By Kimberly Morin
Yesterday, the New Hampshire Executive Council held a hearing on Governor Sununu’s nomination of Frank Edelblut for the Commissioner of Education. The Executive Council chambers were packed with a full house of Edelblut supporters and detractors. The actual hearing didn’t end until around 8 p.m. last night.
The hearing started out with freshman councilor Andru Volinsky’s excessive line of questioning, including his bigotry towards Edelblut for daring to sit on the board of a Christian college. Apparently Volinsky assumed that Edelblut would somehow infuse his religious beliefs into his position as commissioner despite facts to the contrary. Volinsky was actually interrupted by the council to end his “grandstanding” and actually get to his questions. The man seemed like an angry prosecutor cross-examining an innocent man, accusing him of crimes he didn’t commit. It was truly a low moment for the Executive Council.
Edelblut doesn’t want to “dismantle” public education
Edelblut responded to Volinsky’s ridiculous speech and questioning by answering every question with an excellent response and rebuking Volinsky’s assumption that Edelblut wants to dismantle public education. Far from it, Edelblut wants to make all education in the state of New Hampshire better for all children. Volinsky is part of the status quo in public education based on his support from one of the biggest teachers’ unions in the country. His allegiance is with unions and not with the children of the state.
Taking Volinsky’s lead, many of Edelblut’s opponents assumed an arrogant position that they somehow knew better about the commissioner role because they were educators. After years of educators being in the role of commissioner and parents still unhappy with the results, it’s hard to take them seriously. They didn’t stop there either, they continued with Volinksy’s religious bigotry. It was indeed one of the most disgusting examples of discrimination and bigotry to hit the executive council in decades (or possibly ever).
Edelblut is the change Granite Staters are begging for in education
Supporters of Edelblut spoke about how badly New Hampshire’s educational system needs change. Clearly the system isn’t working for all children and Edelblut, with his executive experience can be the person to help make it better. Edelblut himself stated that his role is to implement what the Governor and Board of Education decide. Edelblut is not the decision maker, he is the implementer. It appeared that neither Volinksy nor Democrat Councilor Chris Pappas actually know what the role of the commissioner is supposed to be.
It was ironic that opponents who spoke about Edelblut’s political ideology being in question were using their own political ideology to question it. They didn’t grasp that their own extreme leftism was on display and they admonished Edelblut for not holding their same views. It didn’t matter that Edelblut already stated the position was not partisan. It didn’t matter that Edelblut already stated that his role is to implement what the board and governor put into place. They simply droned on and on, avoiding the facts although commenting that Edelblut seemed like a nice man.
One theme seemed to be common during the testimony was that opponents of Edelblut, supporters of the status quo, talked about public education and money. They didn’t often mention the children. It was supporters of Edelblut, opponents of the status quo, who actually brought up children and changing the education system to be best for all children.
Demonization and religious bigotry of the left
It was disturbing to see grown adults demonize a man for things he never said or claimed he would do. It was egregious to see the horrifying religious bigotry that was rampant from the left. A few different Edelblut supporters wanted to know if one’s personal religion was going to now be a “litmus test” for all future nominees.
It’s unfortunate for Granite Staters that one of their elected officials, Andru Volinsky, seems to be the three-ring leader of the hater circus. The hearing seemed more like a bigoted witch hunt than an actual discussion about why Edelblut would or would not be a good commissioner based on his background, executive experience, integrity and his own testimony. These people are exactly why Governor Sununu was elected.