Recall Wynde? Regan? Anyone Else?

by Steve, July 3rd, 2007

There is some good discussion over at Terry Olson’s blog about Doug Morgan’s swan song that turned at times into a paean to Vicki Phillips. (You really should pay attention to Terry, if you have any interest in PPS reform issues. He’s an actual educator and expert on school reform, unlike so many pushing market-oriented reform at PPS.)

I tossed off the casual remark “The election of Ruth Adkins and comments on this entry by die-hard public schools supporters indicate a fraying patience with ‘business’ as usual in our public schools. If the board still hasn’t got that message, perhaps it’s time for a recall campaign or two. Or Three.” Which prompted the question from “blueteeth”: Can we do that? Even without malfeasance or dereliction of duty?

And my answer: Yes we can. According to Article II, Section 18 of the Oregon Constitution, recall drives merely have to “set forth in the petition the reasons for the demand.” You need to gather signatures totaling 15% of voters in the last regular governor’s election. See also ORS Chapter 249.

Blueteeth suggested the trigger point for such a campaign would be the promotion of a Vicki Phillips minion, say Cathy Mincberg, to superintendent.

The obvious and most vulnerable member of the board is David Wynde, who nearly lost reelection to virtual unknown Michelle Schultz. He may not fare so well in a rematch. Bobbie Regan is also vulnerable, but doesn’t have such a convenient populist opponent waiting in the wings. Who else is vulnerable?

Is it foolhardy to even consider such a move? I don’t think so.

Whatever we do, it is important to keep up the pressure on the PPS board. We may think a message was sent by the election of Ruth Adkins and the near miss on Wynde, but it sure is smelling like business as usual over at BESC. Thanks again to Terry Olson for keeping such good tabs on things.

Coming Soon: Election ’08 Round Table

by Steve, July 3rd, 2007

I know, it seems too early to be talking about the ’08 presidential election. But don’t forget, the primaries are piling up at the beginning of the year, so everything is coming early. I’ve been enjoying watching the Republicans run from Bush. Not sure what they’re running to, but this just adds to the fun. The Democrats have been less fun to watch, and far more predictable. I haven’t been a Democrat since ’84, and I’ve been critical of the post-Keynsian economic policies of Democrats and Republicans alike.

With ’08 the Dems’ to lose, you’d think the field would be a little more interesting. But no, we’ve got a troika of centrists in Clinton, Obama and Edwards leading the pack. There’s the speculation that Gore will step in, shaking things up a bit, but have we forgotten his abysmal ’00 campaign? And what about a third-party spoiler? Could there really be a three-way race between New Yorkers Clinton, Giuliani and Bloomberg? Delicious speculations, folks!

Anyway, I’ve invited two old friends to join me in a virtual round table to discuss the ’08 presidential primaries and election. We may do both the Dems and Republicans. I’ll be looking for a Democrat I can endorse. He or she will need to meet certain criteria, such as support for single-payer health care, ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, requiring free-trade agreements to have meaningful environmental and labor protections, and ending or rewriting No Child Left Behind. So far, I’m not aware of a viable candidate that meets these criteria.

Stay tuned!