Friday, November 03, 2006

Backpeddling

I received an email from Mark Meadows earlier today. It is not in response to my concerns emailed to him two days ago. Instead, he is responding to a homeschool dad.

It appears the only email Mr. Meadows responded to yesterday was the one sent by this homeschool dad. He didn't respond to the homeschooling mothers. When the dad brought this to Mr. Meadows' attention, he sent the following to the homeschool dad and cc'd us women.

I'll let you draw your own conclusions. I'm tired of addressing this candidate's lack of logic and knowledge.

My responding to you was all about me walking into the office after everyone had left and checking email. Yours was the only unopened one on the issue and staff had told me they copied others and had received some calls. I did not see any need to respond to other emails when you said you had disseminated my response. When I read the report of the interview, I was surprised that my comments had somehow made homeschooling my primary target for legislation. Especially after I thought I had quite clearly targeted people like the Hollands in my comments. I have alot I would like to do as a legislator-- homeschool legislation is not on the list. Someone also sent me the headline. I did not write the headline and I did not write the article. The reporter interviewed me by cellphone as I was going door to door. I thought I was pretty articulate but obviously I wasn't. We all agree that an abuser should not be able to escape scrutiny by deciding to homeschool after being identified. After I am elected I'll sit down with you and other homeschoolers and we'll noodle out a way to address my issue without affecting your rights. I added the email address of anyone I had gotten something from to this response so you might want to check and see if they are on your listserv.


All My Relations,

Mark


Update: I emailed MIRS. The reporter stands by her story.

Update #2: To read Candidate Meadows' response to me, click on the comments.

5 comments:

Maureen Wittmann said...

I know I said I wouldn't comment, but I have to wonder:

Which of these quotes from the article are actual quotes and which ones did the reporter make up?

1. The first bill former East Lansing Mayor Mark MEADOWS would introduce if he wins the 69th District House seat would be to revamp and put restrictions on the way home schools operate.

2. Although he doesn't believe the Gov. Jennifer GRANHOLM administration could have done anything else to save Ricky HOLLAND's life, he does think tightening up home schools would prevent further deaths.

3. It's not uncommon for parents who have abusive records, like the Hollands, to home school their kids to hide the abuse, Meadows said.

4. There's no restriction on who can home school their kids, so it makes it much easier for families who are abusive to keep the child at home, Meadows said.

5. Tightening up home schooling laws would keep kids in the public eye, which might result in more cases of child abuse being reported before it's too late, Meadows said.

6. Meadows said he doesn't know if other states have similar laws, but he wants to give it a try.

7. This might help state workers, who never seem to have enough personnel or money, to stay on top of every case, Meadows argued.

8. "I think a Democratic Legislature would place a higher priority on this," Meadows said about increasing human service funding and passing his home schooling legislation.

Anonymous said...

Even if Mr. Meadows is telling the truth about what he told the reporter, he's learned very quickly that you better be darned awful careful about everything you say. His passing little remark as has lit a fire under some volunteers that John Knowles would not have otherwise had. Cool!

concerned parent said...

After I am elected I'll sit down with you and other homeschoolers and we'll noodle out a way to address my issue without affecting your rights.

This guy doesn't get it. The only legislation acceptable by homeschoolers will be NO legislation.

If he's elected, Meadows needs to work on enforcing the legislation already in place. And he needs to call to task the administartion for sleeping on the job.

But he won't do that. He's a partisan party hack. He won't say anything negative about the governor or her administration.

By making homeschooling the scapegoat, he can mask the state's incompetance. Tsk, tsk.

Maureen Wittmann said...

I emailed Mr. Meadows the above questions (Which quotes are true and which are fake?) Here is his response:

I don't recall exactly what I said, but it may well be that some of what I said appears in each of the quotes. The article expresses the writer's interpretation of what I said. I was asked if "I had a first piece of legislation planned." I did not but said that I would like to address the ability of people like the Hollands to move a child identified as abused from public school to home school without additional scrutiny. I talked about the ability of state workers to accomplish greater scrutiny. Homeschooling was mentioned in the context of the Hollands and was not the focus of my comments. So, if you parse out the quotations from me and eliminate the interpretation of the reporter:

"It is not uncommon for parents who have abusive records like the Hollands to homeschool their kids to hide abuse. There is no restriction on who can home school their kids so it makes it much easier for families who are abusive to keep their child at home. Tightening up home schooling (I don't think I said "home schooling") laws would keep kids in the public eye which might result in more cases of child abuse being reported before it's too late. PROTECTIVE SERVICE HAS BEEN UNDERFUNDED AND UNDERSTAFFED FOR TOO LONG. PUTTING A DIFFERENT PRIORITY ON FOLLOW UP UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES might help state workers, who never seem to have enough personnel or money, to stay on top of every case. I think a Democratic legislature should place a higher prority on PROVIDING MORE MONEY TO PROTECTIVE SERVICES." Now, What was left out? Money and oversight. The reporter spoke to me as I went door to door by cell phone. I assume the story was prepared from notes. I don't think there is a transcript, but you can see what my focus was from the capitalized words and the bolded language that I have inserted in the quotes . Candidly, I don't think the quotes are entirely accurate, but I have been interviewed a thousand times and I know how tough it is to take things down when someone is talking, walking and thinking at the same time (I can do all three but apparently not very well!!) Blaming the reporter is not the way I operate. I am sure she reported the conversation the way she interpreted it.

Anonymous said...

Meadows is just trying to cover his backside now that he's said and done something stupid. But he's been caught in his own trap, and I'm lovin' that it came to him courtesy of a bunch of us redneck, hick homeschoolers, and a superblogging mom. Cool, fun, ironic.