Desperation can be a stinky perfume. It is beginning to smell like the Superintendent of Public Instruction Terry Bergeson is splashing it on like a gaggle of freshmen going to their first homecoming dance.
The incumbent School Superintendent spent last Saturday shaking hands and cornering small children at the King County GOP picnic in a frantic effort to ensure she’ll be elected to a fourth term.
It was not the most cordial reception that a politician has ever received.For twelve years, Republicans have been laying the failure of poor test scores, high drop-out rates and bad curriculum at the desk of the SPI. With how the WASL has been implemented over the past decade, the one unifying force in state politics is the dripping disdain both liberals and conservatives have for the standardized test. And Bergeson has been polishing that WASL apple for over a decade.
It was no wonder scowling GOP picnic-goers refused to shake her hand while angrily throwing away “Re-Elect Terry Bergeson” campaign stickers that had been given to their children.
Her handlers, pumping the crowd, tried with a straight face to use the fact that Bergeson “supports charter schools” as elephant balm to heal past political wounds. The fact that she is deigning to even court conservatives shows the depths to which her campaign has fallen.
There are five other candidates on the primary ballot but there is only one that the incumbent is afraid of.
Former Eatonville state representative Randy Dorn, a Democrat, has been running a savvy campaign. Flush with cash courtesy of SIEU union dues, he’s been running touchy-feely television commercials, buying space on web ads and newspapers while flooding mailboxes with campaign literature.
Although Bergeson has been getting the newspaper endorsements, Dorn has played up his career as a teacher and an educator. In addition to the backing of unions and Democrats, he has picked up the support of Sen. Don Benton and Sen. Pam Roach along with a grip of other GOP legislators.
Although his E-Town street cred is firm, Dorn's best weapon is that he isn’t the incumbent. Voters like politicians who can use an empty campaign slogan and the challenger's “Leadership for a Change” suits the bill nicely.
Plus he has got those 1970s porn star good looks. With a name like Randy Dorn, it might be worth browsing through some of those old VHS tapes to see if that mustache has been anywhere else...
Extra Credit: Unlike other certain politicians who have used “Change” as hackneyed catch-phrase to dupe voters; Dorn has been peddling his commitment to “change” for more than just one campaign cycle.
His website, Randy Dorn Consulting, launched while executive director of Public School Employees of Washington, offered a two-hour workshop complete with music, skits, role-playing, modeling and technology titled “Dealing with Change or Who Moved My Cheese?”
“Cheese” is a metaphor of what you want to have in life, whether it is a good job, a loving relationship, money, health or piece of mind. The “Maze” is where you look for what you want the organization you work in, or the family or community you live in.
Even though Taboo Video no longer stocks “Who Moved My Cheese” on its shelves, the lessons to be learned from those words still stir the soul...