Rerun: St. Croix Valley GOP Invades Local Schoolboard
In response to a reprint request from one of our readers, here is a column I wrote last year about an unfortunate incident that took place at a meeting of our local School Board.
At the time the piece was printed the newspaper editor came up with funny headline for it which I can't exactly recall--it was something like "THREE GOP AMIGOS ATTEMPT TAKEOVER OF LOCAL SCHOOLBOARD"--something like that, I don't have it in front of me. But here it is:
Too many of you don’t follow local politics. You don’t know what you’re missing, babies, it’s a real hoot sometimes.
Take last week, when the local Republican junta broke into a District 834 meeting, attempting to eliminate democratic government by local elected officials and seize control of our tiny, embattled School Board.
It was last Thursday; the happy and contented people of the School Board were celebrating a gala fiesta. Thanks to Democrats taking a stand in the legislature, EL GOBERNADOR Pawlenty and his dreaded REPUBLICANOS had finally abandoned their ruinous and RIDICULOSO “no-new-taxes” promises. For years, EL PAWLENTITO’S tax policies deliberately starved communities like ours of the state funding they depend on. The result was that special ed and school transportation had to be cut and classroom sizes would be enlarged up to 38 pupils (CARRAMBA! Can you imagine teaching an English class made up of 38 sixteen year olds? MADRE DE DIOS!)
But this day, the School Board was celebrating the restoration of $3.9 million of the $4 million that LOS REPUBLICANOS had cut from school spending. I wasn’t actually there, so I have to imagine what happened that night. I bet the Board members were happy, festive, dancing LA DANZA DE LA BOARDA ESCUELA. I can imagine all the smiling CABALLEROS and DAMAS of the School Board, chattering happily in their finery, waving their fans, tipping their sombreros with all the little felt balls hanging off the rims, prating on happily in their colorful local dialect--merrily talking of restoring school bus services, reducing classroom sizes, implementing a new science curriculum, and so forth.
And imagine the “oohs and ahhs” that must have greeted the budget projections of His Excellency, the Assistant SUPERINTENDIDO of Business and Administrative SERVICIOS, Ray Queener! FELICIDADES, SENORES Y SENORAS! AY, our hearts were so happy that day!
Then, like lightning, they struck--THE REPUBLICANOS! “SANGRE DE CRISTO, LOS REPUBLICANOS ESTAN AQUI!”
Three of the most dreaded of the local GOP REPRESENTIDOS, PAWLENTISTA “no-new-taxes” HOMBRES, here in our very midst! “They are the bad men, SENORES! They make the promise not to raise the taxes, then they raise the taxes! They promise the good economy, and we end up with 38 sixteen year olds in an INGLES class! And the gas is $2.50 a gallon! They are the liars, the bad ones!"
“EL CHARRON,” the state rep who votes to take away the vote from the people, the people who would be taxed to pay for the new STADIO DEL TWINS! REPRESENTADO Matt Dean—the dreaded “Man With No Knowledge!” State Senator Brian LeClair—“SENOR Conceal-And-Carry” himself! By the Holy Virgin of Guadalupe, what is to become of us now?”
LeClair produced a state-sponsored “worksheet” which he attempted to impose upon the School Board to mandate local policy. This budget worksheet produced by the REPUBLICANOS will be as law to you! We replace the will of the people with this worksheet!
The School Board must adhere to THESE numbers! The School Board must adopt THESE policies! The School Board must do what WE say! It is by the AUTORIDAD of the REPUBLICANO-controlled MINISTERIO of EDUCACION in San Paul!
What? You say that you, too, were elected? Impudent PEONES! We spit on your claim of being democratically elected by the LOCALES. You, and the ignorant fools who voted for you, are nothing! You hear? Nothing! A-HAHAHAHAHA!
What, Queener? You say that the figures on our “worksheet” have no basis in REALIDAD? You insinuate that we are lying again? Impudent little bean-counter! You will accept our figures, however fantastic and imaginary they may be! You will blindly adhere to our policies, however destructive they have proven in the past!
For we are LOS REPUBLICANOS! Never forget that the REPUBLICANOS, and EL GOBERNADOR Pawlenty himself, have been laying waste to your precious little SYSTEMA ESCUELA for years—and we can do so again! You should count yourselves lucky that we do not ask for the cheerleaders as hostages!
It was then that the simple people of the School Board grew restive. The gay carnival atmosphere was gone; now there were dark murmurs and mutterings under the breath as the new REPUBLICANO junta tried to tighten its grip. “Their numbers are not real!” “I am unhappy that they have interrupted the Board!” “I think they need to trust the school boards a little more!” “This is not helpful!” “AY, I think it somewhat undercuts what we do here!”
Oh, how will it all end, AMIGOS? Who can say? Surely when one branch of the government tries to take over another, tries to stamp out our little democracy with the twin jackboots of political bullying and lying worksheet numbers, no good can come of it. But one thing is for sure—these REPUBLICANOS we’ve got representing us are ARROGANT-ADO ESOBES, no?
William Prendergast is the author of the crime thriller “Forbidden Hollywood.” If you “didn’t get” the joke in the last line of the column, try pronouncing the word “ESOBES” out loud a few times.