If there is anything the Trump era has taught conservatives it is that there is no such thing as a “non-partisan” institution. Supposedly non-partisan government bureaucracies, news media, corporations, civic organizations, charities, and especially schools and universities, are relentlessly partisan and increasingly aligned, not just with Democrats, but with the Far Left.
And in many states and localities that purport to conduct nonpartisan elections, the offices so elected are the beachheads of the Far Left in otherwise conservative jurisdictions.
The mess in the Loudoun County, Virginia schools is just one salient example of the Far Left Democrat takeover of a school board, which subsequently moved from a focus on excellence to promoting CRT, transgenderism and a host of other Far Left Democrat policy goals.
Now facing recall, the Far Left Democrats who got elected as “non-partisan” candidates are being protected by Loudoun County’s Far Left Soros-backed Democrat Commonwealth Attorney Buta Biberaj.
Florida enacted a constitutional amendment designating many local offices as “non-partisan” in 1998, about the time Democrats began to lose control of the state legislature, and non-partisan school boards and city councils have long served as the Democrat “bench” in otherwise conservative counties.
But all that may change thanks to legislation introduced by Florida state Senator Joe Gruters. Sen. Gruters also serves as Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida and is in our opinion one of the best GOP state chairmen in the country.
Jannis Falkenstern, writing for The Epoch Times, reported that in a Senate Ethics and Elections Committee hearing on Nov. 30, Gruters said, “It doesn’t matter what county you are in; these races are already partisan.”
He said Democratic and Republican activist organizations are “already choosing their favorites” in these elections–even though the candidates are running as non-partisan.
Gruters explained his proposal would end what he referred to as a “shell game.”
He said candidates with “partisan leanings” are running, but they can shield their “true political views” from Florida voters because they’re seeking a non-partisan office.
Ms. Falkenstern reported state Sen. Jennifer Bradley, a Republican, said she would welcome the change. “You’d let voters know where you stand.”
After much discussion SJR 244 passed committee by 5-4 along party lines.
In order for the proposed measure to move forward in January it would need 60 percent approval in both the House and the Senate.
Then the proposed constitutional amendment would go before the voters in November 2022 and would need more than 60 percent of them to approve it to become law.
Similar legislation has been filed in Arizona by state Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, a Republican from Scottsdale, Arizona.
KPHO/KTVK reported state Sen. Ugenti-Rita said it is about truth in advertising, giving the public more information before they cast their vote.
Critics argue this will inject more politics into the local school board level at a time when the normally quiet meetings have increasingly become partisan battlegrounds over student health and curriculum.
SB 1010 also includes a provision prohibiting board members from removing protestors from their meetings as long as they are peaceful.
Arizona lawmakers will not consider the bill until next month at the earliest when they return to the Capitol for the start of the 2022 legislative session.
Naturally, partisan Democrats in the news media have already started to campaign and lobby against the legislation.
Two of Florida’s largest newspapers, the Orlando Sentinel and the Miami Herald have already come out against state Senator Joe Gruters’ bill.
The Sun-Sentinel’s editorial was particularly over the top saying, “Partisan School Board elections? It’s a dangerous idea, literally” and uncritically promoting the idea that the FBI was justified in targeting concerned parents as domestic terrorists.
And in arguing against SJR 244, the Orlando Sentinel pretty much made state Senator Gruters’ point for him:
Gruters is right about one thing: School board elections are already partisan enough, and a hotly contested 2020 race for the Broward County School Board illustrates the point.
In a supposedly nonpartisan race for the District 3 seat, incumbent Heather Brinkworth was targeted by Democrats who robo-called voters with reminders that she was appointed by former Republican Gov. Rick Scott and false claims that she was anti-LGBTQ. Challenger Sarah Leonardi had strong support from Democratic political clubs and Democratic-aligned unions and defeated Brinkworth.
The Miami Herald likewise editorialized against the Gruters bill and in large measure argued against its own case saying:
Partisanship might work in Congress or the state Capitol, but we have historically done our best to keep it out of public education. That’s lost on Florida’s Republican leaders, who have turned masks into a liberal-versus-conservative battle and politicized anything from Dr. Anthony Fauci to Critical Race Theory, a term most people had never heard of (and probably don’t know what it actually means) until Donald Trump made it into a boogeyman for white parents who are opposed to racial-equity efforts. DeSantis banned teaching CRT from K-12 — even though it’s not part of school curriculum in Florida.
This is patently false, CRT has crept into Florida schools as research by many Florida parents and grassroots education advocacy organizations, such as Moms for Liberty and our friends at the Florida Citizen’s Alliance, has demonstrated. We endorse Florida’s SJR 244, sponsored by Florida’s state Senator Joe Gruters and Arizona’s SB 1010, sponsored by Arizona state Senator Michelle Ugenti-Rita. We urge CHQ readers and friends in Florida and Arizona to tell their state legislators to back the legislation. And if your state is plagued by phony “non-partisan” elections, particularly for school board, we urge you to contact your state legislators to tell them to introduce legislation to return so-called non-partisan elections to party affiliation elections.
Critical Race Theory
Loudon County Virginia
Democrat Commonwealth Attorney Buta Biberaj
Florida state Senator Joe Gruters
Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita
Arizona SB 1010