Kyle Farmer Speaks for Kasich, Not for Teachers
I know I don’t speak alone when I voice the fact that a certain commercial has been running in my state of Ohio which gets my dander up every time I see it. If you’re a teacher in Ohio, you probably know exactly the ad I am referring to. It features a teacher from Baltimore, Ohio, who is all for Issue 2. Well, recent information has turned up about this educator who obviously has some ulterior motives for appearing in this commercial.
Kyle Farmer, who is featured in this ad, (please follow this link to view it if you haven’t yet) identifies himself as a teacher, which is true; he teaches at the Eastland-Fairfield Career and Technical Center, where he is listed as a social studies instructor. But he is so much more than that, or at least he wants to be.
In the ad, Farmer sings the virtues of this legislation, in spite of the fact that it would strip Ohio’s public employees of almost all of their collective bargaining rights, leaving critical decisions in the hands of school districts. (Just look back at my blog about New Berlin, Wisconsin if you want proof of what it could do to teachers in Ohio.)
So, why does he appear in this ad, risking the anger of many of his fellow teachers? Well, according to several sources, including the Columbus Dispatch, Farmer is the official chairman of the Fairfield County Republican Party, with great aspirations for a future in politics. In fact, on his Twitter page, he refers to himself as a “wannabe political operative.” And, low and behold, he is a member of Kasich’s steering committee of teachers assembled to help him decide how merit pay should be implemented. As you recall, this was one of the provisions of Senate Bill 5, now Issue 2.
Farmer has spoken more than once of his dislike of the Ohio Education Association on his Twitter account, accusing the union of “stealing” money from him, and calling the OEA “thugs.”
He has also posted a picture of himself at the governor’s mansion, and appeared in a political ad on the Internet plugging “Teachers for Kasich.”
And what of his own aspirations? Well, in 2006, he ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the Ohio House of Representatives, and it is rumored, according to the citizen-driven, community-based, bipartisan coalition, We Are Ohio, which came together to repeal SB5, that he is considering another run for office in the future.
This is a man whose motivation is clearly not to express the view of teachers, but to glean favor from a governor who is determined to strip public employees (and that includes those that Farmer would call his colleagues) of any decision-making ability and protection from their union.
By the way, Kyle is not the only Farmer to be politically inspired. His father, Joseph Farmer, is an At-Large member of the State Board of Education whose term expires on Dec. 31, 2014. Would it come as a huge surprise to learn that Joseph was appointed in 2011 by Governor John Kasich?
So, how credible is this ad? Well, it features a teacher who does not disclose his ties to Kasich or his resentment of labor unions and claims to be speaking for his fellow teachers. Not very truthful so far, and then the Columbus Dispatch uncovered one last little deception in the ad which also features footage of a female teacher in a classroom of young children in front of a whiteboard. Guess what? That isn’t a real Ohio teacher at all; it is a stock clip that has also been used in similar anti-union campaigns in Wisconsin.
Shame on you, Kyle Farmer! How dare you pretend to represent the teachers of your state when you are clearly seeking to advance your own agenda! I am sure you made points with the governor, but I bet things are a little uncomfortable for you around your sold-out colleagues.