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‘Welcome to the inquisition’

Senators on the Senate Education Committee grilled state Board of Education member Karen McGee for an hour today at her re-confirmation hearing, on everything from concerns about charter schools to a new alternate teacher-certification test.

“Welcome to the inquisition,” said Senate Education Chairman John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene. Sen. Monty Pearce, R-New Plymouth, told McGee, “I think you’re as crazy as us senators for volunteering to serve in a war zone. … It does have some heat with it.”

McGee took it all cheerfully. “I don’t mind the debate,” she said.

But she did cut off Sen. Gary Schroeder, R-Moscow, when he asked her about donating money “to a political organization that worked to defeat members of this committee, in one case successfully.”

“I will comment on policy – I don’t think we should get personal,” McGee declared.

After that high-intensity lead-in, the 15-minute confirmation hearing for Sue Thilo of Coeur d’Alene in her appointment to the same board was a relative cake-walk. Sen. Mike Jorgenson, R-Hayden Lake, asked Thilo, “After the previous interview, are you sure you still want to go through with this?” “No!” Thilo responded amid laughter, and then said, “Yes, I’m honored to be here. … There will be times of debate and times of difference of opinion. I look forward to the challenge.”


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About this blog

Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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