Democrats split over Glenda Ritz strategyOctober 25th, 2013 at 5:45 pm by Jim Shella under Jim Shella's Political Blog
The lawsuit filed against the state Board of Education this week by state school superintendent Glenda Ritz is controversial, so much so that members of her own political party are split over the strategy.
Ritz is a Democrat and to point up the emotions sparked by her lawsuit we talked to two prominent Democrats, one who backs Ritz, and one who is named in her lawsuit.
It charges that the state board of education held a secret meeting to give the Legislative Services Agency approval to calculate A-to-F school grades.
Gordon Hendry is a Democrat who serves on the board who said, “It’s really throwing gas on a fire.”
State Democratic Chairman John Zody, meantime, said, “We support Glenda Ritz.”
Zody points out that a majority of the board members are Republican and so is Governor Mike Pence. He says they have worked together to limit Glenda Ritz’s authority and to implement the governor’s agenda.
“And this governor,” said Zody, “as soon as he got elected instructed his board and is directing his board to act on his behalf and he’s injecting politics into situation, and is not working with the democratically elected Superintendent of Public Instruction.”
One of things Governor Mike Pence has done is to appoint Hendry, a former deputy mayor under Bart Peterson, a longtime Democrat and a lawyer.
“You know the basis for her lawsuit is unfounded,” said Hendry, “because she’s alleged that there was a meeting to draft a letter and there was no meeting. In fact, I was on a beach in Florida.”
Two views of Glenda Ritz. It’s one example of how, in less than a year, she has become a polarizing figure in the Statehouse.
Friday afternoon Gordon Hendry requested a meeting with Glenda Ritz once the lawsuit is resolved. The Board of Education wrote her an open letter requesting that she drop it. And late Friday Judge Louis Rosenberg scheduled arguments in the case for November 15th. The lawsuit is not going away anytime soon.