Hundreds sign Luna recall petition

Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Organizers were kept busy handling the steady flow of people wanting to sign the petition. Photo by Brian S. Orban

Hundreds of Mountain Home residents gathered at Richard Aguirre Park on Saturday to sign a petition that seeks to remove the state's superintendent of public education from office.

The campaign to recall Tom Luna followed the recent passage of a three-part education reform package that included deep cuts in state education budgets.

Within 30 minutes after the scheduled start time, nearly 40 people had already signed the petition with organizers accepting about a signature a minute as people continued to arrive. At last count, more than 225 people from the Mountain Home area had signed the document.

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  • I totally agree with you "cant just watch". Getting rid of Tom Luna is not going to fix what is wrong with the school system. We need teachers who are dedicated, who care, and who can suffer with cut backs like the rest of us. I think it is awful how because of these cut backs teachers are not making themselves available to the students during lunch, recess, and after school. If your a teacher you got into the profession to be just that a mentor for the future generations, so don't take it out on the kids because the government is making a poor choice on the budget cuts. TEACH THE CHILDREN!!!!

    -- Posted by midgetsbear on Wed, Apr 20, 2011, at 9:59 AM
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    Less than 2% of the population, yet I keep hearing them say that the legislature isn't listening to the majority? Last time I checked the 98% is the majority.

    -- Posted by Conservative on Wed, Apr 20, 2011, at 5:20 PM
  • I was soooo delighted when the individuals running the Luna table decided to try and convince me to sign this petition while in the middle of watching my son play soccer. I politely declined and was then talked to like I was beneath them....Thanks guys.....Seems like an inappropriate time and place!

    -- Posted by bloodyknuckles on Thu, Apr 21, 2011, at 6:52 AM
  • Shame on you for unfairly criticizing the teachers of your children and the system administrators. Parents used to support and respect teachers and enable them to do their jobs. Now all you seem to want to do is destroy, not reform, public education. With all these ignorant, ideologically driven irresponsible cuts in education funds, we will have only new, more and more inexperienced teachers, trying to teach impossibly larger & larger numbers of students in each class. I was educated in Idaho locally from kindergarten through my first year in college and I never encountered a single lazy or unprincipled teacher--although I met many parents who failed to be the first and best teachers of their children and who expected the school system to parent their children without them. And those who say they have no children so why should they support education? Because their own education was supported by the previous generations' taxes and sacrifices (many of whose members had no children in the system) because it was the civic and patriotic thing to do. Remember, no Republic can survive without an educated and a moral citizenry. Now personal moral selfishness and corporate greed is all that counts. Our children are falling through the large holes torn in the social fabric by the irresponsibility of citizens who refuse to contribute their fair share and by the large corporations who get all the tax breaks. Like the President says, it is easy to balance the budget on the backs of the little ones, our children and the elderly and give billions in tax breaks to big corporations and to those who do not need them and who contribute nothing (not even jobs) to our country in return for the breaks they receive. Go on repeating your ideological canards, criticizing those who serve as the teachers of our children and cutting back on education and being the servants of right wing businessmen and see where it will lead our children, our State and our Nation. Plutocracy is as dangerous to a Republic as mob democracy. From some of the above comments it is clear that the mob attacking education is certainly not democratic.

    -- Posted by secularmonk on Thu, Apr 21, 2011, at 3:14 PM
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    I don't see a mob attacking education as you do. What I do see is people exercising their first amendment right as are the people that signed the petition. I also take it you're not a math teacher from your comment about what the president said. He is the biggest reason we have this massive deficit; and guess who gets to pay for it? In case you're wondering it is the children you speak about. No the cynicism comes from the lies, half truths, and sly way the school district tries to fool people. Like breaking having multiple levies that all have to be renewed and using the students as pawns. I have a student that is a senior and so glad he is graduating this year so he can get out of this over priced excuse for an education system in Mountain Home. I can give you teacher names, dates, and things that were talked about in class and what the students were told to tell their parents during the last levy. Even my student was being forced fed the "we need more money or everything stops" attitude. I can also give you an example complete with names and dates of a administrator that was not fired but moved (hidden) after being in a unfavorable situation that would have gotten anyone but an air traffic controller fired. I can actually speak to this since I'm not only a parent, homeowner, and local citizen but I'm also an educator. Unlike some I actually teach because I like it and like to see the light bulb go on. I also didn't get into this career to get rich or to spread my political views to the children. But to attack someone for voicing their opinion and calling them a mob is incorrect. Just like you they are entitled to theirs.

