Libertarian wins spot on Marietta school board by default

From Charlie Harper, aka Icarus Pundit, at PeachPundit:

When candidate qualifying ended last week, Brett Bittner was the only person who put his name on the ballot for an open seat with the Marietta School Board. He is now presumptively elected to serve the school system in the Cobb County city northwest of Atlanta.

Uncontested local races are generally not political events from which headlines are made. Bittner’s situation is unique in that he is the executive director of the Libertarian Party of Georgia. While the race is officially non-partisan, he is believed to become the third member of the Libertarian Party to hold office in Georgia.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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30 comments Add your comment

Tom

May 30th, 2012
1:32 pm

It’ll get entertaining when some teacher’s porn-star past comes to light. ;-)

Blimey

May 30th, 2012
1:59 pm

@Tom,

or Bittner’s.

Auntie Christ

May 30th, 2012
2:09 pm

This should work out real well for the good folks of Mayretta, having someone on the school board who doesn’t believe it is the government’s place to educate their children. What’s next? A pyromaniac gets appointed Fire Chief?

td

May 30th, 2012
2:46 pm

“he is believed to become the third member of the Libertarian Party to hold office in Georgia.”

In a couple more election cycles the Libertarians holding office in Georgia will outnumber white democrats holding office.

Jeff

May 30th, 2012
3:13 pm

Auntie:

Actually, that is EXACTLY why you WANT Libertarians in charge. We give the power back to YOU, where it belongs. And with great (personal) power comes great (personal) responsibility, meaning educating YOUR child is YOUR prerogative and not MINE to dictate – or pay for.

Marlboro Man

May 30th, 2012
3:17 pm

Party makes no difference, results do. GA has bad results.

td

May 30th, 2012
3:18 pm

Jeff

May 30th, 2012
3:13 pm

But Auntie believes you are not smart enough and will not make the “correct” decisions if you are given this responsibility. He/she only wants the government to make decisions.

Auntie Christ

May 30th, 2012
3:34 pm

And who paid for your education, limited tho it is Jeff and s td? Were you both home schooled, private schools or public school. I don’t expect a truthful answer from you, but I’m betting you both are products of public schools, and like all the so-called ‘libertarians; and ‘rugged individualists; you find it easy to run down government/public programs after having benefited from them your entire lives. Which is just another way of saying you don’t want to pay your fair share of tax burden to keep this country great, but you love to call others ‘free loaders.’ In your case s td you’ve demonstrate time and again with your comments that you hardly have sense to get in out of the rain, but I am happy to let you and your other right wing brethren make all the wrong decisions you please.

Jeff

May 30th, 2012
3:41 pm

Auntie: Public schools were nothing but a living hell for me. The vast bulk of what I learned, I learned *in spite of* my teachers, not because of them. I’ve always been gifted, and my parents encouraged me to pursue that. While others were playing outside, I would literally (in the era pre-Internet) read the encyclopedia sets we had in the house. In high school, while others were planning homecoming dates, I was learning about nuclear weapons and even a variety of conventional military hardware – and learned more than most Americans know even now. I literally taught myself my HS sociology, psychology, and oceanography classes and enrolled at KSU as a Junior in HS (a full semester before most of my “joint enrollment” peers).

Both my wife and I are *former* teachers who left because of NCLB. If/ when we have kids we will NOT throw them to the wolves of public education.

The Snark

May 30th, 2012
3:43 pm

Jeff:

WHAT’s with all the CAPITAL letters?

Libertarian Educator

May 30th, 2012
3:55 pm

I’m a public school educator and a member of the Libertarian Party. I believe in public schools with local control. If the local BOE votes for charter schools then go for it.I’m for vouchers if and only if the private schools have to be as accountable as public schools. We need to abolish the U. S. Dept. of Education and minimize state rules. What is good for a rural county is not always good for a metro system.

MrLiberty

May 30th, 2012
4:07 pm

The more libertarians the better! Clearly only the republicans and democrats are to blame for the current mess. Seems that the approach that focuses on freedom, liberty, personal responsibility, the constitution, limited government and such would be a welcome change.

MrLiberty

May 30th, 2012
4:12 pm

Auntie Christ – Well I am fully private school educated and think that government run monopoly schools are one of the worst, most destructive elements in our society. If you actually read up on the history and TRUE purpose for them you would agree (read John Taylor Gatto’s outstandingly-well-researched books on the subject).

I fully believe in a well-educated society and believe with all my heart that the government is the LAST organization that should ever be entrusted with such a task. The evidence over the past 100 years clearly bears that out.

