Friday, March 07, 2008

Confirmed: Merkley is now a liar and a hypocrite

It’s now completely clear: Jeff Merkley is both a liar and a hypocrite.

He’s lying about whether or not he and his wife “considered” enrolling their kids in a charter school, and he’s a hypocrite because he now has told the Bend Bulletin that he is still opposed to charter schools.

First, the lie: His story has constantly shifted, but the current version, in The Funny Paper today:

“Merkley said his wife heard about the school from a neighbor and was asked to fill out the forms when she visited. "I never saw the form," he said. "It's not a school we'd ever consider sending our kids to."

Except they did more than consider it. They filled out enrollment applications for both kids, individually. Arthur Academy has no form to fill out to “express interest.” Now, perhaps Merkley’s wife, who he says did the deed, didn’t realize what she was doing was filling out enrollment applications.

OK, let’s go with that. She filled out two forms, both titled “Enrollment Application,” one for each of their two kids, thinking that she was simply expressing interest in the school. Sure, that is believable.

But there is more than just the enrollment applications as a paper trail in this controversy. Merkley’s personal lawyer called the Arthur Academy after this story broke, and the school official sent the lawyer, by his request, copies of the applications along with an email that explained certain realities about what transpired. This e-mail is easily retrieved by a FOIA request, since it is public record.

Excerpt from the email from Arthur Academy to Merkley’s Lawyer:

“There are handwritten notes at the upper right of each form "per phone call 5-24-04 on wait list." We think this was written by someone in our office.

What this implies to me is that after the May 1 cutoff date, we conducted a lottery relating to any then-available spaces in grades for the next fall [September 2004] and that neither child was selected for such then-available spaces [it's possible all seats had already been filled after the earlier, March 1, cutoff and lottery].

Thus, the children were placed on the waiting lists for each grade, and a person in our office apparently called and talked to the parents or left a message to that effect on May 24.”

So not only did the Merkleys enroll their kids, but they were in the lottery, placed on the wait list, and then called and notified that their kids were on the wait list! Does that sound to you like they thought they had just “expressed interest” in the school?

The email answers this question:

“The submitted applications were to enroll the children, not merely to visit or consider the school, neither of which requires any application or other form.”

The Merkley’s say they decided not to send their kids to the school. Well, maybe. The school did not open that fall, so they couldn’t have sent them there even if they had wanted to. But the Arthur Academy has this to say about what the Merkley’s did or did not decide:

“We cannot tell what they decided or when, but the forms have no indication that they communicated to us such a decision before the lottery or before they were told on May 24 that their children had been placed on the waiting list (or at any other time). And there is no indication that when they were given this information, or thereafter, they told us to remove their children's names from our waiting list. But it's possible that happened.”

So they never told the school that they were no longer interested, even after being told they were on the waiting list. How plausible is that?

Bottom line, Merkley’s story makes no sense. He says he still opposes charter schools, but he applied for his own children to attend one. Classic hypocrisy.

When the fact became known, he obfuscated, threw his wife under the bus, basically claiming she was so dim she thought a form titled “Enrollment Application” was a form expressing interest in the school(!) and then lied, saying he would never consider sending his kids to this kind of school.

Not his finest moment.


MAX Redline said...

As you well know, charter schools and home-schooling are under constant attack by a number of politicians fed by the unions. The latest is from California:

Home-Schooling, Charter Schools Under Attack In California

In a ruling of unprecedented scope, parents of some 166,000 children may face criminal charges for failing to "comply with school enrollment laws".

Justice H. Walt Croskey, whose opinion was joined by two other judges, then ordered: "Parents who fail to [comply with school enrollment laws] may be subject to a criminal complaint against them, found guilty of an infraction and subject to imposition of fines or an order to complete a parent education and counseling program."

The determination reversed a decision from Superior Court Judge Stephen Marpet, who ruled "parents have a constitutional right to school their children in their own home."

