Yesterday, the Mexican American Legislative Caucus held a “hearing” at the state Capitol on the social studies curriculum standards that were approved in March by the State Board of Education.
Jonathan Saenz has his report from yesterday’s hearing here (you should add his blog to your reading list while you’re there). MALC’s hearing appears to have been an exercise in crucifying and criticizing the conservatives on the SBOE; it was not, in any way, a fair discussion of the curriculum standards. The Houston Chronicle picked up the story here.
It needs to be said, this “hearing” was not a legal proceeding – the House rules do allow for caucuses to use the Capitol for limited purposes, but what happened yesterday may be misconstrued as to actual effect and function. It was a dog-and-pony show for MALC to display their discontent and political aim. The primary concern, other than the obvious political crucifixion that MALC attempted on Republican members of the SBOE, is whether or not MALC’s “hearing” is a violation of HR 3, the rules resolution of the 81st session that sets forth the regulations for caucus activities.
The Republican Party of Texas, and this blogger (as not just a Republican, but a very concerned citizen) want answers to the following questions:
- Why is MALC – which accepts donations from nonmembers and special interest groups – holding a mock hearing in the state capitol?
- Why did they use state staffers in a political hearing?
- Were other state resources and personnel used to facilitate their pretend hearing in any way?
- Did any of the state representatives who attended claim per diem for April 28th, 2010?
- What is MALC’s agenda, and why was this pretend hearing so politically one-sided?
- Why did a hearing supposedly about education standards veer off into irrelevant topics that have nothing to do with educating students in Texas? And why was a Democrat SBOE candidate allowed to give a stump speech and bash our state’s elected SBOE?
Because this “hearing” was held in a Capitol hearing room, it was broadcast over the closed circuit television system inside the Capitol. Which means it was pumped into every office in the building – and we’re lucky enough to have video of it (04/28/10, Mexican American Legislative Caucus). MALC is a political caucus with a political agenda. Using government facilities (read: taxpayer-funded) and government employees (read: taxpayer-paid) for political purposes is usually illegal. Letting candidates for the SBOE speak, and basically make stump speeches against incumbents, is blatant electioneering.
(cross-posted from Blue Dot Blues)