A photo from this week's Howard County Democratic Party's Labor Day picnic made me stop and think.
I simply can't wrap my brain around the presence of campaign signs for Janet Siddiqui at this event.
The standard answer to this practice is that all Democrats in good standing are invited to post their signs at Democratic Party events during the election season. My question is, what makes someone a "Democrat in good standing"?
In this letter to Glenwood Middle School parents, dated July 31st, 2015, Dr. Siddiqui states, "At no point has this mold issue been a public health issue for students and staff."
That's just not true. If you'd like to review the documents, including the workers compensation judgement in favor of staff members exposed to poor air quality and faulty ventilation, take a look here. Click on the "Mold in Schools" section.
Dr. Siddiqui, a pediatrician who has used her position on the Board of Education to repeatedly discuss addressing "the needs of the whole child", spoke to parents from a position of authority, and withheld the truth. (That's the nicest way I know how to say it.) It is very likely that more students and staff suffered mold-related illnesses due to her outright lack of advocacy.
What makes someone a Democrat in good standing?
This issue is a particular sticking point for me because this has been an election year in which Democrats have been zealously demanding that Republicans publicly renounce the Republican presidential candidate. Now I know there is huge difference between the local Board of Education race and the Presidency of the United States. No attempt at false equivalency here.
But. (And this is a big "but" we are talking about here.)
How can we ask Republicans to publicly denounce a candidate who is "a Republican in good standing" and refuse to entertain the notion that aDemocratic candidate has so blatantly broken her pledge to serve the community who elected her? Remember: I'm a Democrat. This isn't something I'm at all happy to wrestle with.
I would never ask members of the Howard County Democratic Party to publicly renounce Dr. Siddiqui. That's just not how I operate. I might ask them to consider what that photograph of the picnic looks like to Howard County School parents, teachers, and staff. It looks like choosing sides. It looks like an endorsement.
What makes someone a Democrat in good standing? Could it be her ability to raise money?
(Data from campaign finance.us)
I don't know. But I do know that, in this (non-partisan) race for the Board of education, there are five better choices: Coombs, Cutroneo, Delmont-Small, Ellis, Miller.