Straus and Ratliff Clan At It Again
Redistricting Out, Those They See As a Threat in the Primary!
The word down in Austin is that there’s a move by Straus and the Ratliff clan to redraw House District lines to carve one or more potential conservative challengers into Democrat districts.
“A House Republican screamed at a fellow member of his own party as they emerged Thursday afternoon from a longer-than-expected GOP caucus meeting.
The argument appeared to be about proposed changes to House districts. The chamber is debating redistricting bills Thursday.
“You’re a liar,” state Rep. Pat Fallon of Frisco yelled at his colleague, state Rep. Bennett Ratliff of Coppell.
Other House Republicans tried to hush Fallon, but his fury wouldn’t ebb.
“Touch your buddy Gene because you’re in the same party as him,” a red-faced Fallon loudly continued, as Ratliff walked away and placed a hand on state Rep. Gene Wu, D-Houston, as he passed by.
Asked a few moments later what the dust-up was all about, Fallon said simply, “Forgot.”
The hollering could have stemmed from a quiet dispute brewing during the redistricting debate. On Thursday afternoon, some tea party-affiliated members of the House had been upset about an amendment that removed one of Ratliff’s primary opponents from his district. The amendment, which passed earlier in the day without much trouble, put tea party favorite Matt Rinaldi into the safely Democratic district of state Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas.”
The question is why are Straus and the Ratliff Clan desperate to protect Bennett Ratliff? Well they know that Texans are onto their tactics to enrich many of the educrats at TASA (Texas Association of School Administrators), TASB (Texas Association of School Boards) and the ESCs (Education Service Centers) all using Texan’s tax dollars. They know Texans are preparing to take them out of office so they use the tactics of folks like Obama, they use the system to remove their competition.
So who is the Ratliff Clan you may ask….. Do these terms mean anything to you. Robin-hood, No Child Left Behind, CSCOPE~ Below was the latest before we found out about Straus’ stunt at the Capitol to protect Bennett Ratliff by redistricting out his primary opponent Matt Rinaldi…..
Looks like SBOE (State Board of Education) Vice Chairman Thomas Ratliff is a little testy. Interesting isn’t it? Please see the press release below that came out by Thomas Ratliff. Although, before I get to that please let me connect a few dots for you with the Education Bureaucracy in Texas. The Ratliffs are the Education Clan of Texas.
Listen to this audio and then keep reading….
Let me introduce you to Daddy Ratliff – Ex-Texas Senator Bill Ratliff
Bill along with Ex-Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Moses founded the “Raise Your Hand” non-profit back in 2007 which raised eyebrows because they had a history in Education that many will not forget. Below are excerpts from Donna Garner’s 2007 article “Raise Your Hand for a Hand Out”
Ratliff and Moses are continuing to swill from the education trough by forming a new organization called Raise Your Hand to pressure the people for more tax dollars for Texas’ public schools. Have these two gentlemen any credibility on the subject?
William Murchison said it best in the 2.16.07 Lone Star Report, “…keep a country mile away from Raise Your Hand, and from Bill Ratliff, and from Mike Moses, whose solution for dealing with a sinking boat is to pour some more water in the gunwales.”
Before we citizens put our trust in Raise Your Hand, let’s do a quick study of its leaders, Ratliff and Moses.
RATLIFF: ROBIN HOOD, LOSS OF LOCAL CONTROL BY TEACHERS
Not only did Ratliff author the failed and oft-maligned Robin Hood Plan, but he also drafted SB 1 in 1995 which stripped local teachers of control over what they taught.
RATLIFF: LOSS OF CONTROL BY LOCAL SCHOOL BOARDS
As the author of SB 1, Ratliff is also responsible for taking the authority away from elected local school boards and placing that power into the hands of unelected superintendents.
No longer do locally elected school board members have any real control over the all-important issues of personnel hiring and district curriculum decisions.
Local school board members’ duties have basically been reduced to (1) hiring and firing the superintendent, (2) buying and selling property, and (3) setting board policy (e.g., those items which involve board members themselves – elections, vacancies on the board, travel and reimbursement policies, etc.).
RATLIFF: LOSS OF CONTROL BY ELECTED SBOE
At the state level, Ratliff tried for years to replace the elected State Board of Education (SBOE) with an appointed one. Appointed boards really do not care what voters want. They will do the will of whoever appoints them and of the lobbyists who orchestrate from a distance.
Ratliff’s SB 1 reduced the authority of the elected SBOE and enhanced the power of the unelected Texas Commissioner of Education who at the time was Ratliff’s joined-at-the-hip ally, Mike Moses.
