Craig.
2. I lose Wise and Denton (my most populous) counties to Pat Hardy.
3. I lose Grayson County (Sherman-Denison area) to Thomas Ratliff.
4. I lose McLennan County (Waco-- my second most populous) to Marsha Farney.
My Central Texas district would wrap around the Dallas Metroplex area to the east, instead of to the west as it is now; and I would pick up 7 new counties. Most of my population would come from these counties that I have never represented before -- 80 percent of my population would be new to me. This map completely destroys my voter base and the areas I have represented since 2003
TEXAS HOUSE REPRESENTATIVES WHO VOTED ON THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION
Find out how YOUR state representative voted
Unofficial Totals: 80 Yeas, 61 Nays, 3 Present, not voting
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION MEMBERS
District 1 – Charlie Garza (conservative Republican, new to Board)
District 2 – Mary Helen Berlanga (Democrat)
District 3 – Michael Soto (Democrat, new to Board)
District 4 – Lawrence Allen (Democrat)
District 5 – Ken Mercer (conservative Republican)
District 6 – Terri Leo (conservative Republican)
District 7 – David Bradley (conservative Republican)
District 8 – Barbara Cargill (conservative Republican)
District 9 – Thomas Ratliff (Republican-in-Name-Only, new to Board)
District 10 – Marsha Farney (Republican, new to Board) remember her husband contributed to Obama’s campaign….
District 11 – Pat Hardy (Republican)
District 12 – George Clayton (Republican, new to Board)
District 13 – Mavis Knight (Democrat)
GOVERNOR RICK PERRY
PHONE NUMBERS 512 463 2000 - 1-800-252-9600 - 512-463-1782
Send him a FAX 512 463 1849
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