Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Any readers in Iola?

Reader Joe M. passes on this story from the Iola Register:

House, BOE candidates to speak on Saturday

The public can hear candidates for the Kansas House of Representatives and State Board of Education during a forum Saturday morning at The Greenery Restaurant.

Rep. Bill Otto, incumbent from Le Roy, and his opponent in the Republican primary election, Shelia Lampe of Piqua, will be joined by Democratic candidate Bill Shirley of Iola in discussing the race for the Ninth District House seat.

Candidates in the Republican primary for the District Nine position on the Kansas BOE are Jana Shaver, Independence, and M. Brad Patzer, Neodesha. Charles Runyan, Democrat from Pittsburg, also is seeking the seat being vacated by Iris Van Meter of Thayer.

The forum will begin at 8 a.m., with House candidates taking the floor to speak and answer questions until 9. The BOE hopefuls will appear from 9 to 10 o'clock.

The candidate forum is being sponsored by Allen County Farm Bureau. The public is invited to attend.
Otto is a very conservative Republican, so he may well have fun things to say, but I'd really appreciate reports on the debate between Kent Runyan, Jana Shaver, and Brad Patzer (incumbent Van Meter's carpet-bagging son-in-law).

I didn't know it before, but the Iola Register has endorsed Jana Shaver in the primary:

Area Republicans received a letter or letters from M. Brad Patzer of Neodesha asking for money and votes. Patzer is running for the State Board of Education seat that his mother-in-law, Iris VanMeter of Thayer, now holds.

The two-page letter makes it clear that Patzer would vote as she did. He supports the anti-Darwin science standards the board adopted against the advice of its own science advisory group. The action again subjected Kansas to criticism and ridicule from mainstream scientists and scientific organizations worldwide. A vote for Patzer would be a vote to continue this destructive and embarrassing policy, which uses religious criteria to determine standards for the state's public schools.

Patzer's letter also panders to conservatives opposed to spending more on schools by assuring recipients that he opposes higher taxes. The State Board of Education has no power to levy taxes. That's the Legislature's job. The board can't raise or lower the amount of money the state spends on the public schools. To suggest otherwise, as his letter does, misinforms the public and implies a promise that cannot be kept.

Shaver richly deserves the Republican nomination for the District Nine seat. The children of Kansas deserve the professionalism and seasoned wisdom she would bring to the board.
Patzer is a hack and a carpet-bagger. He's lived in Kansas for about a year, and hasn't got the administrative experience that Kent Runyan or Jana Shaver have.

Runyan teaches at Pittsburg State's education department and has years of experience in the classroom and in school administration, experience he's using to train the next generation of teachers down there.

Shaver's expertise is nearly as extensive, years of teaching and administrative experience, including the presidency of the Kansas Association of Community College Trustees.

Go to the forum and listen to what they have to say. Report back if you like.