Ratliff always pretended that the SBOE had lost control over textbook content; and until Attorney General Greg Abbott’s 2006 opinion, the SBOE was shut out of fulfilling its lawful responsibilities. For eleven years the Board labored under Ratliff’s false interpretation; and during that time, numerous inferior textbooks were placed in front of our Texas students.
Because of Ratliff’s influence on SB 1, elected SBOE members cannot even elect their own chairperson; the Governor appoints one.
RATLIFF: TAXPAYER-ENRICHED OPPORTUNIST
Ratliff is a registered lobbyist (http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/dfs/loblists.htm) and has made large sums of money from a number of clients including the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB). Having retired from the Texas Senate in 2003, he began representing TASB on May 10, 2004. That year he received up to $99,999.99 from TASB, and again in 2005, and 2006.
We taxpayers paid Ratliff’s rich lobbying fees because the membership dues that education entities pay to join TASB come from our taxpayers’ dollars.
Because the TASB dues come from public funds, we taxpayers are actually paying TASB to lobby Legislators for more school funding so that our taxes will increase. We are paying to lobby ourselves!
It just so happens that Bennett Ratliff the youngest brother in the Ratliff clan is a Freshman State Representative that the infamous Speaker of the House Joe Straus appointed to the Education Committee. Wow isn’t that a coincidence. Oh by the way the chair of the House Ed. Comm., Rep. Jimmy Don Aycock, has a daughter who is a lobbyist for Raise Your Hand as well. No wonder Senator Dan Patrick believed there was no way that Rep. Steve Toth’s bill which gave the SBOE over-site of CSCOPE would ever pass in the house. Thank goodness for Texas Mom Kara Sands who worked the bill through and got it passed with tenacity and conviction.
THE RATLIFF CLAN AND THEIR COHORTS
“Unfortunately, the Ratliff family (Bill, Thomas, Bennett, Shannon) are heavily vested in Raise Your Hand and in other political entities that have managed to influence our Texas Legislators, particularly during this 83rd Session.”
So let’s get to Thomas Ratliff and why he may be a little testy. You see Thomas Ratliff;Bill’s son -you know the one who was ruled by the Attorney General to be on the State Board of Education illegally, because he is a paid lobbyist for Microsoft, yea that one. He had a press release that came out today… see below.
He is not very happy that CSCOPE has been brought under the microscope and lessons have been pulled. Connect this dot –
You know the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that is the lead funder for the transformation of Education in America called Common Core. It has been reported that “a Gates Foundation-funded project is storing an unprecedented amount of personal information about millions of students in a $100 million database that cannot guarantee complete security.”
Even in Texas, a state that rejected Common Core just passed HB2103. This bill, which was not vetoed by Gov. Perry, sets up three P20 education research centers that in the name of education research have access to private data on both students and teachers. Please listen to this short audio explaining it. https://soundcloud.com/alice-
CSCOPE in Texas was the testing ground for the platform that is to be used in other states.
From Texas Mom Colleen Vera’s article, here are Three examples from their business models:
- CSCOPE uses public funds to run a private non-profit corporation to hide its operations from the public
- CSCOPE started as a simple service to local school districts and spread to over 800 districts statewide with plans of expanding out of state.
- The legality of CSCOPE’s actions are highly suspect, access local tax dollars to give to a private non-profit corporation instead of distributing the funds directly to the ISDs as dictated by Texas Education Code 18.14.
So now the light is being shined and the Ratliff Clan is not happy. After listening to the recommendation of SBOE Thomas Ratliff for districts to download CSCOPE lessons and then listening to Sen. Dan Patrick’s response linked here. I would suggest we all call Attorney General Greg Abbott and let him know it is time for the Ratcliff clan to be held responsible. Let’s start with removing Thomas Ratliff from the SBOE.
Greg Abbott Campaign Office: 512.477.2002
See Thomas Ratliff’s press release and article written in the Long View News Journal- “WHAT A BULLY” I encourage you to click on the article and then voice your opinion of Thomas Ratliff’s opinion piece which basically defends the authors of the CSCOPE lessons which have been proven to be Anti-American, Anti-Christian and caused a great many of students to fail the STAAR test. It was not the teachers it was the philosophy of education of people like Linda Darling Hammond which gives the illusion of helping Texas School Children and Sarah Brown Wessling who parents have an issue with.
P.O. Box 232 State Board of Education
Mt. Pleasant, TX 75456 Vice-Chairman www.thomasratliff.com
Listen to what Bill Ayers says in the video below carefully…..
“If we want change to come we could do well not to look to the seats of power we have no access to. The white house even the congress the pentagon these are not the sites that we have access to. But lo and behold we have complete access to the community the school the neighborhood the street the classroom the workplace, the shop, the farm. That’s what we have direct access to…..”