A group supported by “wing-nuts” and business interests started a smear campaign against Sen. Kevin Eltife (R – Tyler) this week in an attempt to coerce him to allow SB 1643 to be debated in the Senate. The bill is another attempt from the right to attack teacher’s unions, under the guise of “accountability”.
As Burka reports the smear was so bad that it blew up in the groups face and scuttled a compromise that had been worked out between Sen. Eltife and Sen. Shapiro, the bills author.
Then he woke up Tuesday to the radio ads. “It’s bizarre,” Eltife said. “When somebody pushes me that hard, it makes me leery of what’s in the bill.”
Before Shapiro agreed to his amendment, Eltife said, the bill “set up a whole system that takes away local control — the TEA will tell districts who they have to fire. I’m not buying that.”
Late Wednesday, Eltife and Shapiro sounded as though they were moving on to other battles — though Shapiro said she would be vigilant for House bills that could serve as vehicles for her proposal. Eltife joked that the ads actually made him a hero in his district: “You run an ad against me in my district saying I’m standing up to the leadership in Austin? That’s positive thing.”
Sen. Eltife seems to be a Senator like his predecessor, Republican Senator and former Lt. Gov. Bill Ratliff, who was good at working out compromises on education in the legislature. He is now the Chairman of the Board of Raise Your Hand Texas. A more broad-based and diverse group – business, academia, educators, etc.. – and a statewide, regional, Advisory Council that includes regular people. Be sure and check out their legislative agenda.
Hopefully stunts like this will continue to show these idiotic and mean-spirited attacks from he “wing-nuts” no longer work. I wouldn’t count on it because as long as these folks have money burning a hole in their pockets there’ll be someone willing to take it for smear campaigns like this. Who knows, maybe someone like Sen. Shapiro will go to groups like this and tell them they’re not helping or, even, stop taking their money.