Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Republic Endorses Garcia. Douglas Ducks Yet Another Debate

Posted By on Tue, Sep 23, 2014 at 5:00 PM

The Arizona Republic didn't simply endorse David Garcia for Superintendent of Public Instruction. It called him a "great choice" in its headline. The endorsement could hardly be more glowing.

David Garcia has the experience, temperament and vision to be a great superintendent of public instruction.

He invested his career in education and — unlike some past superintendents — does not view this job as a stepping stone to higher office.

He is well-prepared for a complex and multifaceted job.

The next sentence sums up the Editorial Board's view of Diane Douglas:

This sets [Garcia] far above his opponent Diane Douglas, a one-note candidate who gives little indication that she understands anything about modern education.

There's much more in the endorsement worth reading, but I'll just pull out one more sentence. After saying Garcia is endorsed by two former Republican Superintendents, Lisa Graham Keegan and Jaime Molera, the paper quotes a comment Molera made:

In explaining his endorsement, Molera said, "Arizona does not need someone who will bring extreme and nonsensical views into our K-12 system."

That's not coming from some Democratic Party operative with a partisan agenda. That's a Republican calling Douglas' views "extreme and nonsensical."

According to a Media Release put out by the Garcia camp,

[T]he League of Women Voters announced it had to cancel a televised Superintendent of Public Instruction debate because Garcia’s opponent, Diane Douglas, declined to participate.

Since the primary, Douglas has turned into the invisible woman. The Garcia campaign said she has refused to participate in over a half dozen debates. And according to the Capitol Times, she doesn't answer phone calls from the media.

In an earlier post, I said Douglas may be waiting to put together a media blitz using the limited public funds she's got for her campaign, to define herself without the media getting in the way, or maybe she's stunned she won the primary and has no campaign organization or strategy for the general.

Bob Lord at Blog for Arizona has another theory: that the other statewide Republican candidates told Douglas to keep a low profile and just work on her tea party base to get them to support the ticket. He imagines the message went something like this:

"Diane, we need you to hang out with the tea-party base for the next two months and get them to turn out in November. But the anti-Common Core nonsense and your [Michelle] Malkin endorsement won’t sell with the rest of the electorate, and it’s the opposite of the image Doug Ducey needs to present, so it’s best if you run a quiet campaign. We’d prefer not to have to publicly distance ourselves from you, so try not to put us in a tough position."

Since Douglas isn't talking, all of this will have to remain as speculation.

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