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Chris Savage is the owner and publisher of Eclectablog, your one-stop shop for progressive Michigan news and state & national political commentary.
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Mainstream media begins to pick up story of conservative charter school group having opponent arrested at “Open House”

NOTE: All of my reporting on this issue can be found HERE.

Four days after the self-described conservative group Livingston Classical Academy (formerly Lindbom Classical Academy) had a vocal opponent, Glenn Ikens, arrested for refusing to leave their “open house”, mainstream media outlets are beginning to report on it. The Detroit News has light coverage HERE and the Livingston County Press & Argus has more in-depth coverage HERE. WHMI Radio expanded their coverage HERE.

Perhaps the most interesting part of this reporting is a statement Livingston Classical Academy spokesperson Jay McNally gave to the Livingston County Press & Argus:

“In the spirit of forgiveness, we don’t intend to press charges.…
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Livingston Classical Academy responds to Electablog … errr… Eclectablog coverage

Please proceed…

NOTE: This story has been updated HERE.

Over the past several months, I have been reporting on the ongoing efforts of a ideologically conservative group in Brighton, Michigan who have been attempting to have their charter school chartered by Brighton Area Schools (BAS). They have been unsuccessful in this endeavor.

This group started out being called the American Christian Academy. They then changed the name to the American Classical Academy. The ACA purchased a former BAS elementary school called Lindbom elementary and called their school the Lindbom Classical Academy. After the BAS refused to charter them, they changed the name to Livingston Classical Academy, presumably in preparation for trying to get the Livingston County Intermediate School District to charter them (though they claim otherwise in their rebuttal below.) The former chair of the BAS, Nick Fiani, abruptly resigned from his position on the board recently and announced his candidacy to be on the Livingston County ISD.…

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UPDATED: More on Brighton tea party school who had “open house” attendee arrested for past opposition

NOTE: This story has been updated HERE and HERE.

Yesterday, in a post that has gone somewhat viral, I reported about how the owner of a proposed tea party charter school in Brighton, Michigan had an attendee, Glenn Ikens, arrested at what they called an “open house” because of his previous opposition to their efforts to be chartered by the Brighton Area Schools. Ikens was taken out of the facility in handcuffs.

This morning WHMI radio has more on the story:

Jay McNally, a spokesman for the proposed Livingston Classical Academy, said the simple fact of Ikens past criticism of Battaglia and the school was enough to warrant his removal.
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UPDATED x2: Leader of Brighton group has concerned parent arrested at an “open house” for their proposed tea party charter school

NOTE: This story has been updated twice below and in HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Over the past few months, I have written about the efforts of a group formerly known as the American Christian Academies to form a tea party charter school in Brighton, Michigan that would use tax dollars to run as a public school. The name of the group was later changed to American Classical Academies and its leader Pasquale Battaglia has been leading the charge to get Brighton Public Schools to charter their conservative ideology-driven school.

One of the main opponents of this effort is Glenn Ikens, a Brighton parent who lives near the proposed Lindbom Classical Academy.…

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BREAKING: Disgraced former EAA Chancellor Covington passed over for South Carolina superintendent position

As I have been reporting, the disgraced former Chancellor of the Education Achievement Authority John Covington was a finalist to become the new superintendent of the Richland One School District in South Carolina.

The good news is that another candidate was chosen at their Board of Commissioners meeting this evening. Instead of Covington, they chose Dr. Craig Witherspoon, a former superintendent in Birmingham, Alabama. The bad news is that Witherspoon comes with some baggage of his own:

Witherspoon endured a stormy four-year tenure in Birmingham beginning in 2010, where he survived two attempts by the school board to fire him in 2012.…
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In the eyes of GOP Gov. Scott Walker, exercising your freedom of speech & assembly is an act of ISIS-like terror

The annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) gives us all a raw look at how far conservativism has devolved from the days of Ronald Reagan. Instead of continuing down the path blazed by Reagan, conservatives have chosen instead to follow the racist bigotry and worship of all things corporate started by the John Birch Society in the middle of the last century. It comes as no surprise to learn that one of the original founders of the John Birch Society was none other than Fred Koch, father of David and Charles Koch who have taken the money their father bequeathed to them to extend his legacy.…

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Columbia, SC parents ask why disgraced former EAA Chancellor John Covington is a finalist to run their schools

As I reported earlier this month disgraced former Chancellor of the Education Achievement Authority John Covington is a finalist to be the superintendent of the Richland 1 school district in South Carolina. At the end of that piece I implored them not to do it.

It appears that some parents in Columbia are starting to ask some hard questions about Covington (as well as another of the three finalists):

Two of the three finalists to lead Richland 1 schools have been dogged by controversy in their careers, prompting some parents to question why they would emerge as top contenders to lead the 24,000-student district.…
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Vast majority of Michiganders – 86% – agree that paid sick leave should be available to ALL workers

As Ramona Grigg discussed in her recent guest post “We Need Paid Sick Leave Because Workers Are Humans First“, Democrats in the Michigan legislature have introduced legislation mandating paid sick leave for all Michigan workers. As she wrote, nearly half of Michigan workers are forced to take vacation days or take unpaid leave to stay home if they are ill. That includes the people who make and serve your food in restaurants or who interact with the public in other direct ways.

Democrats recognize this as a serious problem and want to fix it.

This week, Denno Research released a poll conducted for Mothering Justice and the Economic Justice Alliance of Michigan that shows overwhelming support of this idea.…

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Nevada Republican state legislator declares cancer a “fungus” that can be cured with saline or sodium “cardonate”

With all of the insanity in Michigan’s legislature these days with people like Cindy Gamarat and Todd Courser, I thought it would be a nice break to show that we’re not the only state with Republicans that are … um … “different”.

Today I present you with Michele Fiore, a Republican member of the Nevada state assembly. Fiore has a really fun history. First, she’s a filmaker who made the blockbuster hit almost unheard-of movie “Siren” (4.8 out of 10 stars on That’s her on the right there in one of the starring roles from that film.

Her most fun work has been done in the Nevada Assembly, though.…

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Newest Democratic Senator Gary Peters cosponsoring anti-bullying legislation to protect LGBT kids

As religious groups across the nation lobby to have new laws passed to ensure their right to discriminate against the LGBT community, Democrats and even some Republicans are moving to ensure the LGBT kids, at least, are protected from bullying and violence.

The only new Democrat in the U.S. Senate after the 2014 election is Michigan’s own Gary Peters. Peters announced today that he is cosponsoring bipartisan legislation to prevent bullying of LGBT kids.

Although federal civil rights laws explicitly ban discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability or national origin, they do not protect Americans from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.…

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