We’ve cited the efforts by Battleground Texas to “turn Texas blue” by contesting every election possible, from your local city council to the White House. And although many liberal candidates are not explicitly receiving BGTX support, Democrats across the Metroplex are pushing hard to either protect local incumbents or support challengers to non-liberals.
A Keller ISD school board candidate, Shane Hardin, called Ted Cruz a “bastard” and promulgated studies supposedly linking “extreme conservatism to racism and low I.Q.”. He also accused Southern Baptists of rewriting the Bible, while demeaning Southerners as being prone to “inbreeding”.
Liberal activists are present elsewhere. In Crowley ISD, Gary Grassia, the former Democrat opponent to Rep. Craig Goldman (R-Fort Worth), is organizing local efforts to protect two incumbents; Dr. Chowdhury and Thedrick Franklin. He’s also supporting the editor of the Crowley Star, Jay Hinton.
The three other candidates running, Rusty Norton, Misty Whitley and Jerry Nugent, are more likely to support Sybil Lane in her reform efforts. Both Norton and Whitley have been endorsed by Texans For Fiscal Responsibility.
Chowdhury was previously beaten by Sybil Lane, an outspoken voice on the board who’s attempted to reign in imprudent fiscal policy and improve the district’s academic reputation. Chowdhury was later appointed by the board to fill a vacancy, without taking input from the public.
Surprisingly, Chowdhury appears to be Republican leaning. He’s voted Republican and previously endorsed Dr. Mark Shelton (R) in his unsuccessful bid against Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth). But prior to running as Democrat for SD10, Davis also voted and supported Republicans.
Grassia’s support of the Chowdhury/Franklin/Hinton slate should alarm conservatives.
He circulated an email to local Democrats warning of a “Tea Party takeover” of the CISD board led by Lane, even though Lane claims she isn’t affiliated with any tea party.
In typical, liberal-hysteria fashion, Grassia wrote, “As active Dems you know the focus of the tea party is to defund public schools and this is exactly what will happen if the majority of the CISD board are tea party members”, wrote Grassia. “[They] all tout that they are Christian Conservatives who want transparency and fiscal responsibility while bringing Jesus back into the ISD”.
Apparently, if you value government transparency, fiscal responsibility and Jesus, you also want to destroy public education.
Lane has received criticism for opposing a pay increase for teachers in 2014, after the board approved a similar increase in the previous year. Instead, she supported the hiring of additional teachers and other staff as an alternative. “The $2.5 million spent on raises should have been used to add desperately needed staff”, said Lane. “Our students would have been better served by addressing this glaring shortage, as opposed to increasing existing teacher wages for the second straight year while continuing to ignore other issues.”
Other disagreements have been related to the hiring of contractors. Lane opposed the use of a more expensive contractor for the construction of an elementary school. “I preferred a less expensive bid from another company who could have saved the district money…funds that we could have used elsewhere”, Lane insisted. “But then again, the firm who offered the lower bid wasn’t cozying up to the board with extravagant dinners and lavish perks at the TASB conference.”
Many conservatives in Texas consider local races to be non-partisan, since state law doesn’t require local officials to declare a partisan-affiliation. As a result, many voters ignore local elections, failing to see the significance of their involvement.
But as we’ve previously stated, the Texas model of governance relies heavily on local governments to provide government services. Consequently, these districts hold immense taxing, spending and borrowing authority. Not only does the governing ideology of local officials matter, but big-government liberals are not likely to make a political truce just because conservative primary voters decide to sit on the sidelines.
Crowley ISD is evidence that the opposite is true.
Below is the original email message sent by Grassia:
HELP STOP the TEA PARTY in Crowley ISD!!
Crowley ISD is undergoing a Tea Party takeover and we need ALL THE HELP we can get! There is already one TP sitting as a trustee and 3 more are trying to be elected. If all three are elected they will have majority. As active Dems you know the Tea Party’s focus is to defund public schools and this is exactly what will happen if the majority of the CISD Board are Tea Party Members. Our current TP Trustee voted no to teacher raises and no to federal funding for Special Ed Children. The Tea Party Candidates spout nonsense to scare people into believing that if a change is not made then the district is doing our children an injustice. None of which understand the difference about what is state law and what the school board can vote into policy. All tout that they are Christian Conservatives who want transparency and fiscal responsibility while bringing Jesus back into the ISD. (Remember many people in Southwest Fort Worth attend Crowley ISD Schools.)
Myself, along with a few others, formed an SPAC, CISD United, to help elect the 3 candidates we feel will benefit the district. We are hosting a block walk on Saturday, April 26 at 9:00 to promote our candidates and would love any help that the Dems can muster! We are meeting at Oakmont Elementary 6651 Oakmont Trail FW 76132. Please let me know if you are able to help.
Gary Grassia (former Candidate for House District 97)