Sunday, October 22, 2006
According to this story from the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
[L]ast summer ... a group of scientists decided to support pro-evolution candidates and work against those favoring intelligent design or creationism. The group, Help Ohio Public Education, recruited [Tom] Sawyer, the former Akron mayor and 16-year congressman, to take on [Deborah] Owens Fink [one of the leaders of the "teach the controversy" strategy].
"Our hope is to at least put these races on the map," said Patricia Princehouse, co-founder of HOPE and a faculty member at Case Western Reserve University. "Maybe people will at least know the names of the people who are running."
Seemingly unfazed, Owens Fink vows to beat off the challenge. The University of Akron marketing professor, who spent nothing on previous board races, had raised nearly $60,000 for the battle through September, according to state records.
"I'll spend whatever I need to spend to win this race," she said. "I know I've been a target of these people for a long time. It's obvious these people don't care about broad, scientific issues. I've come to the conclusion that for many of them, Darwin is their God."
Sawyer enjoys good name recognition in the 600,000-resident 7th District, which includes his home base of Summit County as well as Ashtabula, Portage and Trumbull counties. But through September, he had raised less than a fifth of what Owens Fink had.
"If I don't get completely avalanched by money, I ought to be able to win this," Sawyer said. "I don't think anyone in Ohio brings a greater depth or breadth of experience than I bring to this. I think Debbie has squandered a great gift and used it for a narrow agenda."
Owens Fink is wrong, of course. Darwin is no god to scientists or to those who value the benefits of science. But anti-evolutionism is a reliable indicator of those who most definitely want to force their god into public schools, as shown in The Plain Dealer story. As a guest on Pastor Ernie Sanders radio show, Owens Fink had no objection to the Pastor's statement:
If you believe in God, creation and true science, vote for Debbie. If you believe in evolution, abortion and sin, you've got Tom Sawyer, right?
I've said it before: if we can demonstrate that support for creationism is a "third-rail" to the professional politicians, the threat to our schools from the radical right will be greatly reduced and not merely on the issue of science education. And there are signs that it is working. The Republican gubernatorial candidate in Kansas is literally tripping over his tongue to distance himself from creationists and the Michigan governor campaign has turned around since the Republican candidate made the mistake of suggesting that ID be taught in public schools, turning the focus from economic to social issues.
Sawyer's problem is easy to fix. Donate. I did.