Archive for the ‘George Clayton’ Category

Clayton Seeks SBOE Re-election After All

March 2, 2012

Texas State Board of Education incumbent George Clayton, R-Richardson, has decided to seek re-election to his seat after all. Clayton had announced on Monday that he would seek election to the District 112 seat in the Texas House of Representatives. In an email to a Dallas Morning News reporter today, however, Clayton says that the new court-ordered map of state House districts doesn’t include his residence in District 112:

“I had planned to withdraw from the SBOE race to run for House district 112. Unfortunately, the courts drew me out of that district. So, I cannot run for the house seat. I will remain a candidate for reelection to SBOE District 12.”

Clayton is opposed by three other Republicans in the GOP primary and one Democrat. The Texas Freedom Network’s SBOE election watch page includes lists of candidates as well other information on state board districts.

SBOE Member Clayton Not Seeking Re-election

February 28, 2012

Yesterday Texas State Board of Education member George Clayton, R-Richardson, unexpectedly announced that he will not seek re-election to his seat. Clayton said he will instead seek election to the Texas House of Representatives.

Clayton won a surprise victory over longtime incumbent Geraldine “Tincy” Miller, R-Dallas, in the 2010 Republican primary for the District 12 state board seat. Religious-righters on and off the board have been critical of Clayton, who has generally voted with the board’s mainstream Republican bloc. Clayton publicly acknowledged last fall that he is gay after far-right groups like Golden Corridor Republican Women promoted a whisper campaign targeting his private life.

Clayton’s decision not to seek re-election leaves three Republicans — Miller, Pam Little of Fairview, and Gail Spurlock of Richardson — and Democrat Lois Parrott of Dallas in the race for the District 12 board seat.

Check out TFN’s SBOE election watch page for more information on candidates and board districts in the 2012 elections.

SBOE Campaign Finance Reports

January 18, 2012

All Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) seats are up for election this year, but so far there’s not a lot of money flowing into those campaigns. Nearly all SBOE candidates have now filed their July 1, 2011-December 31, 2011, campaign finance reports with the Texas Ethics Commission.

Some non-surprises:

  • Geraldine “Tincy” Miller, R-Dallas, is again self-funding her campaign, this time in an effort to retake the District 12 seat she lost to George Clayton, R-Richardson, in 2010. So far Miller has spent about $40,000 of her own money.
  • Former SBOE member Don McLeroy, R-College Station, is spreading around a little cash (some left over from his losing race against Thomas Ratliff, R-Mount Pleasant, in 2010) among far-right board incumbents Charlie Garza, R-El Paso, of District 1 ($500), Ken Mercer, R-San Antonio, of District 5 ($500), and Gail Lowe, R-Lampasas, of District 14 ($1,801.60). He has also contributed $500 to Randy Stevenson, R-Tyler, who is trying to unseat Ratliff in District 9 and return to the board he left after 1998.
  • Neal Frey, head of the far-right censorship outfit Educational Research Analysts (founded by the late Mel and Norma Gabler of Longview in East Texas), has given $1,000 to Garza, $500 to Mercer, $1,000 to Stevenson, $500 to current board chair Barbara Cargill, R-The Woodlands (District 6), and $500 to Terri Leo, R-Spring, before the she decided not to run for re-election last fall.

Among the races that are attracting the most money (although totals are relatively modest compared to races for other elections in the state):

District 5: Ken Mercer, R-San Antonio ($15,611.75 in contributions, including $10,ooo from just one donor) vs. Steve Salyer, R-San Antonio ($1,150.00 in contributions plus a $5,000 from himself)

District 6: Donna Bahorich, R-Houston ($325 in contributions plus a $50,000 loan from herself to her campaign); no Republican challenger. None of the three Democrats (Tracy Jensen, Patty Quintana-Nisson and David Scott, all of Houston) has raised more than $1,600 yet.

