My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


A Caution 

I'm as pleased as the next guy that a Court denied Gov. Ritter his tax "freeze" money grab.

BUT . . .

This is the sort of issue that is tailor-made to a 527 attack on the Independence Institute, conservatives, and the Republican Party.

Imagine: "Some far-right interest groups filed a lawsuit against the Democrats' real attempt at improving the state's school-finance situation, and the result is that $117 million is being taken away from kids. Call your Republican legislator and ask them to please give the money back to the kids" [all while staring at a picture of a classroom with only 3 ratty old textbooks]

You all know how the game is played--I fully expect to see this ad on the air in October.

Now, any body want a nickel's worth of free advice?

Republicans MUST NOT go out in public and seem too giddy about this. They should talk about checks and balances, and limiting the governor's ability to act unilaterally, and the majority's clear disregard for the Constitution.

But if they seem like they're just glad to have the money taken back by the general public, it'll be a lot harder to convince the electorate that it's not about handicapping the schools. We've seen the Dems win with just such arguments, before--and this time they have Douglas Bruce in the legislature as a target for their ire.

Republicans have to Jiu-Jitsu this and start talking about school innovations, about schools that are succeeding very nicely on the old budget, about New York and Washington schools that get almost twice as much money but are miserable failures, and about how the Dems have voted to remove accountability while turning over more money to schools and a system that is not showing any results. If we get bogged down strictly on the issue of money for the schools, we lose; if we can turn it into a discussion of genuine education reform, I think we can hold our ground on this issue.

Oh, and, it would help to have those ideas out in front of the press and public by Labor Day.

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