Blast from 2013: Why Don Smith Lost
This post originally appeared on Mudflats April 2, 2013 just before last year’s Municipal election that gave us our current, improved Anchorage School Board…one that does not include Don Smith and DOES include Kameron Perez-Verdia.
It came about as the result of a tainted appointment process (to replace a Board member who resigned). The man they originally chose was known personally by members of the Board, who did not reveal their conflict. He was also a former VECO executive who personally paid bribes to the “Corrupt Bastards” group. Some quotes:
. — “In his application for consideration for the empty seat, Mr. Corkran didn’t mention Veco. He wrote much about his experience leading “a world wide company” with more than 5,000 employees. He wrote, “Successfully negotiated all aspects of the sale of one of the largest privately-held company in Alaska in 2007.”
— “Our schools are having tough times. We deserve better than a man who funded political criminals. There isn’t one lawmaker who went to jail who didn’t take money from Mr. Corkran”
Below is Don Smith’s reaction to Mr. Corkran’s rejection of the appointment after Shannyn (with a little help from me) exposed the lack of transparency and the connections with other School board members. Listen to how Smith treats Mr. Perez-Verdia in his rant:
Read tomorrow’s Mudflats Voter Guide for more recent updates on Smith and why he’s not fit to come back. (Sorry…spoilers!!!)
Here is a video from last night’s Anchorage School Board Meeting. It shows how Don Smith reacted to the kerfluffle over the weekend, which led to Thomas Corkran’s withdrawl from his newly appointed position on the Board. (Spoilers: Kameron Perez-Verdia was voted-on and sworn-in last night.)
It also provides a few (more) reasons to vote Don Smith out of office and vote for former State Senator Bettye Davis to replace him:
1) People in elected office should never use their positions of power to attack private citizens by name. Shannyn and I can handle it just fine. However, it completely intimidates others from exercising their right to participate in their government process. (Yeah, I know. Palin opened that door…)
2) People in elected office should never personalize criticism that comes with the territory…especially when deserved. All Mr. Smith succeeded in doing last night was act like a toddler who had his favorite toy taken away.
3) People in elected office should never be insulting to someone they will probably be serving with in the future.
Smith’s comments about Kameron Perez-Verdia’s candidacy were inaccurate and insulting. That includes statements Smith voiced that were not in this video clip:
“We are being forced to accept a candidate who clearly didn’t have majority support.”
Mr. Perez-Verdia was tied 3-3 with Mr. Corkran for three voting cycles. Board Member Kathleen Plunkett changed her vote to Corkran on the fourth cycle, most likely to avoid the embarassment of a coin toss. It’s outrageous to suggest that she didn’t now support Mr. Perez-Verdia!
“I believe that the selection process is flawed.”
Could he have suddenly come to that belief because he isn’t getting his way?
“I have nothing against Kameron other than I believe he is a special-issue-focused candidate.”
This is a comment that lends itself to dangerous interpretation, mainly because Perez-Verdia’s background with children is anything but “single-issue.” As a matter-of-fact, Mr. Corkran’s experience was more one-note as his response to almost every experience question revolved around his mentoring with Junior Achievement.
So one is left to speculate what Don Smith could most likely be insinuating with his “special-issue” comment and it doesn’t bode well.
4) Most importantly — people in elected office should never OUTRIGHT ATTACK their constituents!
Last night, Erik Breese testified and gave his opinion about the Board’s actions surrounding the appointment of Mr. Corkran. In the process, he asked Don Smith if he was still the only one who has not signed the Anchorage School District Code of Conduct.
Mr. Smith acknowledged that was true.
Mr. Breese ended by producing a packet of paper that was a print-out of the Achorage Code regarding signage and chastising Mr. Smith for allegedly not following the regulations. He then took that packet over to Smith’s desk and laid it in front of him.
According to Mr. Breese, Smith allegedly said “f*** you” loud enough that Breese thought the people immediately next to Smith could have heard him, but not enough to be clear over the microphone.
What the camera caught was Don Smith throwing the packet on the floor, then picking it up a minute later only to dramatically tear it up.
I guess there is no speculation necessary as to why Don Smith hasn’t signed the ASD Code of Conduct!
And there is absolutely no speculation required as to why Don Smith needs to go!
(Video courtesy of ExposeAlaska)