Archive for the ‘Neal Frey’ Category

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.

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Censorship Group Targets Science Materials

June 3, 2011

It’s increasingly clear that the Texas State Board of Education this summer will be ground zero — once again — in the religious right’s war on science. The newest indication of the pending battle comes from the website of Educational Research Analysts, one of the nation’s oldest textbook censorship organizations. The website shows that the East Texas-based group will target the scheduled adoption of science instructional materials by the Texas state board in July.

The religious-right outfit in Longview was founded by the late Mel and Norma Gabler, who began pressuring publishers to censor their textbooks in the 1960s. The Gablers later turned their operation over to Neal Frey, who continues to run the shop. Here’s what the group’s website says about the upcoming science adoption:

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Group: ‘Textbook Approval Is Power’

October 7, 2010

We told you yesterday how the old warhorse of the right-wing censorship movement in Texas, Educational Research Analysts, works to intimidate publishers and promote a divisive ideological agenda in public school textbooks. As we reported, the group’s July newsletter called for the Texas State Board of Education to reject textbooks that are allegedly anti-Christian and pro-Muslim (even though claims of such bias are not supported by facts).

Another passage from that same newsletter makes the religious right’s obsession with political power and pushing an ideological agenda rather than educating kids even clearer:

“Many wrongly think Texas’ SBOE can reject only those textbooks that meet less than 50% of its course content standards, flunk certain manufacturing guidelines, or contain factual errors. But it can also dump those that clearly conflict with basic democratic values. For the first time ever the SBOE should invoke that power to warn publishers not to pander to Islam against Christianity … in their new high school World History submissions. Christian conservative mastery of detail in Texas’ textbook approval process is power.” [emphasis added]

This is a stunning declaration by culture warriors who are determined to put their personal political agendas ahead of the education of Texas schoolchildren. Yet it is not a toothless declaration: for nearly two decades, far-right pressure groups and their wealthy supporters have slowly built a powerful faction of culture warriors on the state board. And that faction of political extremists is determined to control what our public schools teach millions of Texas kids, even if it means distorting what the law really says.

Here are just some of the fruits of their dangerous and divisive efforts:

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Behind the Textbook ‘Culture Wars’

October 6, 2010

More than a few people have wondered who really authored the inflammatory anti-Muslim resolution the Texas State Board of Education passed in September. Randy Rives, a failed state board candidate from Odessa, asked the board in July to pass the resolution. Rives has told reporters that he and his wife wrote the resolution and combed through 11-year-old textbooks to find supporting “facts” for it. A TFN analysis shows how the resolution was based on grossly misleading and outright false claims.

In any case, we have been suspicious of Rives’ claim that he authored the resolution, if for no other reason than that the textbooks on which the measure was based haven’t been used in Texas for more than seven years. In fact, the Texas Education Agency didn’t even have those old world history textbooks on file in Austin. Yet Rives claims that he managed to get hold of those textbooks in Odessa.

Well, maybe he did. But we have a much more plausible theory about where that resolution really originated: Educational Research Analysts, the old right-wing warhorse of the textbook “culture wars” in Texas.

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