Thursday, October 11, 2012

Margo Education Townhall: "...Shameless Exhibition of Political Pandering..."

State Board of Education Member Charlie Garza (R-El Paso) pulled no punches in an interview with The LionStar Blog yesterday when he spoke about fellow Republican and State Representative Dee Margo's education townhall yesterday.

Garza, who will be facing Democratic challenger Martha Dominguez in the November primary, stated that the event that included a visit from the Texas Education Agency Commissioner Michael Williams "was a shameless exhibition of political pandering for the purpose of getting Dee Margo re-elected."

Garza indicated that protocol wasn't followed be either Representative Margo's office or the office of the Commissioner. Garza said he first found out about the visit last Friday while at a high school football game through an email from the El Paso GOP. Garza personally called the Commissioner on Sunday evening to find out the details about the trip and to question why he was coming to town without notifying the member of the State Board of Education, which is technically higher up on the education chain of command.

Garza says that Commissioner Williams, who previously visited El Paso in support of Margo when Williams was the Railroad Commissioner, indicated to Garza that he was making the trip at the behest of Representative Margo. Garza said he questioned the Commissioner about who was going to pay for the trip to El Paso and Garza says Williams' response to him was "I am a political animal'. To which Garza says he replied, "No sir. You are the Commissioner of Education."

According to Charlie Garza, the State Board of Education gave the legislature $3 billion to close the gap in funding for education. Garza wants to know what happened to that money.

Garza went on to state that he feels that Representative Margo is "prioritizing politics before children."

"Dee Margo has shown no previous interest in education" according to Garza who went on to ask me rhetorically, "Do you know how many times Margo has called me to consult on education issues? Zero. Do you know how many times he's called me to consult on the education budget? Zero."

Garza indicated that he has already spoken with the Chair of the State Board of Education and plans on raising Williams' trip at the next meeting. "I intend to get answers...I don't intend to drop this issue. He does not work for the legislature, he works the children of Texas."

When asked if he planned on endorsing Moody over Margo in the manner in which Reps Gonzalez and Marquez have endorsed Margo over Moody, Garza replied, "I have no dog in this fight. my priority are the children of Texas."


Anonymous said...

I would like to know what Mr. Garza has done to fix the problems with EPISD......has he invited the Commissioner to El Paso to address the situation? What steps has he taken? To play politics with such a battered district and with "children" being the victims, is a slap in the face. This scandal has impacted many families and personally, I have no problem with Mr. Williams visiting El Paso, I am grateful he is paying attention and that Mr. Margo invited him here.

To Mr. Garza -
Please work as hard at fixing this district as you are at "getting answers" from the commissioners trip and please "don't drop THIS issue". Take some action! Too many kids have been hurt by this scandal. You owe it to us to take a stand for the "children" and not politics.

Tim Collins said...

Is it just me or does Charlie look like Harpo Marx in this photo?