Thursday, January 28, 2010

Brewer appoints anti-government activist to Arizona Board of Regents

Yesterday, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer announced the appointment of former Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives Mark Killian to fill a vacancy on the Arizona Board of Regents.

The press release touting the appointment cites as qualfications his speakership and background in real estate sales and landscaping, along with membership on a few advisory and community committees related to ASU and Chandler-Gilbert Community College.

No education management experience at all.

However, that isn't my biggest problem with his appointment - Killian is hardly the first person appointed to such a board with less-than-pristine qualifications.

Nope, my problem with his appointment is the fact that he is a director for the Scottsdale-based anti-government group ORANGE Coalition. It's been fronting for the Goldwater Institute and Arizona American Water in their efforts to rewrite Scottsdale's city charter into a document that elevates corporate interests above residents' interests.

Even Republicans, who are generally most sympathetic to GI's advocacy efforts for its clients, have noticed and are crying foul. (Note: I don't know who is responsible for the content of the website as it seems to be an anonymous one thus far)

Now, I've never met Mr. Killian personally, and he may just be a "name on the letterhead" with ORANGE Coalition, but the state's education system, from K thru grad school, is one of the keys to a viable and sustainable future for Arizona.

It, and the state, need it to be led by people who will fight to enhance it, not fight to undermine the education infrastructure in Arizona.

And, given the available evidence, Mr. Killian should be considered utterly unqualified to be a member of the Arizona Board of Regents.

If you are a student, parent, faculty member, or staff member at one of the state's universities, or just an Arizonan who cares about our future, then write to your state senator (they have to approve executive appointments). Also, write to the members of the Senate Education Committee, the committee where this appointment will probably be assigned (and if your Senator is on the Committee, so much the better.)

Urge them to fully examine Mr. Killian's suitability to be a Regent before casting their votes.

EV Tribune coverage here. There are quotes from Killian in the story, that if he is sincere, make me believe that he might not be horrible in the slot. However, those are just words; his work with ORANGE Coalition are actions.

And we all know the old cliche about what speaks louder.


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