Our job is to find out relevant information and share it with you so you can be more informed and engaged in the issues you care about that affect our schools.
So here’s our analysis. There are two “camps” in this election. All the candidates know this. Those watching the election most closely know this. You should know this, too.
2014 was a huge election in which a wave of coordinated candidates were recruited, vetted, and supported by 912 (and related groups like RWWC) and supported by local and national pro-privatization funders (including Americans for Prosperity). They swept all six seats. Two 912 members (PJ Mezera and Mark Gregory) were already on the board. The 912-supported candidates have control of the board, and the last two years have largely been a representation of their issues, campaigns, and interests.
Though none of those people is up for re-election this year, 2016 is a rerun.
Our analysis is that 2016 is a contest between those who recruited, guided, and supported the 2014 challengers and those reacting to the campaigns, personalities, and politics over the last two years.
In fact, every single district has a contest between:
A candidate who is supported by the same people and groups who brought us the 2014 challengers (Curlee, Burgos, Emerson, Cash, et al.)
A candidate who is supported by people and groups reacting to and pushing back against that wave of candidates
DistrictThe people/groups who supported Susan Curlee, Beth Burgos, and Candy Emerson are also supporting:The people and groups reacting against the 2014 wave of challengers are supporting:
1Richard DavisAngela Durham
3Kim LittleEliot Mitchell or Christy Coleman
4Joey CzarneskiAnne McGraw
5Julie MauckGary Anderson
7Jennifer Luteran or Christopher RichardsBobby Hullett
9Denise BoothbyRick Wimberly
11Stuart CooperKC Haugh
Beth Burgos, Susan Curlee, and Candy Emerson with Victoria Jackson
(Click to enlarge)
(* See Selected 2016 WCSB Financial Contributions for more information on 2016 campaign funders.)
Over the past two years, we’ve seen:
An investigation into Hillsboro teachers who were having a private after work conversation (because they said critical things about board members)
Claims of indoctrination into Islam in seventh grade social studies
A campaign to remove Dr. Looney that almost succeeded
If those things resonate with you and strike you as good policy, you are probably in the 2014 camp – the portion of the electorate who thinks that Susan Curlee was heroic and brave to prosecute the parents of Williamson Strong; that Mezera’s and Burgos’ secretive and often changing Hillsboro investigation into an after-work teacher conversation was warranted and appropriate. That Cathy Hinners and Laurie Cardoza-Moore are trusted analysts about the teaching of Islam in social studies. That Dr. Looney is a problem rather than an asset to our schools. If these are your views, you will find similar views among those who are backing Richard Davis, Kim Little, Joey Czarneski, Julie Mauck, Jennifer Luteran or Christopher Richards, Denise Boothby, and Stuart Cooper. These candidates have been endorsed by J. Lee Douglas, President of 912 TN, who played a major role recruiting, coordinating, and supporting candidates in 2014 and later did a petition for the removal of Dr. Looney. They were were also endorsed by Curlee ally Julie West’s group, the Williamson County Homeschool Coalition, whose members include radio personality Michael DelGiorno, WilliamsonTrue owner and 2014 WCSB candidate Patsy Writesman, Claudia Henneberry, and Denise Birnbaum.
On the other hand, if you think the last two years have been full of damaging ideological campaigns of political retribution and inappropriate politicization, you are likely on the side of groups that have formed in reaction to the 2014 WCSB election. These groups are supporting Angela Durham, Eliot Mitchell or Christy Coleman, Anne McGraw, Gary Anderson, Bobby Hullett, Rick Wimberly and KC Haugh. This includes the Williamson Business PAC (formed by businesses frustrated by the publicity created by the 2014-elected board) and the WillCo Rising PAC (formed by Brentwood public school parent Roger Abramson).
Who will show up and make their voice heard?
Be informed, be engaged, and VOTE!
Make sure to research the 16 candidates and their endorsements: Updated 2016 WCSB Election Roundup