… Because he seems to have an opinion about everything else and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette is ever ready to indulge him.
I refer to the quote from Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin in the article about an El Dorado judge’s ruling yesterday that the U.S. Constitution still applies in Union County, Arkansas. That is, a lawful federal court order in a desegregation case supersedes the desire of the state Board of Education to promote white flight from El Dorado to neighboring all-white districts. Duly noted by the D-G high up in its account:
Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin, who has been an advocate for school competition and interdistrict student transfers in different parts of the state, on Wednesday called Hickey’s order “poorly reasoned” and “another example of federal over-reach, this time to deny parents’ choice over their kids’ education.”
By that standard, a better choice for quotation would be the cadre of Walton-paid school lobbyists, including Gary Newton, who nearly had a meltdown on Twitter yesterday over federal supremacy in El Dorado. He was sorely put out that Pulaski County Superintendent Jerry Guess had testified that the state-approved transfer in El Dorado would contribute to segregation. Newton and allies seemed to think Education Commissioner Johnny Key should shut Guess up. Key is, after all, boss of Guess until an elected board reasserts authority after November school elections. Example: former North Little Rock School Board member Scott Miller, of all people, said the Waltonite Education Department should “rein Guess in.”
Two problems with that:
1. Guess was subpoenaed to testify, no matter how much Johnny Key, Scott Miller or Gary Newton might wish he’d shut up.
2. We still have a First Amendment in these United States. Government can’t “rein in” someone for expressing an opinion it dislikes. (In theory. Key did fire Baker Kurrus for objecting to unbridled charter school expansion.)
If a willingness to pop off on school choice matters qualifies you for prominent quotation in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, I can supply Cynthia Howell with a long list of phone numbers for people on the other side of the equation, more active than Griffin. They have about as much influence on the matter as an Arkansas lieutenant governor does. Ever heard the expression “teats on a boar hog”?
Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Griffin, how about them Hogs?