Why I NOW Question ALL Candidates- Even Conservative Republicans
By Alice Linahan 2.16.2016
I learned along time ago not to burn bridges because you may just need to walk over them again; especially in politics.
To those out attacking anyone who questions U.S. Senator Ted Cruz’s education policy record, remember, you are going to need us if Ted wins the primary. Tread carefully. Mitt Romney learned that the hard way when the Romney organization and establishment Republicans were pushing new rules at the Republican National convention that would take away states rights by stripping grassroots activists of any meaningful ability to participate in presidential politics. I believe that impacted the 2012 election. Many Libertarians stayed home and did not vote in the 2012 election. We can not allow that to happen in 2016.
DON’T BURN BRIDGES FOR TED CRUZ!!
And remember, it is not only our right, but our duty to question every candidate’s record and policies. They work for us. We do not work for them.
I addition, I learned that when it comes to education, there really is not a whole lot of difference between Republican and Democrat elected officials, especially when it comes to “School Choice”.
I also learned you better have really thick skin if you are going to go against the “School Choice” movement. Which many believe, naively, is a Conservative Republican movement.
I strongly encourage you to take just 9 min. and listen to this audio clip from the Women On The Wall Communication Team Conference call where I discussed why “School Choice” is so dangerous with Michigan Homeschool Mom Karen Braun and Oklahoma education activists Linda Murphy.
Now, let me be very clear. I have been a long time supporter of Senator Ted Cruz. Frankly, I worked very hard along with many others to make sure he was elected to the U.S. Senate. I believed he was a brilliant man and I still do. A brilliant man, who has been largely funded by the “School Choice” movement. I was actually on the blogger’s conference call when he announced he was running for the U.S. Senate. Many will remember that he announced his run for Senate to bloggers, not the mainstream press because he knew those of us on that call would put out his message in a strong positive way. He was right.
I was also asked to put on his last event before the vote in 2012. I rented out the Lonesome Dove Ranch and we had an amazing event. 100’s of people showed up. It was a great day, a great event and a great election.
So for all those out on social media promoting Ted Cruz, I completely know where you are coming from and have been in your shoes. I know what it is like to go on facebook and debate and defend a candidate. I have been there and have done that full force, for Ted Cruz and others.
Now, let me give you a reality check on what happens after the election is won and it is time to serve the people who put these elected representatives in office.
When it comes time for those elected officials to start running for the next election, you better not question their education policy. Why, because their largest re-election campaign funders are part of that “school choice” movement I mentioned. If you took the time to listen to the audio clip above you heard Karen Braun state the “Education Reformers” are non-partisan for the most part and they know the end game and they are framing a false narrative. Which is why we must demand that Sen. Ted Cruz “Defeat don’t Repeal” Common Core/College and Career Ready Standards.
Case in point….
In Texas, when Conservative Republicans were running, I told them I could be their biggest advocate, but I had some questions about legislation they had written or passed. I then became the enemy and the attack dogs came out in full force.
One of the key pieces of legislation I was trying to figure out in Texas was SB 1557 and it’s follow-up bill HB2824 on the Next Generation Learning Assessments in Texas.
The Next Generation of Learning Assessments and Accountability; I.E. College and Career Ready/Common Core.
I came to understand that the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) and Texas Association of School Administrators(TASA) are funded with tax money through local school districts and large grants from big donors like Bill Gates and are behind implementing a progressive TRANSFORMATION of the Texas School System.
Click here to see The New Vision for Public Education in Texas Implementation Rubric
“HB 2824 would have provided space and flexibility to the 23 school districts participating in the Consortium to carry out the research and development necessary to accomplish the goals initially outlined in Senate Bill 1557 to transform public education.”
Parents what do you think about your kids being used for research and development?
Now to those of you who have been fighting the battle against Common Core and researching Next Generation Learning Assessments and Accountability. You know full well by reading the above information that TEXAS has the Common Core philosophy of education. But, wait I thought Texas said NO to Common Core. We even passed a law, HB 462 saying Common Core was illegal in Texas.
It is my experience that Conservative Republicans are very good at creating illusions through legislation. HB462 did not make Common Core illegal in Texas. The law merely says that the SBOE (State Board of Education) can not mandate the Common Core National Standards on school districts without legislative approval. There is no penalty if school districts use Common Core.
Then, conservative republicans like Lt. Governor Dan Patrick along with Democrats like Wendy Davis, passed HB5 setting up the workforce pathways to graduation which are clearly the school to work outcome based education agenda.
So, why am I becoming so cynical in my old age? Really, because I know to much. I know how the games are played and how so many of us are used as grassroots activists. I have been in the trenches.
When I read the Breitbart article ‘Don’t Believe the Lies that Ted Cruz Hates Homeschool Freedom‘ by Mike Donnelly and Will Estrada attorneys at the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA); I was mad.
First, I knew that the Cruz campaign had brought on Will Estrada as their Co-Chair for the Cruz Homeschool Coalition. Clearly they were playing “identity politics” to garner the homeschool vote. But, as a Homeschool parent who once strongly supported Cruz, I was finding that both HSLDA and Cruz were for education policies I fundamentally disagreed with and had been trying to caution Senator Cruz’s staff about. Particularly, the dangers of Title 1 portability, S. 306 and school choice. Thanks to Cruz’s Texas team (who are great by the way,) I had a conference call with Ted Cruz’s education policy team to discuss these issues. We ended the call with the agreement that we would have to agree to disagree. I left it at that. So, yes I was angry when I saw the HSLDA Breitbart article which stated……
Which is why we found it laughable/ridiculous/absurd/preposterous (insert your preferred adjective) when a little known blogger recently made waves in the homeschool community by penning an article (complete with a “YUUUGE” picture of Donald Trump at the top!) titled “Cruz legislation Attacks Home Schooling – In Lockstep With United Nations One World Education!” We welcome a vigorous campaign debate on the issues, but the truth is not negotiable. Such a sensational, misleading, and false attack on Senator Cruz, who is a friend of homeschooling, needed to be addressed.
