The West Chester Tea Party hosted a friendly forum with the Lakota school board candidates for the November 2021 election without the Covid nonsense, which allowed people to meet the candidates. The local Chamber will sponsor the next debate, and they are doing their event virtually, which will be a tremendous disservice. Without a public meeting, people would not see how unlikeable two of the candidates are in real life, the incumbent Kelley Casper and the incoming bobblehead, hand-picked clone of Brad Lovell, Douglas Horton. Yikes, listening to him talk was like a cat falling off the roof of a chicken coup and into a bucket of manure after a heavy rain. It was not pleasant. I wondered if I was too hard on him, but I think I wasn’t hard enough after meeting him in person. If the event had been virtual, likely, these candidates might have hidden their unlikability. Still, you can watch the videos shown below to decide what you think of them by your own decision-making process. I filmed each question independently, so the clips are short and easy to watch or refer to later. I present the clips unedited and without any commentary. The camera is sometimes shaking, but it captures the event as well as you can without corrupting the debate. However, for the benefit of my readers, I will break down each candidate here with my thoughts to assist in the decision-making process.
For the record, I openly support Issac Adi, Darbi Boddy, Vanessa Wells, and Karine Chausee. I am dead set against Kelley Casper, Douglas Horton, and Michael Pearl. I think Michael is a pretty good guy. However, and you will hear it in his clips contained here, he’s a big government guy, one of those liberals that might be fine in a park or at a symphony but managing millions of dollars. Forget about it. As I said in the video above, you could tell who the incumbents were, people who are already savvy with how school board business works. I consider Douglas Horton an incumbent because he was hand-picked by Julie Shaffer, a current progressive school board member who wanted a carbon copy of Brad Lovell. When Douglas said during this debate that he was answering a call to be on the school board, it wasn’t God he was talking about. It was Julie Shaffer, to preserve her big-government approach, her critical race theory disguised behind legal theatrics, and her big-spending tendencies to support the teacher’s union at all costs. The challengers, the people I mentioned that I support, were nervous and often spoke from the heart. I do not doubt that once they are on the school board and get used to speaking in front of people, they will smooth out just fine. I have zero concern about any of their public speaking ability. What does concern me about the incumbents is that they were too smooth and avoided answering many of the questions. For instance, Douglas Horton said he saw no evidence of Critical Race Theory at Lakota even though he was sitting next to a display taken straight off the walls of Lakota schools showing Critical Race Theory. So, let’s get into the candidates and talk about each.
Issac Adi is an absolutely wonderful man. He tells a bit of his story in the videos, but my experience with him is that he is as sincere and righteous as you’d hope from an angel. Not only is Issac likable, but he’s also intelligent and engaging. He is just the kind of person you want to be running a school. He’s fair, compassionate, judicious, open-minded, but he has a firm sense of worth that allows him to see wrongdoing at its source, and he’s not afraid to act on it when he does see it. This is all new to him, politics, but as you can see in the video clips, he would undoubtedly add a breath of fresh air to the school board at Lakota and contribute solutions that have been needed for years.
Darbi Boddy is a young lady I have come to know over the last many months. If anybody has her heart for doing what’s right in her community, it’s Darbi. If I had to think of a politician, she reminds me of what many people think of as a star, Lauren Boebert, except Darbi is a lot smoother and has more tact. She has natural instincts in politics and wants to align those skills to helping kids. Those are rare traits in a person, someone who knows how to be politically diplomatic yet not to lose herself along the way. I think it’s because she has a very nice family, a loving husband, and an otherwise supportive cast. That has freed her to run for the school board and invest herself uniquely for any candidate. She’s not afraid to take chances, and if those chances do come up short, she is willing to outwork everyone else to achieve her objectives.
Kelley Casper is one of those people you can’t wait to get out of the room with when you are stuck having to sit down next to her somewhere. She oozes unlikability. She is a big government type, which is apparent in her debate performance. Her instinct is to punt everything to an expensive expert and let the world be run by the rules those experts come up with. She is not a natural leader, and she seeks to cover that up by hiring people around her, which only adds to the overall cost of running Lakota schools. Ultimately, when we talk about money and where it goes, things get expensive when there is a lack of leadership. And Kelley has next to zero leadership ability. And when I say next to, I mean in the negative. She is used to dealing with the free babysitting moms and big-time union supporters. When pressed by the Tea Party, her genuine nature showed, and it was ugly. Very ugly as you can see for yourself.
Karine Chausee is an absolute sweetheart. She is authentic, pure, and everything most young moms want to be. She is running for the school board to help make the school a better place for all children. But she does not want to be a politician. She made it clear in the beginning that she didn’t want a party affiliation. She wants to be as independent as a person as possible, and her natural independence showed clearly during the debate. She didn’t even want to follow the rules of a debate format. She wants to do what’s right for her community so her kids can live in it well. She is excessively intelligent, way more than she lets on, and would be a great addition to any school board with fresh ideas out of the box, loaded with the passion for actually doing what she says she’d do.
On the other hand, Douglas Horton was the opposite of Karine Chausee in every way and not in anything good. He came across as arrogant, self-important, and out of touch. When he mentioned in his debate performance that his kids never seemed to experience Critical Race Theory at Lakota, even as he was sitting next to copious examples of it displayed for the debate, I thought of the dad in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. One of those super-achievers at the office who didn’t see what was happening to his kids right in front of his face. Aloof, distant, and seeing the world through a prism of big government, his answers in this debate were much like Kelley Casper’s. When I said of him when he first announced that he was a bobblehead for the school board, a hand-picked Brad Lovell replacement, I thought for a second that maybe that was too harsh. But seeing him in person, he’s far worse. I’m sure someone loves him in the world, but clearly, he’s in love with himself more than anybody else ever could be, and he would be a disaster on the Lakota school board.
