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Saturday, February 11, 2006

Creationist Dave Eaton Gets Strib Puff Piece


"For personal reasons I can no longer continue serving on the board," Eaton said. He gave up the seat immediately, and he declined to be interviewed but said in an e-mail to the Star Tribune that he was "not leaving for any health, family or career reasons."

"I've made my positions public in the past, and I will let them speak for themselves," he wrote.

Eaton often found himself at odds with the majority of the board during his three-and-a-half years as a member -- especially over his concerns about the International Baccalaureate program at Minnetonka High School. Eaton and fellow board member Bill Wenmark were often in the minority in votes cast by the seven-member board.

Wenmark said he is going to miss having Eaton as a supporter and friend on the board.

"He's a very quiet, very thoughtful person," Wenmark said of Eaton. "I always wanted him to talk more."

He said he admired how Eaton would quietly but directly question the district on issues such as finances. And as a practical matter, "It was beneficial to know I would be able to get a second" to a motion, Wenmark said. While he said he is excited and happy about working with new school board members Cathy Maes and Pam Langseth, it might be harder to get other board members to listen to some of his suggestions if he cannot even get someone to second his motions.

Wenmark said that there is no one reason why Eaton left the board, but that he had expressed concerns about problems he was having with both the school board and district employees. Eaton had complained during a meeting that district officials were reticent about providing him financial information that he believed he needed in his role as school board treasurer. And Eaton recently lost his bid for reelection as board treasurer to Peggy Stefan.

So the Reporter failing to get an interview with Eaton, just takes Eaton supporter, Wenmark's claims at face value. The reporter also talks to a school board candidate was supported by Eaton:

"I don't think it's a surprise in light of [the fact that] Mr. Eaton's candidates lost the election. He lost the votes he would've gained," she said. Eaton and Wenmark had endorsed school board candidates Mary Louise Bowe, Paul Borowski and Pam Langseth in the November elections for three seats. Of those three, only Langseth won.

Bowe said during the last election that several attacks were made on Eaton's character, and that might have influenced his decision to resign.

"I'm just really disappointed," said Bowe, who said Eaton provided a much-needed perspective on the board, especially on business matters. "I think generally this community has not treated him well as a school board member."

Bowe said she respected how Eaton, who has run software engineering and consulting companies, asked pointed questions about the budget and how dollars were being spent.

"He is an individual of incredible integrity and he has taken personal attacks for over a year now," Bowe said. "I think there is only so much one individual can take."

The article failed to mention Eaton's outspoken advocacy of Intelligent Design creationism both within the Minnetonka School District and in the state of Minnesota when he served on the Science Standards committee.

I met Dave Eaton when I debated Michele Bachmann on KKMS. When he introduced himself as Dave Eaton, I asked "Dave Eaton, the creationist", and he responded "yes."

PZ Myers rips the piece.