Friday, October 28, 2016

Endorsement: vote Mary Lord for State Board of Education, not her Trump-supporting Koch-aligned foe

I hadn't been paying a lot of attention to the State Board of Education election until a friend clued me into some info about the candidates: incumbent Mary Lord and her main foe Ashley Carter, as well as college student Tony Donaldson. And I recommend you vote for Mary Lord.

Lord has been on the Board since it started in 2007 and also serves as the president of the National Association of the State Boards of Education. Carter has lots of signs all over the area, and is described in the Post's endorsement of Lord as a director of a "national nonprofit for women and families."

That organization is the Independent Women's Forum, which is actually a conservative group and the beneficiary of a lot of money from ultra-conservative and Tea Party-aligned groups. Carter recently spoke at a "Women for Trump" event and Kellyanne Conway, current campaign manager for Donald Trump, is on the IWF's board. (Conway is taking a leave of absence from the IWF during the campaign.)

The Nation described the IWF as "anti-feminist" and "doing the Koch brothers' dirty work" and says they grew out of a "Women for Clarence Thomas" group. The group has previously opposed the Violence Against Women Act, food stamps, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Title IX and feminism in general and advocated for lowering corporate tax rates, for fracking and against gun control.

The group is heavily funded by Donors Trust, a nonprofit that masks large donations by individuals to conservative groups and previously funded attacks on unions and climate change scientists and supported climate change deniers and many other ultra-conservative issues. Mother Jones called Donors Trust a conservative "dark money ATM."

Carter's campaign Facebook page and campaign site mention nothing about the organization or any of these issues, only posting generalities.

I think Carter may be pulling a fast one on us, trying to get elected without mentioning her extreme conservative leanings -- mentioning only broad things that everybody supports and not the issues that her group supports or any of her current work. According to this blog and the city's Office of Campaign Finance, more than half of Carter's donors are from outside DC, as well. That seems fishy to me -- why would so many people care about a school board race in another city (state, even) unless it was to promote a certain ideology? In this case, a very conservative, Tea Party-ish one.

It's safe to say unless you are a very conservative person and support Donald Trump, Carter is not the candidate for you.

Lord, however, is experienced and has been endorsed by the Post, the Gertrude Stein Club, the Current newspapers, six Councilmembers and the Washington Teachers' Union.

Vote Mary Lord.


  1. Isn't the Board of Education non-Partisan?

    One of the strategies the Finns used was to be ultra conservative about change. Theirs is considered to be one of the finest K-12 education systems in the world.

    It also makes intuitive sense. imagine if your work goals changed every few years. At least I would eventually get tired of being jerked around, so naturally I think the teachers and administrators faced with herky-jerky standards would eventually quit or just go through the motions -- the worst thing possible for the kids.

    While I am by no means a fan of Mr. Trump's, conservatives today are rudderless without a credible leader. That takes nothing from the conservative philosophy of stability and cautious change or makes a stable education policy any less desirable.

    In that light what would seem desirable on the School Board is the energy to escape the lure of political bubbles and grand appearances on the podium to actually spend time with ordinary parents and teachers. On that score Ms. Carter and Mr. Donaldson have much to commend them.

  2. It's supposed to be non-partisan, but I think Carter is sneaking partisanship into it.

  3. Ashley Carter is a liar and a fraud. She critizes everyone and points fingers when her hands are as dirty. For someone that opposes food stamps, there are members of her family that uses it and are on state insurance. She acts like she cares about others but she sure claimed her family is a bunch of liars. she is a hypocrite on everything. She uses photos without asking the mother for rights and for someone that doesn't have children she tries to claim she be a better mother then the people that are mothers.


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