Saturday, January 14, 2006


Is Van Meter Planning to Run for Re-election?

Iris Van Meter, who ran for the Kansas State Board of Education as a stealth candidate in 2002, is one of the six wingnuts on the board who voted to gut science standards and to approve appointment of Bob Corkins as Education Commissioner. Her term is up in November, but she shows no signs of running for re-election.

Van Meter, one of four right-wing board members up for election in November, is the only one not to have received campaign cash from the Free Academic Inquiry and Research and the Kansas Republican Victory Fund state and federal PACs. The others, Bacon, Morris, and Willard all received $2,000 from political action committees tied to the Kansas Republican Assembly.

Moreover, Van Meter hasn't filed a campaign finance report with the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission for two years. Her last report, covering 2003, was filed Jan. 8, 2004. Board members who plan to run for re-election have filed two annual reports since then.

At the end of 2003, Van Meter reported she had no cash on hand in her campaign fund.

While it can't be ruled out that Van Meter will begin to raise money later on, or that the right is planning to run another stealth candidate in her place, at this time, the only announced candidate is Dr. Kent Runyan, a Democrat and Pittsburg State University Professor of Education.

Runyan, announced his intention to file for the 9th District Board of Education seat and filed a campaign finance report demonstrating that he's an active candidate.

“The time to stop wasting our precious resources on politically ideological battles is now,” says Runyan. “While Kansas teachers face the battles of their professional lives with looming No Child Left Behind testing requirements, our current board member has failed to respond, instead choosing to spend the last six months updating science standards that were perfectly fine from the beginning.”


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