    -- Posted by Trouble2011 on Thu, Apr 21, 2011, at 3:45 PM
  • Secularmonk, though entitled to your opinion, it is my belief that you have it all wrong. No one is attacking the teachers, just the union that has them convinced that throwing more money at a broken process will fix the issues facing the district and the state education system. Most parents do support the teachers but have legitimate grievances against the school administration that has been given millions of dollars and keeps asking for more without a proper accounting of the monies already given. Comments such as "their own education was supported by the previous generations' taxes and sacrifices because it was the civic and patriotic thing to do" are less than convincing in an economic climate where many of us are tapped and just barely making ends meet and do not wish to give more to a broken education system that is using our children as pawns to further their ideological agenda. The only ideologues that post here are the ones who persistently state it is our duty to keep pumping money into the education system instead of demanding reform and a full accounting. Those of us who will not continue to contribute and who are now holding the administration accountable are the patriots here. Long live the Republic!

    -- Posted by MtnHomeRes on Thu, Apr 21, 2011, at 4:07 PM
  • Trouble2011: Mobs seldom see themselves for what they are. Thank you for providing a most clear example of the kind of canard about which I spoke: "I also take it you're not a math teacher from your comment about what the president said. He is the biggest reason we have this massive deficit; and guess who gets to pay for it? In case you're wondering it is the children you speak about." The truth is that the biggest reason for this massive deficit is tax cuts passed by the very Republicans who now claim that they and President Bush II have perfectly clean hands. But mobs are not interested in truth, only emotion, and as I said, they seldom see themselves for what they are. Our children will indeed have to pay for the massive Bush tax cuts and the wars financed off the budget and hidden from taxpayers as long as that was possible. It was President Obama who put all the Bush expenses back on the public record so that the true extent of the deficit would come to light. It does not take a math teacher to read history and keep track of the truth. But you have convinced me that I must change my statement about never knowing a teacher who was unprincipled, since you have repeated this Republican canard. Remember that those who presented the Ryan budget and voted for it said nothing about the deficit President Bush tried to hide from the American people. I object to no one expressing their opinion or their take on the facts. But speaking out about often repeated lies is not an objection to free speech, it is a protest against the cheap political hypocrisy and the false sense of self-righteousness that blinds the mob and causes them to swallow greater and greater lies from the Republican leadership. And so I say again: "Go on repeating your ideological canards, criticizing those who serve as the teachers of our children and cutting back on education and being the servants of right wing businessmen and see where it will lead our children, our State and our Nation. Plutocracy is as dangerous to a Republic as mob democracy. From some of the above comments it is clear that the mob attacking education is certainly not democratic."

    -- Posted by secularmonk on Thu, Apr 21, 2011, at 6:55 PM
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    This was about our local community and our spending happy school district that think the good people of mountain home are made of money. You're the one that brought up politics as in the federal government. Hey SUPERIORMONK this might shock you but I agree with you about Bush, I didn't like him and his democratic spending. He went along with the DEMORCRATIC controlled Congress and Senate since 2006. Yes the Democrats have controlled both houses of congress since 2006 and thus controlled the money. Just ask Obama how easy it is with the Republicans taking control of just one half of the congress. Yes Bush is to blame for starting us down this road (with the help from the Democrats). I would like to keep this issue local though, so politics a side we need to live within our means and we all need to cut back. Just because someone has a different point of view doesn't make them a mob, bigot, racist, or child hater. Only liberals try to marginalize others opinions.

    -- Posted by Trouble2011 on Thu, Apr 21, 2011, at 10:42 PM
  • Secular Monk to Trouble2011 SUPERIORMONK thanks you for the compliment and for the promotion. My point of view has been criticized for bringing broader subjects into this local debate by quoting the current President ("attempts to balance the budget on the backs of the little ones") and for pointing out, in contradiction of other less historically well founded comments, that the biggest reason for the current deficit is President Bush's unpaid for two sets of tax cuts, the unpaid for Medicare Prescription Drug profit bonanza for the pharmaceutical companies, and the unpaid for two wars financed off budget. It is still my opinion that you are not correct in your claim that President Obama "is the biggest reason we have this massive deficit ." It is also another canard that President Bush went along with the Democratic Congress--he did not even allow his own rank and file to read bills written by the lobbyists in the dead of night and often voted on in the dead of night (like the vote on the Medicare Prescription Drug bonanza for the pharmaceutical companies).

    I grew up as a Republican and I am proud of what I learned in my upbringing and what I was taught in school about civic responsibility and participation in the political process. I praised President Eisenhower for balancing the budget, which he could not have done had he not raised revenue by maintaining a high level of taxation on the richest corporations who made a great deal of money in windfall war profits and military contracts. He warned us of the growth of the military industrial complex which, in the name of pseudo-patriotism, we have allowed to take over our national budget. But lest someone call me anti-military because I think as much should be spent on our infrastructure as on its defense, I will stop at that.