Libertarian Educator

May 30th, 2012
4:16 pm

Mr Liberty…..I could not agree more. As a government employee I want limited government,but some government services are necessary and I want them to be efficient. Public schools are only one example. In the town I live in our city government does a good job.Police and fire protection are good. Roads ,parks, etc run well and my property tax bill seems to be fair.No one likes to pay taxes,but I feel I get my moneys worth.

ld

May 30th, 2012
4:18 pm

Good start; now don’t take your good fortune for granted and, if elected, don’t take that election for granted: Schools need to be teaching the value of individual liberty and civic responsibility (as in, each student should grow up to become a registered, informed voters) — not political dogma.

Auntie Christ

May 30th, 2012
4:20 pm

As perspective, consider this, a huge majority of the career high-level bureaucrats who run the wheels of the federal government are products of elite private schools and ivy league universities. What has that gotten us? How’s that working out? On the other hand Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, Bill Gates (although he spent some time at Harvard) Warren Buffet and 1000’s of other innovators and captains of industry attended public schools and state universities. It is easy and convenient to ignore stories like this when you want to run down public education, but the facts are this country became great because of its concept and enforcement of compulsory education, with the state taking the responsibility. My entire life, I’ve heard stories of incompetent generals and graft among defense contractors but no one has advocated getting rid of the military. Yet when public schools don’t produce a crop of geniuses every year, or a gang of thugs makes trouble at some high school, suddenly we need to abolish public education in favor of vouchers and charter schools.. And again, the irony of it all is that those screaming loudest are the products of public education.

Libertarian Educator

May 30th, 2012
4:24 pm

Well said….

unzipped

May 30th, 2012
4:28 pm

At this point, I am far less concerned with Party affiliation than I am with whether folks serving on the BOE have the best interests of the students first and foremost.Laying off teachers, cutting classroom positions, and increasing class sizes in a district where results slip every year are not solutions, they are stopgap measures that will only accelerate the deterioration. Hopefully, someone will begin to look at the bizarre number of home office positions, the number of non-teaching positions in each school,the fraud and waste in operations and vendor contracts, and all the other areas that should be cut or fixed before we make another move to cheat our kids even more!

Road Scholar

May 30th, 2012
4:39 pm

Do they allow a write in candidate to be elected?

MrLiberty

May 30th, 2012
4:52 pm

My mother and father paid for my education, WHILE also paying taxes for the worthless LA Unified School district that wouldn’t allow me to start school until I was 5 1/2 because of my birthday. They paid for Montessori, then a private school for gifted children. When my dad left my mom paying all the bills, she struggled on a secretary’s salary and because I was such a great student and worked so hard, I received some financial aid from the school (all privately funded). I worked extra hard because I knew others expected it of me and because someone else was working so hard for me to have that chance (that’s what happens when you actually pay for stuff yourself). More private scholarships to assist with a private university along with work (what I could get, being only 16 as a freshman).

Its not about rugged individualism. Its about taking personal responsibility and using intuitive logic to understand that when something is given to you without having to work for it or “earn” it, you value it less if at all. That is the crux of the failed welfare state in this country. Money is stolen from the general public to pay for a bureaucracy that thinks it is “entitled” to exist simply because it is providing the service of “education.” Nothing could be father from the truth.

The folks who contributed extra money to insure scholarships that assisted me, would not have given them to help out a government school. They knew that their hard-earned money would go to provide a sound and quality education. I value education very much. I contribute every year to schools I have attended to assist them financially, despite also being robbed by the State of GA and the county of DeKalb to support their failure of an educational system. These other schools have EARNED my respect. They do not DESERVE it (as the government system clearly thinks).

Those of us who advocate a truly free market approach (no government regulations, restrictions, etc. except enforcement of contracts and penalties for fraud, force, etc.) combined with charity schools, scholarships, homeschooling, group schooling, private tutoring, or whatever creative options the market may come up with, are certainly not insensitive to the plight of those with fewer means. I most certainly am not as my mom struggled financially my entire educational career. But what I do know is that the “value” someone places on somthing is directly correllated to what effort must be exerted to obtain that thing. Parents who must pay nothing more than a rent check or a property tax bill and who have no choice whatsoever in where their child is educated, how they are educated, and have NO recourse when the service they thought they were getting is a fraud, do not fundamentally “value” the education their children are getting. Why should they?

Everyone talks about parental accountability, teacher accountability, student accountability, etc. How exactly do you think you achieve these lofty goals? And to whom are these folks accountable? The root of the word in account – related to money. You hold people accountable only in a free market system (as government is NEVER accountable – they steal the money remember). In a free market, you take your money and you leave. If your child is a pain in the ass when they get to school, they get kicked out. If the teachers suck, many parents take their money and leave, or the teacher is fired before the parents can leave. How can you ever hope to have such accountabiltiy in a government system?

td

May 30th, 2012
4:57 pm

Road Scholar

May 30th, 2012
4:39 pm

Do they allow a write in candidate to be elected?

