Statement Re: Member Cline’s Censure

On February 14, 2024, I did vote to censure USBE Member Natalie Cline.  I will continue to be held accountable for this vote.  Such is the nature of politics.  As a person who deeply values America’s founding principles, this was an agonizing and difficult decision.

It is important for all parties to understand that the actions of Member Cline were adjudicated to a standard.   Whether I agree or disagree with that standard is not relevant.  The reality is:  choices were made that came in conflict with established standards of conduct contained within the USBE by-laws.  If the public is at odds with these standards, we need to move through the proper process to change the same.

As a point of clarification:  a significant omnibus motion came forth that included a call for Member Cline to resignOmnibus motions are linked to Saul Alinsky‘s tactics, which force representatives into corners and narrows messaging moves to villainize representatives for a vote in contravention to the desired outcome – it is an all-or-nothing move.  I did move to divide this from the main motion because I believe the choice in representation belongs to the people and that Member Cline’s constituents are responsible for this call, should they desire it.  This motion failed in a 5 to 8 vote and is indicative of how far left and removed from Republican Principles many board members are.   

Regardless, the final omnibus motion was presented, and I did vote in the affirmative.   Let me be clear: while I did adjudicate Member Cline’s actions to be in violation of established standards, I do not believe it is the proper or established role of the USBE to ask her to resign – it is a usurpation of the voting rights of Member Cline’s constituents.  In 2020, Member Cline transparently campaigned and earned over 80,000 votes, winning her election by a large margin.  I am not personally asking for her resignation, nor do I believe she should resign.  It is an election year, and her voters will decide whether or not she should continue to represent them on the State Board of Education.  I would ask that NO ONE interpret my vote as a condemnation of Member Cline as a candidate, nor is it an endorsement of any other candidate.  The issue of her service should always remain with her constituents.