We’re teachers, not black helicopters

It already has been wellestablished that political advertising is limited only by imagination, not truth. And provoucher candidate Van Taylor’s imagination is working overtime in his Republican runoff campaign against Mabrie Jackson for an open legislative seat in Plano. This is the District 66 seat being vacated by veteran state Rep. Brian McCall.

Taylor has unleashed negative mailers against Jackson, claiming that “liberal” outsiders are trying to hijack the district’s voters on her behalf. One handout includes a picture of paratroopers dropping from the sky over the headline, “Liberal special interests are invading Plano!”

I want to assure the good folks of Plano, however, that there is no need to call 911 or the National Guard. Their lives, liberty and property are safe from Mabrie Jackson and her supporters.

Taylor’s assault on the truth was prompted by Jackson’s support from two proeducation and proteacher groups, TSTA and Texas Parent PAC, whose members are much more likely to find excitement in a PTA meeting or a parentteacher conference than in leveling suburban North Texas.

Taylor’s mailers allege that Parent PAC is a proDemocratic group funded by trial lawyers, when, in fact, Parent PAC has a broad base of support from about 900 contributors. They include teachers, school superintendents, business people, attorneys, homemakers, retired Texans and others, both Democrats and Republicans, from all over the state, including Plano. The one thing they all have in common is an interest in improving the public schools.

TSTA also has both Democratic and Republican members from throughout Texas, including Plano, and contributes to both Democratic and Republican candidates. Our members are teachers and other education professionals who also want to improve public education.

Jackson, a businesswoman, is the daughter of a retired Plano ISD teacher. Unlike Taylor, she opposes spending our limited tax dollars on vouchers for private school tuition.

Jackson also has won the editorial endorsement of The Dallas Morning News, which was more than a little concerned about Taylor’s comment to the newspaper that, if elected, he would “starve state government.”

Starving state government means starving, among other critical services, the public schools, a preposterous statement to make in a state that already lags behind most other states in what it spends, on average, to educate a public school student. The statement is even more unsettling coming from someone, like Taylor, who also wants to take public tax dollars to pay for private school vouchers.



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