Monday, January 21, 2008

Early Pho Endorsement: Ben Keeler

Local righty blogger Ben Keeler announced today that he is a candidate for Republican Precinct Captain in Bath Precinct F. He is running against Deborah Owens Fink, late of the State Board of Education (and in abundant disclosure, I was paid staff in Tom Sawyer's successful campaign against her last year.) Though factional designations aren't official, Ben is running on behalf of TeamCoughlin while Ms. Fink has long been an Alex Arshinkoff supporter.

Generally a choice between Coughlin and Arshinkoff is choice between a toothache and a headache. Arshinkoff has been fun to run against over the past couple of cycles, but his heavy hand over the various Alex fiefdoms exacts corrosive effect on good governance. TeamCoughlin will be more difficult to beat in elections, but might offer better governance -- they certainly couldn't do worse.

All that said, I unhesitatingly endorse Ben in this race. Though I haven't met him in person, I've read his thoughtful posts for some time, and have gotten to know him via email as a co-contributor to the Carnival of Ohio Politics. He's always been easy to work with, even as the only righty among the four of us. While we agree on little politically, he's a guy I have no trouble getting behind.

In addition, I have to give credit to anyone who lines up against Arshinkoff. There's no reason to believe that Arshinkoff's penchant for destructive retribution will stop at bloggers. Ben is putting his ambitions and any hope for access to the local party on the line for what he feels is the good of the party. It's no small thing and I salute him for it.

So I urge all my Republican readers in Bath (knowing chuckle) to vote for Ben Keeler for precinct chair.


King said...

Hello Pho! I think this is the first post I ever agreed with you on!

I will also be supporting Ben in anyway I possibly can. Being a member of the RPCC and a candidate for State Central Committee (25th), it is imperative we get more people like Ben involved.

I agree better republicans may make it harder for dems to win, but in the end forcing both sides to produce better candidates benefits the voters and good government. Lord knows we need that!

Taking a stand against a machine like Ben is something we need more of in this party.

I am proud to have met Ben through this cool blogosphere thing and proud to have him as a fellow republican.

Having some fellow republicans like Ben makes me feel there is still hope for our party.

Ben said...

Thanks you guys. Your verbal support means a lot.

Eric said...

Were Sawyer's concerns with the dysfunctional State Board of Ed ever addressed? From my perspective, Dr. Owens-Fink correctly noted lack of cultural senstivity among the angry mob for science, despite her problematic association with Discovery Institute and White Hat.

As it stands, the SBE has failed its tasking to adopt standards and curricula appropriate for all Ohio districts.

For example, Montgomery County Democrats endorsed one of its members for Dayton Public Schools board desite apparent lack of qualifications--one editor who interviewed the candidates called the endorsement boneheaded. The Dayton Daily News noted that the endorsement was misinterpreted as voters as an indication of competence rather than party loyalty. Apparently, identifying such partisanship is not an outcome in Dayton Public Schools, as the endorsement worked--graduates don't really evaluate the qualifications, duties, and responsibilities of candidates, despite the State's Academic Content Standards.

When the state and local boards of education fail to ensure public schools prepare students for democratic participation, what rationale exists for compulsory public education?

Eric said...

Speaking of endorsements, I'd be keen to see local and state board candidates rated as highly qualified, qualified, or not qualified by some organization familiar with the state's K-12 quality policy.

Again, unqualified candidates winning election to board seats undermines the rationale for compulsory public education.

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