Important Education News About the April 22nd CD-19 Republican Primary

April, 2014

Endorsements, attacks and other events are rapidly changing in the Republican primary race to replace Congressman Trey Radel. As Javier Manjerres of Shark Tank pointed out in February, Common Core is having a role.  Here is a recap:

Businessman Curt Clawson received the endorsement of former Republican presidential candidate and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann on April 18th.  Bachmann is the chairwoman of the U.S. House Tea Party Caucus and has an impeccable record of fighting against federal overreach in education since very early in her political career.  She has signed a letter against Common Core and data collection and voted for excellent anti-Common Core legislation in Congress.
Curt Clawson also received the endorsement of US Senator Rand Paul on April 14th.  Their views seeking to eliminate or greatly diminish the federal role in education are quite similar. Clawson continues to be 100% opposed to Common Core.   Paul has clearly stated his opposition to Common Core, signing a letter from Senator Charles Grassley to Appropriations Committee Chairman Tom Harkin against it, as well as authoring legislation to defund the entire US Department of Education.

In addition, Clawson has received the tremendously influential endorsements of both the national and Florida Eagle Forum organizations, The Tea Party Express, and the Tea Party Patriots, all of whom oppose Common Core.

Meanwhile, one of the PACs supporting Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto, the Liberty and Leadership Fund, continues to falsely associate Clawson with a pedophile, despite the fact that the victim's mother said that there was no connection and even after Benacquisto, Paige Kreegel, and Michael Driekorn had promised to stop negative attack ads. This Liberty and Leadership PAC shares the same address as Senator Benacquisto's Alliance for a Strong Economy PAC which also has strong ties to the Republican Party of Florida. One pundit alleged collusion between Liberty and Leadership and other candidates in trying to split the vote among Benacquisto's rivals. Benacquisto continues to deny association with the PAC.

That same Liberty and Leadership ad touted Benacquisto's support by major Common Core proponent, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.  Benacquisto has also been endorsed by former Governor Mike Huckabee who famously suggested to the Council of Chief State School Officers that states should "Rebrand it, refocus it, but don't retreat."  Florida has taken Huckabee's advice.

Dr. Paige Kreegel  and Dr. Michael Dreikorn  continue to talk about their desire to abolish the US Department of Education, while Benacquisto can only manage to talk about federal block grants still tying states to the federal system and sidestepped questions about supporting a special legislative session on Common Core.

We will continue to provide information by and about the candidates as it becomes available.

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