First of all, I am not associated with the Marshall Report blog, nor do I agree with the sensational language used in it. I believe Will Estrada and Mike Donnelly choose that blog in order to marginalize those like myself who had been questioning Sen. Cruz about S.306 and are pushing the false narrative that all those questioning were Trump supporters. That is completely false and inaccurate. I find this letter a face book friend sent me ironic.
You can’t be neutral on a part of a bill. When the whole bill gets passed, like the re-authorization of ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) now known as ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act), the reality is you’ve pushed passing an unconstitutional piece of legislation. As a homeschool parent, HSLDA most definitely DOES NOT represent me. I am not neutral on the constitution, and I thought Sen. Ted Cruz was not either.
Just so everyone is clear…… When Sen. Cruz announced his support for S.306 it was not only about the Coveredell tax credits. Cruz was clearly pushing “School Choice”, Title 1 and Education as a “Civil Rights” issue. The question is….. Was S. 306 Constitutional?
It is also important to note that currently, in order to use the funds tax-free, you must send your child to a school that is accredited and also able to receive federal student aid. If you use the funds outside of such parameters, you not only have to pay the taxes but penalties on top of them. Remember this is a system designed to lock in place access to individual students mandating that they are college and career ready.
Please read about the nightmare of accreditation in this article about ‘Responsive Ed’ here in Texas which is being pushed by conservative republicans as the answer to all education troubles. Is “Responsive Ed” in Texas aligned to the Common Core Philosophy of Education?
I guess, I was not alone in my anger. The next day Michigan Mom Karen Braun wrote an excellent article as a rebuttal to the HSLDA Breitbart article. I highly recommend you take the time to read Karen’s article.
Homeschoolers to Ted Cruz: We Don’t Want the Government’s Help!
Next, I invited Karen Braun a Michigan Homeschool Mom of 6 and Oklahoma education activist Mom Linda Murphy on the Women On the Wall Conference Call. As Karen Braun stated on Facebook…. “This issue is getting a lot of attention and I am glad. A sound discussion of school choice, portability, tax credits and more is the best way to protect educational freedom.” The archive of the Women On the Wall conference Call is that sound discussion. I hope you will take the time to listen and join in the conversation.
Karen Braun also does a brilliant job of laying out the argument against S. 306 in this article Senator Cruz and the Homeschool Kerfuffle.
“….if education is a state issue then the state should be the place to determine whether a homeschool family is a private school NOT the feds.
HSLDA, with Cruz support, has decided to by-pass the 36 legislatures and go directly to federal policy to fix the issue. And that’s where Cruz is getting into the cross hairs.
Cruz is in a conundrum of his own making. He is a Constitutionalist that believes there is NO role for the fed in education, yet he supported a federal fix for something that should be solved at the state level.
The Constitution allows no federal role for education. Allowing them to say that a homeschool is private school for ANY reason, no matter how limited is not their jurisdiction and not Constitutional.”
Unfortunately, Mike Farris, Chairman of HSLDA and Senator Cruz continue to push a false narrative and have given many of us reason to pause and question whether he is going to represent us, or, is he going to continue to marginalize and attack the very people who he is asking to vote for him.
Below is an excerpt from Senator Cruz as he responded in a brief interview with Mike Farris which was posted at HSLDA and can be heard here.
Mike Farris: Senator, there have been a few self-described researchers who’ve expressed concerns about the bill that you are a co-sponsor of, sponsored by our good friend Mike Lee, Senate Bill 306—that gives homeschoolers fair and equal access to savings accounts, the ability to participate in the Coverdell savings account programs. Can you respond to these criticisms: that people claim that the language of this bill would give the federal government the power to change definitions of homeschooling, and run away with federal control, and homeschool liberties would be abused by this bill that you and Mike Lee are supporting?
Sen. Cruz: Well sure, Mike, and I appreciate your raising that. As you know, those allegations are baseless, and they are being pushed primarily by a blogger or two who appear to be supporting Donald Trump and trying to spread misinformation. The legislation is legislation that Senator Mike Lee has introduced, who is a passionate supporter of homeschooling, as am I. And it’s legislation that simply eliminates the discrimination against homeschoolers currently in education savings accounts, so that if individuals choose to save their own money for educational purposes, they are allowed to spend their own money on homeschooling. And there’s no reason that federal law should discriminate against homeschoolers and treat them as second-class citizens. And as you know, the Home School Legal Defense Association has actively supported that legislation for a number of years, has spoken out in favor of eliminating discrimination against homeschoolers. And nothing in that legislation would open the door to even the teeniest bit of government regulation—and if it would, I would oppose it. I do not think the government has any business regulating homeschoolers, restricting their fundamental parental liberty. And allowing people to spend their own money in an education savings account to educate their kids is entirely consistent with that.”
ALL Candidates and their policy advisers, need to step back and then stand up and start fighting for our American children’s future like Moms and Dads not Politicians and business men and women. All of our children and their future is at risk.
– Congress has no right to dictate terms under which states “waive” their sovereignty. Their sovereignty comes from the Constitution, not Congress.
I am not telling anyone not to vote for Ted Cruz. Especially in light of the fact that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has passed away. What I am saying is, if you do vote for Sen. Ted Cruz, you better understand the issues surrounding his education policy, who is funding him and hold his feet the fire. Because, I can guarantee you his non-partisan big special interest “School Choice” donors will be looking for their payback.