Monday, January 07, 2008

Rush on HSLDA endorsement

My site is getting hit with Google inquiries on Huckabee and homeschoolers most likely because Rush Limbaugh said today that HSLDA did not endorse Huckabee but that Farris did. Ned Ryun has the transcipt.
In another thing, we had a guy, Eric from North Carolina, who called and said and that the Home School Legal Defense Association endorsed Huckabee. That’s not true. One of their top dogs did, a guy named Michael Farris, but the association did not. You can go through their website and you will find a lot of critical articles on Huckabee, re: home schooling. They had a press release saying that Farris’ endorsement is not an endorsement from them.
That's only partly correct, but his confusion is somewhat understandable. Rush, like many others, is confused about Farris, HSDLA, HSLDA-PAC and why Farris made this endorsement.

HSDLA-PAC did endorse Huckabee, here's the link. HSLDA-PAC is the connected PAC of HSLDA. HSLDA cannot endorse candidates outside its membership. According the HSLDA-PAC website, the PAC was formed to "allow HSLDA to engage directly in the political arena." But as I previously posted, Ned Ryun the former director of the PAC alleges that this endorsement was done unilaterally and for all intents and purposes was a Farris endorsement. He was not told of the endorsement until after the fact.

So Rush was incorrect, HSLDA-PAC did endorse Huckabee. But if Ned Ryun is to be believed this endorsement was in reality a Farris endorsement acting alone but done through the PAC. So Rush may have been wrong and right at the same time. Wrong in that the HSDLA-PAC did endorse Huckabee, but right that it was really Farris who actually made the endorsement.

The HSLDA-PAC endorsement was done despite Huckabee's Arkanasas record which added restrictions to homeschoolers along with allowing UN involvement in Arkansas schools. Huckabee also encourages increasing federal involvement in education. I sure wish Farris would clear this up and be upfront on why he endorsed a candidate who supports the very things HSLDA opposes.

Steiger's Law says,
"People involved in a structure spend more time and energy maintaining that structure than in working toward its goals."
Is this what's happening to Farris and HSLDA? It has been reported that Farris is a senior unpaid advisor to Huckabee and has been since the early days of his campaign. The fact that this has caught Rush's attention means that this story is far from over. Stay tuned.

I emailed Ned Ryun about the Rush show today and he offered a few more thoughts on the HSLDA endorsement.
"As PAC Director at the time, and having been PAC Director from the very beginning of HSLDA-PAC, we had standards by which we operated. One was that we did not endorse in fields in which there was not a clear cut conservative vs. moderate/liberal; I find it highly ironic that we endorsed in such a crowded field, and endorsed someone who I knew, even then, was a big government Republican. "
You can read complete statement here. Ryun has sinced moved on from HSLDA-PAC and has started the Madison Youth Project to "promote conservative ideals, to raise up a generation prepared and positioned to lead tomorrow, and to elect candidates today who share this vision. We are pro-family, pro-life and pro-growth." Online classes are now forming.

My previous posts on Huckabee and homeschooling
Part One. The Huckabee Homeschool Hustle
Part Two. Huckabee and state reform
Part Three. Huckabee and federal policy
Part Four. Huckabee and global citizenshipHuckabee responds
Ned Ryun's statement on homeschooling.
Ned Ryun's statement on HSLDA.

(This post has been editted and updated and I'll continue to update if new information becomes available.)

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