    I think reasonable people are coming together just left of center where Eisenhower was (even though he was called a communist agent by the John Birch Society) because he believed reasonable reform would save both the Republic and private enterprise from democratic mobs, from the military industrial complex, and from the Russians. The history of American politics is the history of the conservative movement, not the history of radical fringes. If you read the Republican Platforms from the 1950s you will see that fiscal responsibility, education, social welfare, the rights of individuals, of labor and of business enterprises, infrastructure and defense were all equal priorities and sufficient taxes were proposed to balance the budget and fulfill our responsibilities at home and abroad. It was not a perfect time, but it was a balanced time and people were more polite in their political discourse.

    However, I agree that "Just because someone has a different point of view doesn't make them a mob, bigot, racist, or child hater." The mob reference was an allusion to the danger to the Republican form of government which classical philosophers and the founding Fathers saw in mob democratic rule and to the blanket personal condemnations of our fellow citizens serving us in the educational system and the name-calling engaged in by some who seem who think that such behavior is helpful. I did not use the words bigot, racist or child hater; rather I spoke in "protest against the cheap political hypocrisy and the false sense of self-righteousness that blinds the mob and causes them to swallow greater and greater lies from the Republican leadership." Perhaps I would have made myself clearer and spoken more correctly, had I said "the current radical Republican Party leadership," all of whose members are, in my humble opinion, indeed, proving themselves to be ignorant, petty and untruthful successors to the national Republican leaders of my generation. Furthermore, given the responses to my posts, it is evident that they are wrong who say "Only liberals try to marginalize others' opinions."

    -- Posted by secularmonk on Fri, Apr 22, 2011, at 1:16 PM
  • Secular Monk to Justalowlycitizen believes there are no parties: I wish there were more parties; more than the traditional two, and more input. Supposedly all politics are local, but all politics, at least according to Aristotle, include national issues as well as local issues and many governors, not just here in Idaho, but across the nation are trying to do something entirely new and radical by privatizing education (which is a public trust not a private enterprise) just as prisons, military logistic support and health services have been irresponsibly privatized for profit. And the right to work and organize unions is being destroyed by what I call a radical Republican agenda.

    -- Posted by secularmonk on Fri, Apr 22, 2011, at 1:19 PM
  • Secular Monk to Justwatch: I thank you for your comment because it seems to confirm my point about ideological canards. Making out as though anyone who disagrees with you is "some kind of foreigner who belongs over there and not here" or calling someone "elite" (or stupid) because their use of the English language may be different from your own use of the English language or because they think historical examples and what the founding Fathers thought about the dangers to the Republic of both mob democratic rule and other forms of tyranny (including plutocracy), is to engage in emotional mob-like behavior. Such language is typical of the current low level of political discourse. If one can't simply say that he disagrees for these reasons or for these facts, or because of another philosophical stance, then one is acting like a member of an emotional mob when one starts calling names and throwing insults. I grew up here not "over there." I am not a "Russian" or a member of any "collective" "over there," which you may consider to be "foreign," or "subversive." I consider myself as a member of the "human race" ( which may sound suspect to those who fear "Humanism" ) and I am not a member of any "elite" (other than the unique group of native Idahoans who are naturally proud of their origin). I am glad that I received what I consider to be a good education here in Idaho schools, but I do not claim to be wiser than "your obvious all knowing self," or any other "self" who is privileged to come to this local site.

    -- Posted by secularmonk on Fri, Apr 22, 2011, at 1:21 PM
  • Secular Monk to Cant Justwatch, please review some of your posts:

    " are entitled to your opinion, as I am entitled to MINE. Rather than insult or degrade I will just say. I disagree with you... Folks should think before spouting hateful biased pro liberal trash... One word for you folks.... LIARS! ...insulting and badgering anyone who disagrees by calling them "prejudiced and bigots"ya ya that's the ticket! Gimme ur best snide attack in regards to this, try some more liberal tactics to evade the topic at hand... Do you believe that repeating your OPINION over and over again will somehow change FACTS.....? ...I see you have not taken the time to do any research yourself, just continue with the snide comments and pompous attitude... ...the arguments you were attacking people with were VERY biased... ...I made my comments and arguments and statements and stand behind them, none were "stereotypical prejudices" ...I don't much consider your very biased opinions on the whole to carry much weight... ...I am tired of repeating the same thing over and over to an obviously biased person who refuses to see beyond their own opinions, and concerns while giving no value to the beliefs and concerns of others... ...the liberal "haters" on here chose to attack me and try to label me as "prejudice" in a sorry attempt to silence me instead of considering FACTS and considering more than just their OWN opinions! ...It still just AMAZES me that these liberal pukes who mostly have never served a day in uniform have decided what is best for the military... ...Someone please tell me again about prejudice and bias, and bigots.....Then crawl back under your dishonest little hateful corrupt rock you came from and leave the rest of us working class AVERAGE Americans to live our lives the way we see fit and let us have some peace to raise our families with some values WE believe in instead of trying so hard to corrupt and warp the minds of our children and grandchildren with your hate filled lies wrapped up in cries of "equality and fairness" tried very hard to play yourself off as a concerned citizen only wanting what was best... the arguments progressed you became emotional and the TRUTH about you and the motivation behind your posting on here came out... I have found that usually the ones shouting the loudest are the ones who stand to gain or lose the most financially and I have no doubt you are the same.... You see "churches" in Mountain Home don't pay property taxes, so when they gobble up the prime commercial real estate downtown guess who get's to foot the bill for THEIR public services by paying MORE PROPERTY TAXES??? WE ALL DO! By your posts and so called comments, opinions, you are a very angry, irritated person... ...Is your opinion based upon YOUR use of lithium perhaps? ...go refill your prescription for prozac or whatever other mind altering chemical you have to take to make it through the day without getting told what an idiot you are by those who surround you... As for me, reading your posts makes me believe that some people really do need to be medicated. WOW! aren't you the proud pompous one? Have a nice weekend."

