Monday, April 26, 2010

Barresi Responds to Hime Letter

Janet Barresi, candidate for State Superintendent, issued the following statement after her opponent, Shawn Hime, attacked her for past donations to Democrat candidates:
Barresi Comments on Hime’s Latest Mudslinging

Janet Barresi, a charter school founder and conservative Republican running for State Superintendent of Public Instruction, issued the following statement in response to a recent attack piece issued by her primary opponent, Shawn Hime.

Since the first day I announced I was running for State Superintendent, my campaign has been about one thing: improving our schools and giving all Oklahoma children a quality education.

Unfortunately, it appears my primary opponent’s only focus is on issuing negative attacks instead of explaining his vision for our schools. So far, Shawn Hime has issued two negative attacks in the past month, a sign of desperation, not leadership.

Contrary to his mudslinging, I am a lifelong conservative Republican and have been a staunch supporter of pro-life organizations and conservative Republicans – 86 percent of all my political contributions have been to Republicans and GOP organizations.

I have contributed to a handful of Democrats who (at least at the time) were supportive of education reform, particularly school choice. I have always been upfront about those contributions because I wanted to work within the system. When I saw that wasn’t possible, I announced that I was running against Sandy Garrett – before she dropped out.

During college, my late husband played football for OU and developed many lifelong friends. In 2006, one of those friends hosted a fundraiser and asked us for a contribution, so we gave $250. Frankly, like most people at that time, we knew little about Jeff McMahan and the contribution was provided solely out of personal loyalty to a longtime friend.

In comparison, Shawn Hime worked for years – on two different occasions – for the current state superintendent, Democrat Sandy Garrett. His record on education is Democrat Sandy Garrett’s record, which is probably why he prefers to issue attacks instead of talking about issues.

Unlike Hime, I am proud to campaign on my record in education. I have helped launch two charter schools in Oklahoma City, and both have been hugely successful.

One of those schools, Harding Charter Preparatory High School, was named to Newsweek magazine’s list of the best high schools in the country after only six years of operation. Last year Harding saw its first National Merit Finalist, another student named to the Academic All-State team and Harding students received $1.65 million in college scholarships. One hundred percent of our students graduated last year and 96 percent went on to college.

Their accomplishments came in spite of the fact that the majority of Harding students are from poverty level backgrounds. Twenty two percent of last year’s class were the first in their family to graduate high school, and 65 percent were the first in their families to go to college.

As you can see, I don’t believe in excuses. I achieve results. And I have no problem putting my record on education against the Garrett/Hime record anytime, anywhere.

You can view the original Hime letter here. Stay tuned, because I will be posting more information tomorrow.


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