Thursday, October 20, 2016

Vic’s Election Notes on Education #40– October 20, 2016

Dear Friends,

[Note: There is no link between “Vic’s Election Notes on Education” and any organization.]


Tim Skinner, a true champion for public education in Indiana, is running for the Indiana House of Representatives in District 42, which includes portions of Clay, Fountain, Parke, Vermillion, Vigo and Warren Counties and the cities of Brazil, Covington, Clinton, Rockville and Cayuga.

He served in the Indiana Senate for twelve years where he compiled an outstanding voting record in support of public schools. He lost his reelection bid in 2014 after his district had been gerrymandered following the last census. He is a retired teacher, having served students in the Vigo County Schools for over 30 years. He is currently serving as Board President of the Indiana Coalition for Public Education. He is a true advocate for public education.

Tim Skinner deserves the support of every public school advocate in Indiana. If you can help him in any way or if you know someone who votes in District 42, please take action to help him win on Nov. 8th.
[Please note: Indiana Code 3-14-1-17 says that government employees including public school employees may not “use the property of the employee’s government employer to” support the “election or defeat of a candidate” and may not distribute this message “on the government employer’s real property during regular working hours.” Ironically, the law does not prevent private school employees from using computers purchased with public voucher money to distribute campaign materials. Private schools now financed in part by public voucher dollars have retained all rights under Indiana’s voucher laws to engage in partisan political campaigns.]
Tim Skinner’s Opponent is No Friend of Public Education

The incumbent in House District 42 is Representative Alan Morrison.

In the ICPE 2016 Legislator Report Card showing the letter grades legislators earned on support for public education, Representative Morrison’s grade was an F.

That happened because he voted against public education on all five issues picked by ICPE as indicators of support for public education.

Click HERE to see the full ICPE Report Card.

Tim Skinner’s Opponent Alan Morrison Faces Ethical Questions

In a September 16, 2016 article, Hayleigh Columbo in the Indiana Business reported “An Indiana lawmaker who voted two years in a row for legislation that put one private company in control of who could manufacture e-liquid for sale in Indiana has now gone to work for a division of that firm. Rep. Alan Morrison, R-Terre Haute, said he sees no conflict of interest in taking a job with a division of Mulhaupt’s, the Lafayette firm that is at the center of the controversial law regulating the vaping industry. But Morrison acknowledged that---if reelected---he will have to recuse himself from future votes about the vaping issue or on legislation that would affect Mulhaupt’s.”

Columbo also reported that “Legislative leaders have pledged to rethink the vaping law after it became clear it gave Mulhaupt’s a monopoly over the security provisions in the law. The FBI is also probing the law’s passage and implementation to determine if any corruption was involved.”

Columbo then reported on the comments regarding this situation from David Orentlicher, former legislator and professor at the Indiana University McKinney School of Law, who “said Morrison’s new position and how he acquired it is ‘absolutely troubling. . . . You shouldn’t be leveraging your public office to get a new job. … You don’t want the public to have to worry about the integrity of their Legislature. Unfortunately we still have to worry.’”

After reading the article and regardless of what the FBI concludes, it is clear that Representative Morrison is as blind to ethical conflicts of interest as he is to support for public education.

Support Tim Skinner for House District 42

The case for all public school advocates to support Tim Skinner is clear. Indeed, all who want to restore high standards of ethics and integrity to our legislature should support Tim Skinner.

Voters in all or part of the following school districts are in District 42: Clay, Covington, North Vermillion, Rockville, South Vermillion, Southwest Parke, Turkey Run, and Vigo. If you know voters in any of these Indiana school districts let them know of your support for Tim Skinner. Send him a donation if you can.

We need more strong advocates for public education like Tim Skinner in the Indiana House of Representatives.

Thanks for your strong advocacy for public education!

Best wishes,

Vic Smith

There is no link between “Vic’s Election Notes on Education” and any organization. Please contact me at to add an email address or to remove an address from the distribution list.

Some readers have asked about my background in Indiana public schools. Thanks for asking! Here is a brief bio:

I am a lifelong Hoosier and began teaching in 1969. I served as a social studies teacher, curriculum developer, state research and evaluation consultant, state social studies consultant, district social studies supervisor, assistant principal, principal, educational association staff member, and adjunct university professor. I worked for Garrett-Keyser-Butler Schools, the Indiana University Social Studies Development Center, the Indiana Department of Education, the Indianapolis Public Schools, IUPUI, and the Indiana Urban Schools Association, from which I retired as Associate Director in 2009. I hold three degrees: B.A. in Ed., Ball State University, 1969; M.S. in Ed., Indiana University, 1972; and Ed.D., Indiana University, 1977, along with a Teacher’s Life License and a Superintendent’s License, 1998. In 2013 I was honored to receive a Distinguished Alumni Award from the IU School of Education, and in 2014 I was honored to be named to the Teacher Education Hall of Fame by the Association for Teacher Education – Indiana.


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