    -- Posted by secularmonk on Sat, Apr 23, 2011, at 5:58 AM
  • well said justalowlycitizen. liked the way you got that word canard in there too. didn't see that word enough in monks posts.

    -- Posted by skeeter on Sat, Apr 23, 2011, at 9:03 AM
  • Just Cant Watch: No one would have to seriously stalk, search for hours, look hard or read in depth your posts to find proof for the conclusion you draw about the quality of your statements and how firmly you hold to your opinions. Well now, that's progress. Dialogue is good and we haven't had to compromise on anything. We now agree on one thing. Actually, I think we already agree on two things! But I don't know if I can go so far as to agree on being "stalker friends," and on the "feeling special and loved part;" not quite yet, anyway. My ego still feels a little sore and prickly at the "proud," " pompous," and "needing medication" comments. I'll have to get over it.

    -- Posted by secularmonk on Sat, Apr 23, 2011, at 3:33 PM
  • h

    -- Posted by bloodyknuckles on Mon, Apr 25, 2011, at 1:25 PM
  • Secularmonk to Cant justwatch: Thanks to you, I can see that the word mob was an unwise choice. The mob reference was poorly used, but it was not, as you put it, "simply" because there was a difference of opinion.

    Abusive language, like using the word "mob," misses the point of human nature and discourse among human beings. Abusing people by calling them "mobs" reduces them to things or means to an end and human beings may never be used as means to accomplish a political end (even if the end is a noble Liberal one). It was initially chosen because of the lack of decorum in the expressions of opinion toward school teachers in general but also toward Liberals), which seemed screaming (CAPITAL LETTERS) ad hominem arguments and outrageous references to persons holding different views. Some think that abusive language leads in some cases to destructive actions with grim reapers and pitchforks. So I must confess again that using "mob" was very near to the kind of conduct I was questioning. In the case of your past post which insinuated that your opponents were vermin who should "crawl back under the dirty and corrupt rock from which they came" does more than hurt egos and make people prickly. It certainly doesn't make them open to listening to a conversation. Perhaps there are more constructive ways to invite them to come out into the light of day and enjoy the sunshine.

    In Justalowlycitizen's post, which begins, "I reject your premise..." I find a better model to follow, precisely because it talks issues & differences in points of view and starting premises.

    That is where real discourse among human beings brings insight of the kind that inspires good teachers to be good teachers, reference Trouble2011's comment about actually being a teacher because he likes "to see the light bulb go on" in the minds of his students. He too thought my mob reference was used "just to attack" someone for voicing their opinion. Had "attack" been the only reason for using the word, he would be right in calling it incorrect. But by telling me he was a teacher and why he is a teacher he not only showed me that he was not condemning irrationally all teachers as a class & all the members of the school board. He also calmed my reactionary fears that he was part of a mob forming to go out and figuratively string up or pitchfork all teachers & administrators on sight as in the revolution in France.

    Many citizens do realize that the School District (and the Body we elect to the School Board) is the most fundamental unit of local representative government in the Republic. That is why they take public schools so seriously. Therefore, reform is called for, when change is required, but never radical destruction, because public schools were, in the mind of the founding Fathers, an institution essential for the conservation of the nation. In my opinion refusing to tax-fund schools or turning them over to for profit private corporations to run or transferring public tax dollars to sectarian religious schools are all radical, mistaken ideas that will lead to the destruction of the public (of the people, by the people) school institution entrusted to us by the founding Fathers.

    -- Posted by secularmonk on Mon, Apr 25, 2011, at 3:46 PM
  • Ok i have a thought. If we succeed at recalling Tom Luna wouldn't Governor Butch Otter just appoint someone with the same exact ideals/thought/political party as Tom Luna???

    -- Posted by MGMH on Tue, Apr 26, 2011, at 9:28 PM
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