Here’s one I missed

Everyone knows Paul LePage is a huge liar. But still some people refuse to believe he wants creationism taught in schools. For Christ’s Sake.

Creationism: “Quite frankly, it’s a learning tool for our kids. I think we should teach them everything possible and let them make their own minds up on how they want to live their lives.”

There is no candidate more anti-science than Paul LePage.

The dishonesty of the LePage campaign

Paul LePage has been running a pretty shoddy campaign so far. Take his Facebook fan page, for instance. It has this disclaimer.

Paul LePage, Maine’s Next Governor is a fan page.

It was created by volunteer supporters of Paul LePage’s candidacy for Governor of Maine. For that reason, we cannot get into answering policy questions that get posted here.

Therefore, our rule on this page is to NOT respond to policy questions, but rather refer people to Paul LePage’s contact form on his official campaign website.

We do encourage discussion and debate by other fans, but ask that you refrain from vulgarity or other language that could be deemed offensive or demeaning to others. The page admins reserve the right to delete such posts, or posts that are unrelated to the content of this page (SPAM).

Thank you for your understanding on this issue.

Fans of Paul LePage, Maine’s Next Governor

As I’ve documented already, I’ve asked on creationist Paul LePage’s page why he wants to teach creationism in public schools. I originally blame him or his people for deleting my question and preventing me from posting any further. But according to this, these are just some random schmucks running a fan page, right? Oh, hang on.

Want to be a part of the success? Come join our team and help spread the message!

Simply drop us a line at any of the methods below:

* Paul’s campaign Twitter Page.
* Paul’s campaign Facebook Page.
* Call us at (207) 877-7616
* Email paul@lepage2010.com
* US Mail:
Committee To Elect Paul Lepage, Governor
c/o Rick Swanson Treasurer
P.O. Box 1788
Waterville, ME 04903

Guess where that link to “Paul’s campaign Facebook Page” links. Can you guess? That’s right – directly to the page that claims to have no affiliation with the actual campaign. (Here’s a screen shot in case they edit and deny all this.)

This is all just a big excuse to not be held responsible for anything. The LePage campaign wants to run an unofficial fan page so he doesn’t have to actually answer anything. Fortunately, my calls for people to continue asking LePage why he supports creationism has spilled over to Eliot Culter’s page.

Regina Karapetyan: So Mr. Cutler, I was going to vote for Paul LePage… But, I asked a simple question on his facebook page about his beliefs on whether creationism should be taught in public schools… well my post was deleted and I was removed from the fan page. I don’t believe that my question was rude or disrespectful in any way, I simply would have liked to know his view on the subject if the man is to be voted into office. I think the question should have been answered and left on the page but instead was deleted. So Eliot Cutler, what is your view of creationism being taught in public schools?

Regina happened to miss my question to Cutler earlier where he responded that he does not support teaching garbage to children. But something did come from this because an administrator from LePage’s officially unofficial fan page was lurking.

Aaron Prill: Regina that is not true. I am co-admin of Paul LePage’s facebook page and we don’t delete questions, and we definitely don’t remove people from the pag (it’s not even possible on pages). Paul LePage’s vision is a fiscal one for Maine to save our state from generational debt. He will bring fiscal responsibility and welfare reform to a state that needs both. Social issues like the one you mention are not even on the radar.

Lies, lies, and lies. After receiving a thorough shellacking, Aaron Prill eventually apologized.

Regina- let me first apologize for saying you weren’t being truthful. You are right on the ability to Remove people. I didn’t notice the “X” next to people’s names that does allow them to be removed. I am in fact the creator of that page. I said co-admin just so it was clear I wasn’t the only admin. I am following up with the other co-admins now to find out what happened in your case.

Our rule on that page is to NOT respond to policy questions, but rather refer people to Paul LePage’s contact page on his website. This is because that page is a fan supported page created by a supporter (me) back in February, it is not run directly by the campaign… nor is it a place to discuss policy questions.

So, in short, what the admin should have done is explain the above policy to you and refer you to the campaign website. If we got into debates on every issue, then that wouldn’t be a “fan” page now would it? Other fans are allowed to respond to people when they ask questions like yours, but the admins typically don’t.

Again- I’m sorry you (or anyone) was removed, and you are welcome back anytime…

I’ve since sent a private message to Aaron telling him that I was also banned from the page. I really hope he does fix the LePage campaign’s unofficial officially unofficial official error because someone has been answering policy questions over there ever since one of my reader’s asked why LePage supports teaching creationism.

He just thinks knowledge is a good thing, the more knowledge you have, the better off you are. And he has alread said that school curriculum should be decided on the local level, local school boards should be deciding what they want taught in their schools.

