We missed a fascinating SBOE campaign forum in Fort Worth Monday night. It didn't start when Tea Party candidate Eric Mahroum kicked off the evening with some fringe buzzwords like CSCOPE and Common Core, and an invocation of the former President Ronald Reagan's "are you better off?" speech. Nor did it begin with the introduction to sitting SBOE member Pat Hardy, who wore an incredible zebra sweater, but whose statements I fast-forwarded through with good reason.
It began when North Richland Hills' Lady Theresa Thombs, self-described Dame of Justice, "accomplished guest soloist, and "international evangelist," ambled up to the microphone. She wasted literally no time before she started lobbing bombs at her fellow candidates, accusing Hardy of being a "life-long Democrat," and Mahroum of being forced by the state attorney general to pay child support. Her bare-knuckle approach to politics earned her a smattering of boos. Thombs held up her hand for quiet and doubled down. "I have a Republican opponent who has children by two different mothers and owes child support."
Next, she accused him of fabricating his college degree, eliciting another round of jeers from an irritated audience. But the coup de grâce was this: "You know, his real experience in management is Chuck E. Cheese."
Mahroum would later insist toThe Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he is, in fact, a regional trainer for the novelty pizza chain.
Once she'd finished with her fellow candidates, she took aim, albeit briefly, at the subject that had ostensibly motivated her candidacy in the first place. History, she stated, should be written by "experts, not people from socialist higher education." As far as the sciences go, "We know we didn't come from monkeys!"
"Ladies and gentlemen," she began in summation. "They're using your tax dollars to brainwash our children into socialist issues and ideas and it is time for it to stop. Common Core and every single shred of CSCOPE has got to go."
That was about as substantive as she got in terms of policy. The rest of the time she rattled off her bonafides, which included being "co-chair of the Small Business Advisory Council that created the Bush tax cuts," "two National Congressional Committee merits of distinction," and some kind of Ronald Reagan award. If anyone finds any evidence of this beyond her LinkedIn page and campaign website, please let me know. I didn't.
The campaign website itself, which has since been revised, was a thing to behold. In it she pledges to fight "adgendas and ideoligies," and to "stem the tide of our best and brightest teachers leaving the classroom to pursue other carriers, because they can no longer live with the policies and mandates they no are harmful to their students."
A little cursory googling brought up this video from a "Fort Worth Religious Freedom" rally. The emcee introduced Lady Thombs as a person who has sung at two Olympics, one in Salt Lake City and the other in Greece; is an "international ambassador," a "Knight of Justice," of which, he informed the audience, there were "only 1,200" in the world. The distinction, he added, requires that she carry "diplomatic papers."
And with that, in a coat of glowing white, she mounted the stage and began with a spoken-word preamble about "enemies within" who "would extinguish the light of God's freedom if they could." Then she embarked on a trilly rendition of a song I've never heard, and suspect she made up on the spot, in which case, bravo! It contains lots of liberty, shining lamps of liberty, a little Lady Liberty beckoning, and God's face.
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