Yes, I Am “Uncle Charley”

I am the pseudonymous conservative gadfly blogger on a local education new site. At least that’s what 9News would have you believe:

Not everyone agrees. An online blogger named “Uncle Charley” has written several entries for Education News Colorado trying to get readers to think about the need before they act.

One blog is entitled, “More Tough Questions on DPS Bond,” which talks in part about the individual items that would be funded by this bond issue and series of property tax hikes have agreed to in Denver over the past two decades.

“Uncle Charley” is actually the pseudonym for Ben DeGrow, with the Independence Institute, a non-partisan conservative political think tank. DeGrow says spending $13 million dollars on athletic fields and other monies for failing and half-filled schools is not wise.

“$34-and-a-half million is a lot to renovate North High School. Seems like a large amount of money,” said DeGrow. “Yet, there’s not really a clear connection between the bond and all this $454 million that ties into this whole scheme of improving student performance.”

With no known opposition to the 3A campaign, someone had to raise questions about the largest school bond proposal in Colorado history. Undoubtedly, there are plenty of legitimate needs to be funded in the $454 million package.

But not all of it’s so deserving. There is no line-item veto on 3A. Denver voters have to approve the whole package or turn it all down. Given the city denizens’ propensity to approve tax increases, even the current recession probably isn’t enough to change the trend.

You’re not likely to see me write any more on the topic. Nor the erstwhile “Uncle Charley”. Rumors that his true identity might be Ward Churchill, William Ayers, or even the president of the Colorado Education Association have now been thoroughly dispelled. If you’re going to come out and reveal an identity like this, might as well do it with a tiny splash.

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