Why, Michael, you say, that is but one random fan! Yes, yes, it is. Well, sort of. It’s hard to say she’s random when her name is Lauren LePage. I’ve been unable to confirm any details, but it appears this is Paul LePage’s daughter. And lo, she is answering policy questions without being deleted. Hell, my question was deleted within 4 hours. And that wasn’t even a violation of the officially unofficial official unofficially official fan page policy.

Oh. And Eliot Cutler responds on his fan page routinely. It isn’t a violation to state a candidate’s policy positions – especially when that candidate lists the fan page as his own.

Thanks to Dave for much of the information here.

The Dishonest Firing of an Honest Woman

I try to make it a habit to not use much of anything I find on PZ Myers blog. It’s not because I don’t like his blog – I do, it’s great – but I’d rather not be stealing the man’s ideas or topics (there’s enough science to go around). But he recently made a post about the travesty that’s been happening to Christine Comer. As a few of you may know, she was forced to resign from her position as the Director of Science for the Texas Education Agency (TEA) because she circulated some information about a talk denouncing the bullshit that is intelligent design. It didn’t denounce the religion of intelligent design, but rather the faux science that it is. Because the TEA has a neutrality policy on the issue, Comer was told she’d either be fired or she could resign (and keep her pension). She resigned.

Comer currently has a lawsuit pending which contends what happened to her was illegal because teaching or endorsing creationism is unconstitutional.

So what we have now is a report released from Texans for Better Science Education (TBSE), an organization, despite its name, actually devoted to destroying science in favor of magic. Fortunately, Steven Shafersman has a full account of what’s actually going on.

Now, let’s examine the incidents of “insubordination” and “misconduct” that TBSE’s Mark Ramsey and DI’s John West claim disqualifies Chris Comer’s claim that her employment was terminated illegally. In the TBSE timeline, Ramsey emphatically makes the accusation that, “During her employment at the TEA, Comer received…three disciplinary letters spanning at least eight separate incidents, and seven of these eight incidents had nothing to do with evolution.” But there’s more to this charge than meets the eye. Chris began work at TEA in 1997, and until 2007 there is only one serious charge in all the documents against Chris. This is the June 12, 2003, Letter of Reprimand and Notice of Disciplinary Probation from Ann Smisko, Associate Commissioner. Chris was accused of getting a small amount of money from a TEA Comprehensive Assessment Training in Science (CATS) grant to Alamo Community College District (ACCD) for travel expenses. Chris was told the money was from the San Antonio Education Foundation, not from the ACCD. Also, she could not provide receipts for the reimbursed travel expenses. In fact, she received no funds from either the CATS grant or ACCD as the continued investigation showed.

A second charge was that she took money as a consultant for work on the Texas Atlas Project, another CATS project, which was conducted on her own time. Employees are forbidden to take any money for consulting without submitting a Disclosure Reporting Form, and Chris failed to do this. This is a very minor infraction. For these two charges, the letter was the only disciplinary action Chris received, because, in fact, the charges were so minor. The letter states that “the disciplinary action is based on information available at this time and the preliminary findings of the Internal Auditor.” There were no further findings or charges. She was told later that she was completely cleared of suspicion, but Ramsey and West don’t want to inform you of that. The mistaken Letter of Reprimand and Notice of Disciplinary Probation should have been removed from Chris’s file, and Ramsey and West should apologize to her now.

Now this is important: the charges in this letter were the only misconduct charges Chris received during the first nine years of her employment at TEA. The remaining seven incidents all came during one year after the Perry-McLeroy-Scott-Reynolds anti-science cabal started to take over the TEA. Thus, contrary to several statements by Comer antagonists, Chris did not have (1) “a history of disciplinary issues” as Ramsey wrote, (2) “a long history of disciplinary problems” as West wrote, and was not (3) “an employee who has no legal case against the agency because she abused her position for years” as Lizzette Reynolds wrote (p. 16 of pdf file). Each of these claims increases in malice and untruthfulness. What is their motivation to direct so much animosity at Chris Comer?

So what we have is a set of creationists who have been given authority on subjects over which they have no grasp going around and firing people for teaching the unifying principle of an entire field of science. What’s more, they’re dragging this woman through the mud by claiming that she has all sorts of infractions and insubordinations. In reality (a place these creationists seem to deny as much as possible), Comer had a minor infraction plus 7 made-up infractions which were attributed to her for the sake of destroying science (something which doesn’t jive well with this blogger’s url) only after a set of creationists gained authority.

Let’s hope these patently dishonest creationists are successfully sued. Maybe then Texas will realize it needs to throw these yahoos out.