Monday, December 18, 2006

Billings Gazette letters to the editor: surprise, surprise -- Montana Democrats hate Rick Jore

While Montana Headlines is generally not going to comment on the content of letters to the editor in the Billings Gazette or other Montana newspapers, it is worthwhile to comment on trends.

Without knowing the volume of letters that the Gazette receives, it would seem likely that letters decrying the appointment of Rick Jore (Constitution Party) to head the House Education Committee are disproportionately represented in its Voice of the Reader" "section. Nearly every day, a letter is published from someone (sometimes from elsewhere) who says "shame on the Republicans for appointing Jore," and it is getting tiresome.

Perhaps the Gazette is not getting many letters supporting Jore, but this is understandable, given that the Gazette has followed the Democrat line in hammering home the message that Jore is a knuckle-dragging caveman, rather than an experienced legislator who is one of the few to have served on the House Education Committee in the past. Who would want to put their name to that in public?

Judging Jore before having a chance to see how he will function as chairman is contrary to basic principles of fairness. But more than that, as has been pointed out here before, it is worth stating, repeatedly, that questioning how taxpayer dollars are spent on public education is not being anti-education.

It should also be noted that home-schooling families like Jore's pay just as much in taxes as do Montanans whose children go to public schools. They therefore have just as much right to be involved in the process of influencing public education.

If Montana institutes vouchers or tax credits to parents of children who attend private schools or are educated at home, then there would perhaps be some justification for wanting them to be cut out of the political process regarding public education. But not before