Union editorial board member Sauer defends unqualified education secretary DeVos

One reason The Union is such a mediocre newspaper is that it has stacked its “editorial board” with selfish ideologues.  In a politically diverse community such as ours, it serves to divide, not unite.

Norm Sauer is one shining example. Like George Rebane, I guess it pleases him to see his name in print, because his words are not educational or informative. It is as predictable as the tea party talking points, or any ideologue for that matter.

This time we are treated to Norm defending the unqualified education secretary Betsy DeVos in a column, along with disdainful remarks about teachers unions and their “bosses.” As a matter of fact, the vice president was forced to cast the tie-breaking vote to confirm DeVos, almost unprecedented, but readers would not know that from reading Norm’s glowing endorsement of her “qualifications,” in essence her rigid right-wing ideology, including the union bashing.

Also lacking from Norm’s praise of DeVos is her inexperience for this role. “Betsy DeVos is a lot like the man who nominated her for education secretary,” as an opinion in Forbes points out. “She showed up for the exam unprepared and careless and seemed to think that her mere presence was sufficient to carry the thing off. Perhaps that’s how it’s worked for DeVos her entire life, allowing her to skate past the need to learn pesky details about things like grizzly bears or federal education statutes related to disability.”

Norm’s columns lead to ignorance and misunderstanding in our own community about local education. It is one reason that Measure B — the local school bond measure for needed improvement — struggled. The opposition was based on hyperbole, misinformation and outright lies.

Such self-serving ideology also is an impediment to local economic development. Families who read these extremist rants would not be inclined to relocate here. We have good public schools; Ghidotti — a public school with teachers who belong to the California Teachers Association — is ranked #1 in the state based on a new assessment of student performance.

Nevada Union and Bear River high schools, among others, have helped educate students who became Rhodes scholars or have returned to our community to open successful businesses. One that I know of is a doctor; this is a blessing since we face a doctor shortage.

The Union should show more leadership besides an inattentive disclaimer: “His opinion is his own and does not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of The Union or its editorial board.”

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

5 thoughts on “Union editorial board member Sauer defends unqualified education secretary DeVos”

  1. Norm has made reference on several occasions to how Trump’s election was a victory for the little guys.. Duh! Just look at all the sympathizers for the little guys Trump has appointed to his cabinet: anti-union, anti-minimum wage, anti-immigrant, anti-public education, climate deniers, polluters, fossil fuel magnates, spending billions of has dollars on a fence instead of infrastructure, etc. etc. Is this to open up jobs for trump supporters as farm workers? How does any of this help the “little guy” in the long run? They plan on making America great by making it virtually uninhabitable for future generations.. The alt.right trump-eteers don’t seem to recognize a greedy billionaire when they see one.. or an entire government full of them. Do people like Sauer really think all these appointees, many of whom failed to submit the necessary ethics information to determine conflicts of interest, but were run through anyway because of their ideology, are going to put the best interests of the country ahead of their own fortunes? Multi-millionaires and billionaires don’t work like that. Trump has assembled a den of thieves. American foreign and domestic policy will become whatever makes these people the most money. In the case of DeVos, she owns a company that does business with the Department of Education. Gee no conflict of interest there. Just remember that famous quote: “Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice………………….don’t get fooled again?

  2. Trump is draining the swamp – in order to build an exclusive spa for his friends.
    Our so-called President is creating a classic plutocracy.

  3. Coincidentally, in the fairly recently released book, ‘Dark Money’ I’m now reading the chapter about the DeVos family and their toxic presence in American politics. Allies of the oft fined Kochtopus — not a name given by me — they have given untold millions to de-legitimize any form of governmental regulation which affects ‘shareholder value.’ In simpler terms, they are billionaire greedy; greedier than Scrooge McDuck. They never have enough money, like Charles and David Koch. Their bottom line may be pure rose colored but non members of the Billionaires must deal with resurgent pollution, dark water, dark air, dark smog and Dark Money. These people are dangers to American democracy and anyone defending this person as qualified for Education Secretary is either ignorant, plain stupid or what most common folk would term as a liar. And that fairly sums up the quality of Trump’s entire cabinet. What a disgrace!

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