Governor Rick Perry didn't go safe and sound when picking a new commissioner of the Texas Education Agency -- instead he's installed bomb-throwing Tea Party favorite Michael Williams.
The former Railroad Commission chair has been nosing around a few political options in the past couple of years -- considering a run as a minority for the U.S. Senate, getting beaten pretty thoroughly in a GOP primary for central Texas's 25th congressional district, holding a few federal jobs under President George W. Bush.
Now he will oversee education policy in the state's 1,200 school districts. Williams will be joined by the TEA's Lizzette González Reynolds, who Perry promoted to chief deputy commissioner.
"High standards and accountable public schools are essential to our state's future success, and no two people understand that better than Michael and Lizzette," Perry said in making the announcement. "Together, they will build on the improvements achieved during the tenure of Robert Scott and Todd Webster, and will ensure our children are prepared for the challenges of college and the workplace."
Conservative activist Peggy Venable praised the appointment:
A former prosecutor and deputy district attorney, Williams is a no-nonsense administrator who would not hesitate to shut down bad charter schools.
Michael Williams will serve with distinction and I believe he will put Texas schoolchildren, parents and taxpayers ahead of special interests, while working to give teachers and schools greater autonomy and holding them accountable for results.
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SHOW ME HOW
WIlliams, who's noted for sporting bow ties, espouses the standard rightwing agenda -- as head of the energy-overseeing Railroad Commission, he talked about "the fantasy called global warming."
So we can't wait to see what happens when he gets fully involved in the classroom.