This has been a difficult few months for Arizona Superintendent Diane Douglas.
She has four primary opponents from her own party that think she is unfit for a second term.
She and her “internal reviewers” ignited controversy when they revised the proposed new Science Standards by taking out most if not all references to evolution, the Big Bang Theory, and climate change.
She sparked condemnation from educators by threatening “McCarthyite” reprisals against striking instructors from the Red For Ed Movement.
Now one of her surrogates, treating the Superintendent as if she had a Divine Right to her office, is trying to influence Department of Education staffers on which Superintendent candidate to vote for.
On Friday, one of the commissars for the Superintendent thought it was only right to send an email to Department of Education staff urging them to remember to vote for Diane Douglas, “the Wonder Woman of Education” in the primaries on Tuesday.
When faced with the latest “miscalculation,” Douglas had the email pulled, sent an apologetic email to the Department staff, and pledged that the person who originated the first email would be terminated.
Douglas’ toxic work environment
Democratic Candidate for Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman, through her campaign manager Christy Chavis, commented that “As Superintendent, I will be proactive in training staff and taking responsibility for any emails sent by my administration. In this situation, Douglas is contributing to a toxic work environment for the dedicated staff at the department by trying to influence an election and terminating the messenger that was not properly trained or supervised.”
What the surrogate of Diane Douglas did is not unheard of. Other candidates have used the same approach. It does not make it any less inappropriate. No one should try to influence the people that work for you on who to vote for. It is a form of harassment and the people should recognize it as such. Voters should not reward this behavior. Fortunately, the Democrats are offering two compelling candidates, either of whom, (if Douglas wins her own primary on Tuesday) will easily best her in November.
The writer also reached out to the campaign of Democrat David Schapira for comment. They have not yet responded.