Michael Pearl, however, who is an incumbent, is a super nice guy. Very likable. Full of life. The trouble is, he’s a big government punt it to an expert type, just as Kelley is. It’s no wonder he was picked to run the school board after Brad Lovell ran off the conservative Todd Parnell for a wrong statement following the arrest of a student of color at Lakota West. It was an unfortunate statement that the current school board used to get rid of a known conservative on the board. The current school board has done many things that could have blown up the way Brad used against Todd. But that’s how Michael came to the board; they got rid of Todd and replaced him with the very progressive Michael Pearl, and for that reason alone, a conservative needs to replace the one elected there in the first place. As nice of a guy as Pearl is, he’s still a big government guy who votes against conservative values whenever they come up. He supports Critical Race Theory, which is evident by his comments, even if they don’t call it that. And for that reason alone, he needs to be voted out and replaced with a conservative.
Then there is Vanessa Wells, whom I’ve known now for a long time. She came to me with her story of a student who threatened to kill her daughter. After listening to her talk, I thought she would be a good school board candidate. Vanessa is very likable, very passionate, and is really smart. Really smart! As we talked, she decided not to be a victim and be part of the solution instead, so she decided to run for a school board seat. If they wouldn’t listen to her, then she’d become one of them so that in the future, she could help some other parent who might go through what she went through. After all, there are many stories like the one her daughter went through, but parents often find the red tape of doing anything about it too much to deal with. So, the issues never get resolved. She wants to be a school board member for all the right reasons, but her primary one is to be there for parents like her who have problems and don’t want the hand in your face answer that the current school board gives everyone.
Essentially it all comes down to votes. For many years conservatives have been trying to elect conservatives to the school board. Typically, we allow the process to do what it does, and Republicans have played overly fair. This current school board led by Brad Lovell used a progressive story, something that was communicated among peers to bust a fellow board member in what they did to Todd Parnell. Sure, nobody should say that police should shoot someone, but context tells more of the story, and many people think what they think. Todd represented people on the board who were unhappy with all the Critical Race Theory antics increasing for many years. Currently, Lynda O’Conner is the only conservative on the school board, and Todd was the critical second vote. You need three to do anything on the board. So what Brad did by throwing Todd under the bus was essentially get a fourth vote on the board by bringing in a person of color, and a disabled person at that with Michael Pearl, to secure liberalism on the Lakota school board for many years to come. So instead of coming into this year’s election needing only one more conservative voter to get a majority on the board, we are essentially starting over due to Brad Lovell’s activism.
Even with Brad leaving the district for a big six-figure job in Sycamore, the board has picked Douglas Horton to replace Brad and keep the liberal majority controlling the board. To keep all this liberalism intact, the school board has used Critical Race Theory elements to manipulate politics. So they do not have innocent hands in the matter. Kelley Casper was involved in the coup against Todd Parnell and vote stripping against Lynda O’Conner. During the last teacher contract debate, only Lynda voted against the measure. All the other members voted for a pay increase when it was apparent the district couldn’t afford it. The denial activism ultimately worked against Vanessa Wells when a fellow student threatened to kill another student. But the board cares a whole lot about a conservative who says that police should have shot a kid of color for bringing crime to Lakota schools was suddenly a problematic situation. You see, it’s not about fairness in these matters. It’s 100% politics, and all these incumbents participated in removing a representative from the board who had opinions that a segment of our society feels. They did it all in the name of Wokeness, to control our thoughts and actions by unearned guilt that we all can see on the national stage. But this was all happening at Lakota, in our neighborhood, where we should and can do something about it.
I love elections; I love to see the choice of the people shaping our republic, whether it’s local, state, or federal. I love elections! But what I don’t like is what happened to Todd Parnell and Lynda O’Conner. As conservatives, they play by the rules, and we had been focused on getting a third vote on the board for a long time now. During the last election cycle, it was Jim Hahn, and he didn’t quite get there. We took our lumps and decided to look to the next election, so long as Lakota wasn’t asking for more money, we didn’t get too crazy about it. But, when this current school board targeted Todd Parnell with all the wokenss that has been eating away on the national stage, and they were doing it in our own backyard, well, that requires some action, which has resulted in this approach. We have four outstanding candidates running for three seats to replace the current board who has been extreme activists against conservatives, which in Butler County is most households.
So, there you have it. Finally, voters in Lakota have a choice, lots of good decisions, and now you can understand some of the backstories of how we arrived at this point and what’s at stake. If you want to see conservatives control the school board at Lakota, pick one of these four and vote out the three liberals. It’s very simple. The key is voter engagement. The teacher’s union has its network, and those people will show up to vote on election night. There are lots of conservatives on off-year elections, which usually sit out on these occasions. If you want to see a change this year, don’t stay home. Get out and vote. Take all the rage you feel about the Trump election, about Biden in the White House, about election fraud nationally, and show up and vote. Could you do something about it? If you don’t, it won’t be the fault of these friendly conservatives I’ve mentioned. If the bad guys win, it’s because good people sat home and did nothing. So do something and make a difference. The fight is in your hands; make it count!