State Republican Party Chairman Randy Smith is defending Idaho’s besieged state schools superintendent, calling on the public and the media to give Republican Anne Fox time to do her job.
The public should not be surprised that Fox replaced many of the people from the administration of former Republican state Schools Superintendent Jerry Evans, Smith contended, because voters elected her expecting change even though the GOP has controlled the office for the past 16 years.
Although the media has publicized the ousters in the department and key lawmakers have raised questions about the department’s ability to perform, the number of people fired by Fox is fewer than when Democrat Cecil Andrus succeeded Democrat John Evans as governor in 1987, Smith said.
Fox, however, already has fired two of the people she had picked for top jobs in her administration. Smith said he doubts she had the time or the staff to do complete background checks on them or others on her staff.
Deputy Superintendent Terry Haws, Fox’s campaign manager, was ousted after disclosures that he had been accused of soliciting sex from a minor in exchange for drugs while teaching at a community college in Alaska. And Bill Stanley was fired as the chief of Fox’s new architectural division because he had exaggerated his resume.
Smith admitted, however, he would not have made decisions similar to ones Fox has made in other matters. He specifically cited her leasing of a $530-a-month luxury car at a time when fiscal conservatism reigns.