California’s 11th Congressional District in Northern Calif. covers parts of Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara and San Joaquin counties. the incumbent, Jerry McNerney, won handily in 2008 with 55.3% to 44.7% of the vote. Compare to today after the toxicity of the Obama/Pelosi/Reid trio;
Despite Representative Jerry McNerney having 93 percent name ID (with a 41 to 34 percent favorable-unfavorable rating) compared to challenger David Harmer’s 47 percent (19 to 8 percent favorable), Harmer currently leads McNerney on the ballot by a razor-thin 45 to 44 percent margin.
Six years ago, I wrote “School Choice,” a book making the case for a voucher system. Vouchers give parents consumer power, the financial ability to choose from among competing providers of schooling. Back then, the only voucher system in operation was in Milwaukee, Wis., and the teachers’ unions were trying to strangle it.
Since then, the Milwaukee program has been greatly expanded, and numerous voucher programs elsewhere — both publicly and privately funded — have proven wildly popular, with demand far exceeding supply. These programs are restricted to the lowest-income students or those trapped in the worst schools. Given the opportunity to put their children into better schools, even disadvantaged parents jump at the chance.
So long as the state Constitution mandates free public schools, a voucher system (or refundable tuition tax credit) is the best we can do. To attain quantum leaps in educational quality and opportunity, however, we need to separate school and state entirely. Government should exit the business of running and funding schools.
This is no utopian ideal; it’s the way things worked through the first century of American nationhood, when literacy levels among all classes, at least outside the South, matched or exceeded those prevailing now, and when public discourse and even tabloid content was pitched at what today would be considered a college-level audience.
David Harmer is the son of former Lt. Governor of California John L. Harmer, he graduated from BYU Law School with honors, and “…as counsel to a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, appointed by Senator Orrin Hatch.”
Upon his return to California, David served as a Fellow of the College of Public Interest Law at Pacific Legal Foundation, defending property rights and other freedoms in state and federal courts.
In the mid 1990’s, David served as a Resident Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, where he researched and advocated market-oriented approaches to education and training. David’s book on education reform was published by the Cato Institute, America’s foremost market-oriented public policy organization.
David and his wife Elayne live in the East Bay where they are busy raising four young children. Over the past decade, he has served as in-house counsel for several major financial companies.
In his spare time, David has served as a coach for the local soccer club, merit badge counselor for six scout troops, and treasurer and vice president of the Windemere Ranch Middle School Education Fund.
Harmer and McNerney finally got to debate in late August, video is below;
Also his latest commercial, h/t Lisa, An American Mom;
You can boost David Harmer’s chances for victory here.