District 8: Barbara Cargill, R-The Woodlands ($38,586.84 in contributions, $18,710.93 in expenditures, $25,626.25 in cash on hand) has raised a healthy chunk of change, but she also spent more than $12,000 (at least) on a fundraising event at a fancy country club in The Woodlands. Her Republican opponent, Linda Ellis of The Woodlands, has spent $7,019.40 so far.

District 9: Incumbent Thomas Ratliff, R-Mount Pleasant, has raised $17,413.15 in his race against challenger Randy Stevenson, R-Tyler, who has raised $5,225, including $1,100 from his own pocket.

District 12: Incumbent George Clayton, R-Richardson, ($3,921.42 in expenditures) is trying to fend off challenges from three other Republicans: “Tincy” Miller ($41,015.65 in expenditures, mostly her own money); Pam Little, R-Fairview ($8,324 in expenditures and loans from herself of $21,500); and Gail Spulock, R-Richardson (no report posted yet).

District 15: Incumbent Bob Craig, R-Lubbock, is not seeking election. Marty Rowley, R-Amarillo ($5,614.59 in expenditures and $10,000 in loans, combined, from himself and his wife) is running against Anette Carlisle, R-Amarillio, ($23,998.19 in expenditures) in the Republican primary. Steven Schafersman, D-Midland, is the only Democrat running.

Check our SBOE Election Watch page here for a list of candidates and other info.

Bigotry and Ignorance from TX Eagle Forum

December 5, 2011

Texas Eagle Forum’s December “News and Notes” e-newsletter offers more of the bigotry and pro-ignorance rhetoric we’ve come to expect from that far-right group.

Part of TEF President Pat Carlson’s email notes a Dallas Morning News report about a whisper campaign that led State Board of Education member George Clayton, R-Richardson, to acknowledge recently that he is gay. The newsletter continues:

Because of redistricting, all 15 SBOE seats will be up for election in 2012. We need to recruit and elect/re-elect true conservatives to these important positions so Texas will not go the way of Massachusetts or California in mandating K-12 pro-homosexual education in the classroom.

Gay people can’t be “true conservatives”? Perhaps Carlson’s version of a “true conservative” is one who promotes fear and hate toward people who are different. And what exactly does she mean by a “pro-homosexual education in the classroom”? To our knowledge, Clayton has never even mentioned the issue of sexual orientation in his time on the state board (not, at least, until his personal life was the subject of a whisper campaign by political opponents). Most likely, Carlson simply wants to make sure that state board members don’t object to efforts by far-right pressure groups to demonize gay people in textbooks and other instructional materials, as they tried during the adoption of health textbooks in 2004.

And speaking of health, Carlson’s e-newsletter also noted the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund’s new report showing that more public school districts in the state are moving toward an abstinence-plus approach on sex education. Carlson’s group insists on abstinence-only sex ed policies that keep young people ignorant about even basic, medically accurate information on contraception and disease prevention. From the TEF e-newsletter:

The ONLY PROVEN method to prevent teenage pregnancy is abstinence. Abstinence-plus education gives kids mixed messages—“don’t have sex, but if you do, use a condom.” Condoms and other forms of contraception do not “protect” a teen’s heart and mind from emotional distress and pain, nor prevent pregnancy or STDs 100% of the time; only abstinence does.

What Carlson doesn’t want her readers to know is that Texas has one of the highest teen birth rates in the nation yet has received more federal abstinence-only funding than any other state. Even now most school districts in the state teach abstinence-only or nothing at all when it comes to sex education. In a state where, on average, a teen gets pregnant ever 10 minutes and teen childbearing costs taxpayers about $1.2 billion annually, abstinence-only ignorance clearly hasn’t been a good education strategy.

