Why won’t Delegate Mary-Dulany James just admit she opposes school board elections? If it’s because the Delegate from District 34A shares school board member Mark Wolkow’s dim view of democracy, she’s wise to keep her opinions to herself.
Clearly, Wolkow is working with someone in the State Legislature to craft an alternative to elections. Most likely it’s James – they’ve worked together on this issue in the past. But if Wolkow and James are planning a battle against the tide of public support for elections, they’ll need new ammunition.
That would explain why Delegate James put this question at the top of a recent survey of her constituents:
That isn’t a survey question. A survey question is: Do you support school board elections, yes or no? This is a push-poll contrived to gin up vague “concerns” about school board elections, as if elections were an unknown concept.
The effort fits neatly into Wolkow’s bizarre new assertion that the majority of voters oppose elections. Even though he testified in a State Senate hearing earlier this year that a referendum for elections would pass easily.
Anyway, isn’t Mary-Dulany James one of those “politicians who have to campaign and fundraise in order to be elected?” That means any concerns about elections would necessarily affix themselves to James and every other elected leader in the nation. Does she really want the voters scratching their heads over that one?
Delegate James ought to demand a refund from the political operative who concocted that boomerang of a question. The voters will surely see it for what it is.
But why would James put it out that way in the first place? A survey question is supposed to find out what people think. This one was rigged to make it appear that people think the way she does.
In 2003, Delegate James cast one of only two “no” votes in the 188-member General Assembly on a bill to put school board elections to a referendum in Cecil County. When the referendum was finally put to James’ Cecil County constituents, 87% of the voters approved elections. After an overwhelming result like that, could this survey be another of Delegate James’ questionable uses of taxpayer funds, especially if it’s an attempt to misrepresent public opinion?
Last year, a bill to bring elections to Harford County had the support of all 11 of Harford County’s senators and delegates, except for James. She sponsored competing legislation to create a school board nominating caucus. James testified that she only wanted to provide a fall-back in case the elected school board bill failed. Both bills died, but the scuttlebutt is James worked behind the scenes to kill the elected school board and then denied it.
With another General Assembly session just around the corner, results from this new push poll would allow Delegate James to claim constituent support as a cover for her ongoing fight against school board elections. Then it might be safe to bring her long held position into the light of day.