Croskey, without hearing arguments from the school, opined that the situation was a "ruse of enrolling [children] in a private school and then letting them stay home and be taught by a non-credentialed parent."

Specifically, the appeals court affirmed, the trial court had found that "keeping the children at home deprived them of situations where (1) they could interact with people outside the family, (2) there are people who could provide help if something is amiss in the children's lives, and (3) they could develop emotionally in a broader world than the parents' 'cloistered' setting."

Further, the appeals ruling said, California law requires "persons between the ages of six and 18" to be in school, "the public full-time day school," with exemptions allowed only for those in a "private full-time day school" or those "instructed by a tutor who holds a valid state teaching credential for the grade being taught."

Look for this to go on to further appeal, as the ruling appears to trample upon the rights of citizens to raise and to educate their children in a manner appropriate to their beliefs. If, by forcing children to be enrolled in public schools which inculcate at very early ages doctrines that are incompatible with the beliefs of the parents, the State is clearly in violation or the separation of church and state clause.

If parents do not subscribe to pro-homosexuality, "global warming". or other popular agendas promoted heavily in public school environments, it seems clear that by forcing parents to immerse their children into an environment of such theology - at gunpoint - then the state is attempting to establish a religion.

Although consistently couched in terms of "nurturing", such rulings promulgate the concept that only the state is capable of determining the sort of nurturing that should be made available to children. This is antithical to the fundamental concepts of freedom and representative government, and illustrative of the salient point of the ground-breaking novel, "1984":

Whoever controls the past controls the future. Whoever controls the present controls the past.

Rob Kremer said...


Yes, pretty incredible decision, wasn't it? I'll probably post on it later. I read the decision. Funny thing, California's compulsory schooling law is so bad, so limiting, that the state court of appeals might just have interepreted that law correctly!

I appreciate your take on it. Good stuff.

RINO WATCH said...

What's really tasty is this:

The idea Gomer's wife does important child raising details, such as deciding what school their kiddies will attend, without consulting with the "Speaker of the House"!

The above and the thought that Gomer is indeed "slow" and doesn't have a frigging clue as to what's going on in his house OR more importantly, OUR HOUSE!

Liars, buggers, & thieves...

Anonymous said...

Merkley's dodging of this issue tells me he thinks the majority of Democrats in Oregon believe children - including their own - are Wards of the State first and that their welfare comes second to the needs of the State. Wow, what a pathetic bunch.

jack said...

It appears Merkley's explanation didn't wash with the OEA either.

Anonymous said...

Yes Rob, Please post on what Max brought up. That is a very scary topic I would like to know more about.

I would like to think, when I have my own children, that I will have the first say in how they are raised. 99.9% of parents will do a better job of raising their children (regardless of the parents education,) than a bunch of state-power-trip-agents ever will.

Jack Johnson said...

The reason why English language is deteriorating it's because it is used the wrong way. Even in the medieval period, they have enjoyed avidly the bad side of using this language. Like other countries that have their own languages too, local dialect is first learned at home and then academic second. Don't say that Shakespeare or Thomas Malory have never said "damn" or "curse you" which is equivalent to "shit or bitch" nowadays. They do said these words too because they are humans. They are only humans but STILL, it depends on how language is being used. In a fast changing world with millions of trends to choose from, and with evolving arts made out language like songs, yah before there were sonnets, and to purchase one you need to travel from New York to Manchester because rare cuts and hard to find books are found in England. Now we don't have sonnets anymore because they were already replaced by Sir Paul McCartney followed by the league of smooth contemporary jazz, rnb, pop, rock, slow rock, love songs, rap even dance! of course save the best for last guys because it's a hard no without itunes. can't download without Itunes on PC. can a typewriter have Itunes on it? but with all these things made out of language... Are you still going to bang and close your door for these wonderful changes? It's up to you, It's up to me It's up to us. Whether we're gonna use language to hurt others. Animals can't talk, people can, so let's not be animals, learn use and make money out of English language who knows maybe language is the key to fight recession.