In a general election in Georgia the answer is yes they allow them.

MrLiberty

May 30th, 2012
5:00 pm

Libertarian Educator – I think you need to spend some time at www dot mises dot org and check out their wonderful publications. There are some great ones about a fully private alternative to schools, police, fire protection, road building, maintenance, and operation, etc. When I first joined the Libertarian Party I was a minimalist too. Since then I ran out of excuses and now see fundamentally no purpose for the state that cannot be better handled by private individuals operating in a volutary/cooperative fashion.

You talk about govenrment services being both necessary and efficient. Sorry, doesn’t happen. Only the marketplace inherently generates that kind of performance (when there is full competition and no government interference). You’ll come around. It will be difficult being part of the system, but the joy of taking the red pill and seeing the truth of government and society is so refreshing it is worth the scary letting go.

MrLiberty

May 30th, 2012
5:02 pm

I believe that even a write in candidate still has to be “ballot qualified” to actually be able to officially win the election (can’t have too much freedom now can we?) That is the way it is in many states.

Jeff Sexton

May 30th, 2012
5:12 pm

Write in candidates have a procedure to follow that basically involves (IIRC) filling out a form and having an announcement published in the legal organ of the county for 2 weeks. CONSIDERABLY less hurdles than a non-Big Govt Party candidate seeking to be named on the ballot… but you’re not named on the ballot.

To my knowledge (could be wrong, don’t *think* I am), no write in candidate has ever won elected office in the State of Georgia.

ihorizon

May 30th, 2012
5:36 pm

We the people of the United States should always remember the Preamble of the Constitution and the Gettysburg Address. And most importantly the LORD ALMIGHTY!!! Amen!!!

home-skooler

May 30th, 2012
5:53 pm

i don’t need no fancy book learnin’….

Pink Floyd

May 30th, 2012
6:03 pm

WE DON’T NEED NO ED-JUH-CATION.

honested

May 30th, 2012
6:34 pm

A self-regulated school system for energetic self-starters coming from strong backgrounds emphasizing the value of education, MIGHT work on a small test project.

However, where in the US has such a project succeeded?

Take into account that in this country we are moving to a situation where any zygote is legally forced to become a baby despite the horrid conditions said zygote will likely come to inhabit at the point of expulsion.

As long as we allow any dimwits with DNA to multiply at whatever volume they see fit, and place the absurd concepts of ‘religious freedom’ and ‘parental rights’ above all else, the likelihood of any large scale alternative for education will never find enough money to last 5 years.

So, for the new ‘libertoonian school board member’, good luck. Your abject failure will be the mark that follows you the rest of your life.

Auntie Christ

May 30th, 2012
7:11 pm

With all due respect Mr Liberty, you are having an Ayn Rand wet dream if you think half of what you propose is achievable or even desirable. You’re little different than the marxist who dreams of a communal utopia, where we all share and share alike and everyone is filled with love for one another. Your utopia is that of the individualist who can in today’s age fulfill his every need all by himself, and free markets function like an efficient machine. You made many points, too many to address, but a few really require rebuttal.
Do you really want privatized police and fire departments. What happens when business is slow or you’ve been injured and haven’t paid the bill for this protection? Are you going to count on friends and neighbors risking their lives to put out the fire, or shoot it out with the home invader,since the privatized fire and police departments aren’t going to come to the aid of a dead beat. As for the private police force, do you want a bunch of george zimmermans handling the arrest of your teenager who might get a little rowdy someday, as teenagers are wont to do? What happens to the Bill of Rights in a privatized police force? Are you going to like paying a toll every time you turn onto a different street, since each street will be privately built, owned and maintained?

As for the “free markets,” we had unbridled, unregulated capitalism in this country for over 150 years, and we ended up with predatory pricing and predatory business practices, overseen by the robber-barons who formed an oligarchy that stifled innovation and competition. The only reason people did not starve en masse was we were an agrarian country at the time, and while money in many communities was non existent, food was ample enough to prevent wide-spread hunger. In the cities, people lived little better than rats, crowded into tenements and barely eked out an existence, working under slave like conditions for wages that should have shamed anyone but the robber baron capitalists who were exploiting their desperation.

Finally, back to the main topic, education. My children, then my grandchildren all attended the same grammar, middle and high school, and received educations that rival any others anywhere. A very large factor in this was our strong tradition of PTA involvement. That is how we achieved accountability in our government run school. We could have easily said, “its a lousy system, privatize it.” Instead we stayed involved and the schools were the best in the state. We are not special people, my neighborhood is firmly middle class. But it is a very “blue” neighborhood, we believe in personal responsibility, accountability and participation in our government.

Just a taxpayer

May 31st, 2012
7:58 am

I like to say that there is a place for libertarians. Somalia.