By Jim Miller
In last week’s column, I wrote that “the future of public education and the heart and soul of progressive California” were at stake in the Superintendent of Public Instruction race. What makes this race so important is that it represents an attempt by moneyed interests and forces on the right to play in Democratic politics through the use of stealth and dishonesty. Indeed, if you like the way the Lincoln Club intervenes in and tries to upset the Democratic apple cart in races here in San Diego, you’ll love how the right is trying to game California’s Democratic voters in this contest.
It’s so bad, that the state party came out with this extraordinary assertion last May leading up to the primary in response to Tuck’s refusal to disavow his Republican allies:
Tony Thurmond has won the overwhelming support of Democrats for Superintendent of Public Instruction because he champions our progressive values. Marshall Tuck’s support is limited to ultra-wealthy billionaires and right-wing thugs like Newt Gingrich and John Cox, who we see next to him in the latest independent mailer that Tuck has tacitly endorsed. It doesn’t matter how many pictures of President Obama he sends out to voters. We hear both sides of his mouth, and we know the conservative agenda he is part of.
Democrats must be 100 percent clear on this: Gingrich, DeVos and Trump have outlandish education policies based on a warped view of the world. The fact that Tuck is okay with cozying up to some of the most despicable Republicans in the country speaks volumes about what his true priorities are.
Over the course of this campaign, I have noted the Tuck campaign’s deep ties to the mega-rich corporate education reform crew, prominent Trump donors, and other nefarious rightwing characters, but the stream of shady connections between Tuck, Republicans, and right-wing money never seems to end.
When Tuck is not happily appearing on Republican mailers with John Cox, he is receiving aid from folks like Bill Evers, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution (a conservative think tank) who was formerly an Assistant Secretary of Education for George W. Bush. Evers, who recently wrote an op ed in the San Francisco Chronicle attacking Tony Thurmond’s record, is one of Trump’s education advisors. In fact, Trump likes Evers so much, Politico had him pegged as one of the people on the short list for Secretary of Education:
Another possible education secretary under Trump is William Evers, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution who has worked on education matters for the Trump transition team. Evers worked at the Education Department during the Bush Administration and served as a senior advisor to then-Education Secretary Margaret Spellings.
While this didn’t pan out, Evers was part of the committee that chose Betsy DeVos as Trump’s nominee and has been a vocal supporter of Trump’s proposed cuts to education spending. Tuck may call himself a Democrat but, with friends like these, progressives and supporters of public education in California don’t need enemies.
If you combine this with Tuck’s links to Anti-Proposition 30 dark money, homophobic right-wingers like Howard Ahmanson Fieldstead Jr., millions of dollars of largesse from the Walton family, and a seemingly bottomless well of financial support from the billionaire boys club, you get the Republican Trojan Horse that is Marshall Tuck.
Our children’s future is too important to get fooled this time around. Vote Democrat this November 6th and elect Tony Thurmond as California’s next Superintendent of Public Instruction.