Thursday, November 09, 2006


Ohio Hope On Election Results

A news release issued by Ohio Hope takes note of the fact that all four Ohio Board of Ed candidates who ran on a pro-science platform won:

Nationwide, when science becomes an issue in such elections, it's often because the board in question has adopted a creationist policy that interferes with good science education and stands to cost the taxpayers millions of dollars in legal fees.

This year it did not take an emergency to get the public to pay attention. For the first time in over 4 years, Ohio's science standards are completely free of government-sponsored and inappropriate religiously motivated attacks on science. For the first time, a pro-science agenda has been positively promoted --not out of fear, but out of hope.

Earlier this year, the creationist minority on the Ohio Board of Education had attempted to marshal support for attacks on stem cell biology, global warming, cloning, and aspects of chemistry, as well as attacking evolution. Those attacks were fended off by the pro-science majority on the current board. Yesterday’s election demonstrated decisively that Ohio parents want more real science, and no more hocus-pocus pseudo-science.

Incumbent Sam Schloemer, a Cincinnati Republican, won re-election in a landslide. Schloemer is a strong proponent of using science class to teach science only. His opponent is a multi-millionaire proponent of creationist "critical-analysis” of evolution. Schloemer won a commanding 67% of the vote. From the beginning of his campaign, he said his candidacy would be “a referendum” on “intelligent-design” in Ohio.

Ohio's strongest “intelligent-design” proponent, Deborah Owens-Fink, who spent more money than any other candidate for school board lost almost 2-1 against pro-science challenger Tom Sawyer. Fink mustered only 29% of the vote, a dismal performance for this record fundraiser and marketing expert from Akron.

“It is very gratifying that voters in Ohio have overwhelmingly demonstrated their faith in reason and science, and have validated what is now a national trend: they want their children to receive the best scientific education possible, so they are not disadvantaged in the competition for 21st century jobs and economic opportunities,’ Said Lawrence Krauss, Ambrose Swasey Professor of Physics at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and Chair of HOPE’s advisory board. “When the distortions and misrepresentations of those who want to attack science teaching in schools because of misplaced religious fears has been clearly displayed, the public has reacted appropriately. It also demonstrates how important school board elections can be, and that scientists, clergy, and business people who are interested in promoting knowledge can band together to help recruit and elect candidates who can move this country forward.” Krauss said.

“Sawyer’s strong showing against Fink’s avalanche of out-of-state creationist and voucher money shows that Lincoln was right: You can’t fool all of the people all of the time,” said Patricia Princehouse of Case Western Reserve University and HOPE board member. She added, “HOPE has had the effect we were looking for –increased public awareness of state board of education elections. We hope to see that awareness grow in the years to come.”

In District 8 with over 80% of precincts reporting, Deb Cain appears to have a decisive win over incumbent Jim Craig, who had a very mixed record on science issues. Cain garnered 53% of the vote. Cain was motivated to run by broad concerns about the lack of leadership on the state board generally and her district in particular.

In District 2, Democrat John Bender edged out anti-science Republican Kathleen McGervey and two Democrats weak on science issues. This race was artificially close because of confusion caused by a major error on a slate card sent out by the Democrats. It inexplicably listed both Bender and McGervey.

The 5th race, District 3, did not turn on science issues. Winner Susan Havercos has not made her position on science education known and none of the other candidates ran a strongly pro-science campaign.

Support for pro-science candidates in Ohio poured in from parents, clergy and scientists all over the world. Said Princehouse, “It’s heartwarming to see people building for progress!”


<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?