Earlier today I spoke on the phone with candidate for Texas Governor Tom Pauken. As promised, I am communicating his response(s).
Pauken wanted me to understand that he stood firm against Fmr. Lt. Gov. Bill Ratliff in a debate regarding the infamous Robin Hood Plan (The Robin Hood plan was a media nickname given to legislation enacted by the U.S. Senate of Texas in 1993.) Ok. Let’s move 20 years down the road and how are things? No real clear answer.
Happily I did receive a more direct answer to my question as to why, after learning that the CSCOPE/Common Core supporting, SBOE Thomas Ratliff and Fmr. Lt. Gov. and creator of “Robin Hood,” Bill Ratliff were scheduled to speak after him at the same TAMA event in December of this year, he still elected to attend the event. Here Instead of the “I was asked before the Ratliffs’,” Pauken explained (pp) that sometimes we have to meet with the not so conservative folks to try and find some common ground. #Betteranswer! I can certainly understand that.
I asked Pauken twice as to his stance — for or against — CSCOPE. He never directly said he is against CSCOPE; though Abbott, Dewhurst, Toth, Patrick, Campbell and others openly have. However, he did state that he thinks we need to throw the whole system out and start teaching the basics, “not the test”, vocational, etc. — of which I agree.
Apparently, how this came about was an e-mail I put out to a group of East Texans inquiring as to why he was hanging with the Ratliffs’, and included the link to an upcoming TAMA conference in December. I received a overtly upset phone call from someone I respect greatly. She was not happy and let me know she did not want me to continue facebooking or tweeting my question about Tom Pauken and Thomas Ratliff.
I was pretty frank with Pauken. I did not appreciate him having someone call and tell me to stop what I am doing. Stop tweeting, etc about him. He said he never instructed anyone to tell me that.
He mentioned that my e-mail caused several of his supporters to contact him and all asking essentially the same question: have you “gone over to the dark side.”
As he spoke about his extensive involvement for better Texas education, I could not help but question: 1) I’m just Stacy, a mom in East Texas. I am no threat. So whats the deal? and 2) has the man, in almost 50 years in politics (in some capacity or interest) not been asked a question?
I tried to talk to him about CSCOPE; the fight we are in involving Thomas Ratliff, his deception, the teachers AGAIN under a GAG contract, etc. Pauken did not say this directly, but I did get the impression that CSCOPE just is not his fight. All Texas has to do is throw everything out, implement his plan and CSCOPE will no longer be an issue.
As a staunch anti-CSCOPE advocate, his answer did not sit well.
Finally, not saying I agree or even had the same suggestion made to me by another candidate (EVER), Mr. Pauken was clear, instead of ruffling the feathers of his supporters, he prefers for questions to asked of him directly and privately.