Thursday, March 02, 2006

Loren Parks has a rival for the Oregon GOP's affections

What is it with rich, freaky, out-of-state Republicans and their obsession with Oregon politics?

First there was Loren Parks--the kinky sex freak GOPer in Arizona dumping piles of cash trying to manipulate Oregon's court system.

Now there's batshit crazy Patrick Byrne. Byrne is CEO of the Utah based He's also got a persecution complex that rivals anything Bill O'Reilly could drum up over the holidays. In short, Byrne believes that there is a "dark lord of the Sith" (his words) trying to undermine his company.

But even with all the light sabers and robot/clone army battles taking place in the basement of Overstock's Utah Headquarters, Byrne still finds the time to attack the public school system :

Of all society’s institutions from which we should demand excellence, schools top the list. Yet, we tolerate their consistent failure to convert huge financial inputs into adequate education outcomes.

That would be the conventional wisdom, given how conservatives have busted their asses to make sure public schools and teachers are rhetorically smacked on a regular basis.

Given that public school students vastly outperform private school students in math, Byrne's words have nothing to do with what's really going on in schools. Ideology trumps the reality based community every time with guys like this.

And now he's inscinuating himself into the Oregon school system.

Byrne is a major financial backer for the Freedomworks/Charles-Bruce Starr 65 cents solution. In a nutshell--this disaster would require that 65 cents of every dollar spent on education in Oregon would be diverted directly to classroom expenditures--unless you count things like guidance counselors, librarians, etc.

But worse, it would yank local control and autonomy even further from citizens who want a say in how the public schools spend tax dollars.

Another out-of-state tycoon with an agenda trying to manipulate Oregon's easy access initiative process, marketing another lipstick painted pig to people lapping up the idea that public schools need a "one size fits all" fix.

What utter arrogance. Hard right conservatives like the Starrs and Freedomworks are interested in snuggling up to these arrogantly powerful and rich guys. Its their own self interested elbow hobnobbing that matters to them. If they really wanted to fix schools--they'd be examining the test scores and research that indicates which schools are really failing kids. And it isn't the public schools, private parochial schools.