Take a Stand Against Hate Campaigns

November 17, 2011

Are we about to see a repeat of the hateful campaign tactics religious-righters used to win election to the Texas State Board of Education in the 1990s? Back then hundreds of thousands of dollars from San Antonio businessman James Leininger funded coordinated campaigns that claimed Democratic board incumbents supported the “radical homosexual agenda” and wanted to teach students about gay sex and “lesbian adoption.” One especially incendiary and misleading campaign mailer used by multiple far-right candidates featured a photo of two shirtless men (one black, one white) kissing passionately. “Liberals” on the state board, the mailer charged, wanted students to have access to a “how-to guide on homosexuality and homosexual sex.” Unfortunately, those tactics helped some far-right candidates win their races.

Now we’re seeing signs that the 2012 State Board of Education elections could feature the same kind of hateful political trash. Last week, in fact, a growing whisper campaign led Republican incumbent board member George Clayton of Richardson (in the Dallas area) to send out a press release acknowledging that he is gay. The release reads:

“It has come to my attention that one of my opponents in my bid for reelection to the State Board of Education and certain member(s) of the Golden Corridor Republican Women’s Club are questioning my sexual orientation. So as to avoid the tyranny of misinformation and innuendo in this political race, I wish to say that I, in fact, do have a male partner who lives with me in my home in Richardson, Texas. I hope this frank announcement satisfies Tincy Miller and the ladies associate with the Golden Corridor organization. All of us can now move on with discussions concerning education instead of being overly occupied with my personal life.”

Reporters have asked Geraldine “Tincy” Miller if she has played a role in the whisper campaign about Clayton’s sexual orientation. The Dallas Republican says she hasn’t. Clayton defeated Miller, a longtime state board incumbent, in the 2010 GOP primary, and she appears to be preparing a run to win back her seat next year.

On the other hand, Golden Corridor Republican Women (GCRW), which includes members from Dallas, Denton and Collin counties, does seem to be part of the no-longer-a-whisper campaign. (GCRW’s logo includes a flag, elephant and Christian cross set over an outline of Texas.) Clayton included with his press release a copy of what he said was a Nov. 1 email in which GCRW President Susan Fletcher reports on an interview with Miller. The interview focuses largely on “culture war” issues such as evolution, Sharia law and abstinence-only sex education. At the bottom of her email, however, Fletcher writes about questions she has for Clayton, including:

“What are his living arrangements in Richardson? With whom does he live? It’s not appropriate to comment further — but this needs to be investigated.”

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SBOE Candidate: George Clayton

September 7, 2011

Because of redistricting, all 15 seats on the Texas State Board of Education will be up for grabs in the November 2012 elections. The results of those elections will determine whether the religious right’s corrosive  influence over public education will weaken or grow as the board considers what the next generation of public school students in Texas will learn about sex education, social studies, science and other subjects. We plan to publish on TFN Insider candidate announcements for a seat on the SBOE. We will publish announcements in no particular order, and their publication does not constitute any sort of endorsement by TFN. We will redact requests for contributions or mentions of fundraising events from the announcements, but we will provide links to the candidates’ websites (if available).

George Clayton, District 12, R-Richardson (Incumbent)

SBOE District 12 incumbent George Clayton, R-Richardson, sent out an email on August 13 announcing his intent to run for re-election. Clayton defeated longtime board incumbent Geraldine “Tincy” Miller of Dallas in the 2010 Republican primary. So far Clayton has no announced opponent in 2012.

Today, I am announcing that I will be a candidate for re-election to the Texas State Board of Education from District 12. Normally, board terms are for four years. However, because of redistricting requirements all members of the State Board of Education will be up for election in the 2012 cycle. I have been on the board since January 19 of this year. In that time I have learned much and hope that my contributions have been worthwhile. But, there is still much to do. As many of you know, I am openly opposed to the stranglehold that standardized testing has on real teaching and learning in the classrooms of this state. True intellectual growth has been replaced by the mind numbing rote memorization of standards which, although important, do not provide for the advanced learning which our students deserve and require. I would like to continue my efforts to bring about a fundamental change in our educational system, one in which advanced curriculum and stimulating instruction will eventually win out over the current regimen of day in and day out drilling of minimum standards. And yes, I am an educator. I am experienced in the needs of students and teachers. Ask me!

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