Lame duck Ohio Governor Bob Taft, obviously knowing he has nothing to protect, reversed course and called for a legal review of Ohio’s 10th-grade biology teaching standards in light of the recent Dover, PA ID court decision. He also plans to ask future state board appointees about their views on the issue of Intelligent Design.
In a report in today’s Columbus Dispatch, Taft said:
“There were cases in which I didn’t ask the right questions, in some cases where I supported someone for election or appointment,” Taft said this week when asked about the issue during a meeting with Dispatch editors and reporters.
“I’ll be asking that question now, I can assure you.”
Taft refused to elaborate afterward. But his comments could add fuel to the debate about Ohio’s biology standards, a debate that occupied an entire day at last month’s meeting of the State Board of Education.
Taft spokesman Mark Rickel said that before the governor leaves office early next year, he intends to make appointments for the four board slots coming open Dec. 31.
Taft may re-ignite fuss over intelligent design (Subscription req – sorry)
One of the appointees who term ends at the end of the year is Richard E. Baker, of Hollansburg, who acted like a Junior High Ass by reading a newspaper while discussion of removing the lesson plan took place at the state board of education meeting on January 10th.
Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro’s office says they haven’t received a request from Gov Taft for a review yet.
Petro is in a battle to out conservative, conservative Ken Blackwell, Ohio’s Secretary of State, in the upcoming race for the GOP primary to be the next candidate for Governor.
The possible political bias of Petro doing a review in an election year was not lost on Martha Wise, a state board member leading the call to remove the suspect lesson plan.
Wise said it may be difficult to get an objective opinion on such a hot issue during an election year. Taft cannot seek another term. Petro has stressed his conservative credentials while running for governor.
“This is a political year and I would try to watch very carefully that any position the attorney general might take not be tainted by politics,” Wise said.