Join host Dominick Bonny for part two of a two-part series on the Wenatchee School Board position 5 race. He interviews each of the three candidates and asks them about their experience, qualifications, goals and national divisive issues like Critical Race Theory that are being used to manufacture outrage and energize voters in school board races across the country.
Common Sense with Dominick Bonny – Wenatchee School Board Position 5 Candidate Interviews, Part II Transcript & Sources
Hello and welcome to Common Sense, I’m Dominick Bonny and in the last episode we heard from all three candidates running for Wenatchee School Board, position five. I also respond to a critic and ask why a few local pastors keep getting involved in local politics. I’ll follow up on that more in the coming weeks but now I want to jump back into the second part of my series of interviews with Artlette Lopez-Rodriguez, Miranda Skalisky and Julie Norton. If you are a Wenatchee voter, you will have already received your ballot in the mail and the deadline to vote in the primary election is August third. Only two of these three candidates will make it past the primary, so if you are undecided this is just the episode for you! If you’re just tuning in for part two, these conversations will still make sense but if you want to get the entire conversation and make your decision as a voter in context, go to ncwlife dot com and find the full episodes tab. That was Common Sense episode 37 and this is episode 38. Last episode we got our fiber in and talked about issues of substance, like what the candidates think are the biggest challenges facing the district, what their goals are and so forth. In this episode we’re going to take a foray into celluloid land and talk about critical race theory and other hot-button issues folks in the national media are using to gin up emotions and animate voters to turnout en masse and rage-vote in school board elections across the country. Now my goal isn’t to give nothing burgers more attention than they deserve, but rather to let reasonable people know that the con is on and to be wary of anyone who is long on emotional arguments but short on facts when it comes to issues that affect our children and their education. Now let’s jump back into my interviews with Ms. Lopez-Rodriguez, Ms. Skalisky and Ms. Norton.
Interview sequence 1
We’ll be back after the break with more.
Welcome back, let’s jump right back into these interviews with the candidates running for Wenatchee School Board, position five: Arlette Lopez-Rodriguez, Miranda Skalisky and incumbent Julie Norton.
Interview sequence II
I’d like to thank all three candidates for the position-five seat on the Wenatchee School Board for taking the time to speak with me. I’d especially like to thank Julie Norton because her home was in a neighborhood that was threatened by the Red Apple Fire, and for a few days there it was not certain firefighters could save all those homes, so it was a stressful week for her and I appreciate her taking the time to meet for this interview. I think we are all greatly relieved that those homes in Sunnyslope were saved, and I hope you join me in remembering and supporting our neighbors up north who are still dealing with the Chewelah Creek and Cub Creek fires. But when it comes to the issues we covered in this episode, it’s clear at this point that there is a national political agenda being pushed on small communities throughout the country to influence school board elections. According to Business Insider, since March pundits on Fox News have mentioned Critical Race Theory more than thirteen-hundred times. If that’s your main source of information, it’s likely you think critical race theory is a bigger deal than it really is. But is there really a coordinated LOCAL effort being pushed by political partisans to focus attention on these divisive issues in order to manipulate people right here in our community and spread misinformation? Could folks in this community really either be gullible enough to prioritize these issues over real ones, or worse, could they be attempting to leverage manufactured outrage to manipulate people right here in our community in order to further their political agendas? The answer is yes! And here’s proof. This week I came across this letter distributed in a well-to-do Wenatchee neighborhood written by the volunteer GOP precinct Committee Chairman, or PCC. In it, the new PCC starts by saying that the school board will decide if our kids have to wear masks when they go back to school in the fall. Then sex education and critical race theory come up. It’s basically the greatest hits tour. Let me quote from the letter here on Critical Race Theory. Quote “If I understand it correctly, critical race theory suggests that one’s race and one’s racial history are deemed more important than your current character and that every human relationship must be viewed through the lens of one another’s race and racial history.” end quote. Now if you had the time to write this letter, print a bunch of copies of it, organize volunteers to stuff envelopes or do it yourself and then pay for postage – wouldn’t you also have the time to do some basic research about the topics you want to use to influence others? The con is on, and it’s closer to home than we would like to admit. The letter, which came with a cover sheet that features the official Chelan County GOP letterhead and includes the contact information for all the county party bigwigs, goes on to tell you how to vote!! Here’s a closeup shot of the candidates the local GOP political operatives want you to vote for. The party’s preferred messaging centers on race, sex and anger over COVID protocols and the candidates that kiss the ring and play along get a pat on the head and invitations to speak at GOP gatherings apparently. But back to the letter, because this is the best part – the kicker at the end lands the letter as predictably and humorously as you can probably imagine. But in case you can’t, here’s my favorite quote – quote: “The momentum seems to be gaining to take back our community, state and country, but we will each have to contribute in some way to help our beloved country not become a socialist country.” end quote. Now that’s bringing out the big guns! If you don’t support the party’s preferred candidates for this school board election you might find yourself living in a socialist country! Que the theatrical beat and dramatic hamster meme. Now I don’t want to give you the impression that I think that ALL republicans are willing to opportunistically leverage manufactured outrage over issues like critical race theory and sex education in order to win elections so they can get retribution for decisions made by others during a time of historic crisis. I actually know a lot of good people who identify as republican or conservative, but they don’t identify with the current version of the republican party. And who can blame them? Anyone who isn’t a rabid Trumper is now referred to as a RHINO, Republican In Name Only, within their own party. And that’s because in that party it has become a race to the bottom, where the personality who can garner the most outrage and attention is the candidate that goes the farthest. It’s not about experience, it’s about the attention on social media. It’s not about addressing real issues facing our school district and our children, it’s about galvanizing your base so you can get one over on everyone else. The question is: will the rest of us sit by and let that happen? Call me old school, but I don’t think that political parties and church leaders have any business telling citizens how to cast their votes in local elections like school board and city council races. I don’t think that partisans trying to advance national political agendas fed to them by media personalities who have no reason to give a rat’s behind about what goes on here in North Central Washington have any business running for local office. But I, unlike my friends in the Chelan County GOP, don’t possess the hubris to tell you who you should vote for. But I do urge you TO vote because I do think that if the turnout is high and people in all the neighborhoods of Wenatchee, not just the richest, everything will work itself out just fine. So get those primary ballots in by August third and we’ll see you next time for more Common Sense.
- Fox News has mentioned ‘critical race theory’ nearly 1300 times since March, according to watchdog study, Business Insider: https://bit.ly/3kPdAaK