The Local Crank

Musings & Sardonic Commentary on Politics, Religion, Culture & Native American Issues. Bringing you the finest in radioactive screeds since 2002! "The Local Crank" newspaper column is distributed by Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.

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Location: Cleburne, Texas, United States

Just a simple Cherokee trial lawyer, Barkman has been forcing his opinions on others in print since, for reasons that passeth understanding, he was an unsuccessful candidate for state representative in 2002. His philosophy: "If people had wanted me to be nice, they should've voted for me."

Monday, September 04, 2006

I Reckon They Showed Me

From the Cleburne Times-Review:

Dear Editor:
Guest columnist Patrick Barkman is flat wrong when he writes that Dr. Jim Leininger is “anti-public school.” Most school choice advocates, including Dr. Leininger, believe that competition will help inspire accelerated improvements in public schools, especially in the big cities where generations of children have already been lost. As for Mr. Barkman’s harsh criticism of Dr. Leininger’s politics, the truth is he became passionately involved in helping poor children escape the poverty cycle after having worked as an emergency room physician treating the gunshot wounds of too many children. Dr. Leininger went on to found a medical device company that made him a very successful businessman. He has since devoted a good share of his wealth to what has now become his life-long determination to help children. To date he has personally funded more than $50 million of scholarships to private schools for low-income children in San Antonio and other Texas cities. All but a few of those who have graduated have gone on to self-financed college educations.That Dr. Leininger believes Texas public policy should side with parents who don’t feel that they can wait for “eventual” improvements in public schools is less the political philosophy so clearly disdained by Mr. Barkman as it is simple human compassion and a willingness to stake part of his wealth — and his own reputation — on efforts to make the future better for the parents of promising children desperate to have at least some of the educational choices now only enjoyed by the wealthy.
Ken Hoagland

This is, one supposes, the same Ken Hoagland who is well-known as the "Mouth of Sauron," the official spokesperson for Leininger's Texans for School Choice, something he chose not to indicate in his boiler-plate press-release. Here's a quick question for you, Ken: if, as you say, Dr. Leininger is motivated solely by his love for poor children, how many scholarships to private schools could he have paid for with the funds he has lavished on his pet candidates over the years?

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