PHOENIX — Former Congressman and Republican gubernatorial candidate Matt Salmon this morning appeared on “The Conservative Circus” on News Talk 550 KFYI.
Salmon spoke with James T. Harris about his experience attending Wednesday’s meeting of the Chandler Unified School District governing board, which cut off the congressman’s microphone as he confronted them about controversial revelations published earlier this week.
You can read a transcript of the radio segment below:
JAMES T. HARRIS:
“You are listening to ‘The Conservative Circus.’ My name is James T. Harris. I am your ringmaster. You’ve got the former congressman, Matt Salmon, he is in the center ring of ‘The Conservative Circus’ because he recently attended a Chandler school board meeting and got an up-close and personal view of what it’s like, how these school boards are treating parents. We welcome him to the center ring – and, Matt Salmon, I’m sorry to be laughing at you, but I understand that you were at the microphone and you were there because you were concerned about the insanity of the Chandler school board colluding with law enforcement, but as you were trying to talk it sounds like you got the parent treatment.”
“I got the parent treatment, I’ll tell you what, with both barrels. They told us before we went to the school board meeting that we would be able to have three minutes and so, James T., when you’re trying to get your message out, I write my speech so that I don’t miss a word and it’s timed to the T to be actually short of three minutes. And then, when they find out what I’m going to talk about, they come out ahead of time and say, ‘No, we’ve changing everything to one minute,’ and then, when I’m right in the middle of my speech, this woman comes on in a very loud voice and say, ‘Fifteen seconds!’ It shocked me, and so I said, ‘Excuse me? Did you just say I’m out of time?’ And then they got my mic off! And it’s like, I’m there to deliver a message on behalf of parents. My kids are in the Mesa school district, but I, as a congressman, represented Chandler, and I was there representing a couple of parents in the Chandler Unified School District – they were there with me at the meeting – and I feel like: This is America, wait a minute. We have an opportunity to exhibit our free speech and to try to find some accountability with the people that are charged with one of the most important responsibilities in our whole country and that’s our kids’ education.”
JAMES T. HARRIS:
“You know what’s incredible? Here you are, a former congressman. You’ve had the opportunity to represent your constituents at the well of the house. You had a time constraint, but, as you said, you would be able to craft it to make your message impactful to get there. But, when it comes to the local school board, they can arbitrarily just change the rules and then you get stuck. And, Congressman, I’ve been in the position you are, as have a lot of parents in Chandler who, once the rules change – ‘Oh, we have so many people. You can only speak for one minute’ – they had to sit there and adjust their notes and try to get it down, and we heard that ’30 seconds,’ ’15 seconds,’ ‘time’s up,’ and they cut you off. But it’s crazy!”
“But, James T., it was not enforced on the woman after me. The woman after me had a speech basically saying that Critical Race Theory doesn’t exist and the right-wingers are dreaming this all up, and they let her go unimpeded. She came right after me, and so it’s like: Wait a minute here. What’s going on? I couldn’t believe that they were censoring our ability to be able to keep our voices heard. This certainly isn’t the way things are done in America.”
JAMES T. HARRIS:
“We have former Congressman Matt Salmon in the center ring with ‘The Conservative Circus,’ and he has thrown his hat in the ring to be the next governor of Arizona. What you’re describing happened there was: A school board member, Lindsay Love, had her crew of supporters down there – about eight or nine people – but she had them lined up to speak, and the double standard happened in real time. This is what parents are up against, Matt Salmon, and it’s one of the things that I think more of our elected officials need to be aware of and speak out against.”
“Well, I’ll tell you what, James T., if I would have been allowed to speak, I would have criticized the Chandler school board for working with the Chandler police to basically make a book on parents and have them arrested if they came mask-less to the meeting. I mean, that was something that was clearly identified in another media article that came out. I wanted to basically have them answer the questions for that. I don’t think they want to have to be on-record answering those kinds of questions.
“I wanted to ask them why they haven’t withdrawn their membership from the Arizona School Boards Association and why they haven’t petitioned the Arizona School Boards [Association] to get out of the National Schools Boards [Association], because it’s a disgrace. And, as you guys mentioned earlier, this all came to light because a man, Scott Smith of Loudoun County, Virginia, his daughter is raped by a kid in a skirt in the girls’ bathroom and they wanted to basically cover everything up because they didn’t want people to understand that their transgender bathroom policy wasn’t working, that it was a bad policy, so they basically censured parents. And then they collaborated with Merrick Garland, the so-called ‘attorney general,’ to come out and declare parents ‘domestic terrorists.’
“That’s the biggest bunch of crap I’ve ever heard in my life, and it’s beyond crap. It’s subversive. It is not the America that you and I were raised in, and we’ve got to get out and speak loudly and carry a big stick, just like Teddy Roosevelt said. He said ‘speak softly.’ We need to speak loudly and carry a big stick and make sure that they understand they work for us and our kids are our most precious resource. When I was on the committee in Congress dealing with schools and education, every school district back then would have given their right arm to have parental involvement in the schools. Everybody understands that parents are the most important teachers in a kid’s education.”