Like any true politician, state school board member Matt Brown of Baldwin County is apparently looking for a parade so he can rush to the front of it. This time he is trying to stake out his claim to the transgender bathroom issue–though he has no support from other board members.
You can read about his attempt to grab headlines here.
The state board met on May 12 for a regular session, plus a work session. Brown had a resolution he wanted to present at the work session, though it was not on the agenda. He discussed this with several other board members who disagreed with what he wanted to do. In spite of this, he still attempted to bring it before the work session just before adjournment. Jeff Newman is vice-chair of the board and presides when the governor (who is chair by virtue of his office) is not present.
Newman told Brown that his resolution would not be discussed and adjourned the meeting.
I understand politics and politicians about as well as anyone. My first involvement in a campaign was 45 years ago. Still I have always thought that when children are involved, such as service on a school board, we should hold ourselves to a higher standard. In other words, don’t try to earn political brownie points at the expense of children.
Apparently Matt Brown does not agree and puts his own desire for a political future first and foremost. Remember, he is the candidate who said that he was “proud” to take money from Michigan billionaires who are staunch opponents of public schools. He is the same guy who said the fact that Ryan Cantrell, who heads the Alabama Federation for Children, gave him almost $50,000 for his recent campaign was never a factor in Brown appointing Cantrell to a statewide education committee.
It is common knowledge that state senator Trip Pittman of Baldwin County does not plan to seek re-election in 2018 and that Brown wants to take his place. (Which is one reason Brown would not commit to serving a four year term had he been elected this year.)
Instead of chasing headlines, Brown needs to do some homework. Politics is all about numbers, nothing more, nothing less. Brown needs to remember that in spite of outspending Jackie Zeigler about 17-1 in the April 12 runoff, he still only received 38 percent of the total vote. He needs to remember that he only got 42 percent of the vote in his home county against Zeigler. Of the 48 boxes in the county, he won only 15 of them.
Even more telling is that he only got 39 percent of the vote in Foley, Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Fairhope, Daphne and Spanish Fort. These are the population centers of Baldwin County. They combined to be 50 percent of the runoff vote.
Numbers this stark can not be ignored.
Governor Bentley appointed Matt Brown to the state school board to do everything he can to support public schools, students, teachers and administrators. Not to joust at windmills as he is doing.