Hanna Skandera was finally questioned by members of the Senate Rules Committee. She had trouble answering those questions, even softballs lobbed by Republicans received answers far afield from the questions.
Skandera took such extensive detours away from actual answers, that one senator even told her, “a yes or no answer will suffice”
Skandera cried foul at having to answer questions about her conduct in office. One Republican senator even decried that the confirmation hearing was like a job performance review.
Senators Jerry Ortiz Y Pino, Jacob Candelaria, and Daniel Ivey-Soto brought in Ms. Skandera’s buzz words, “laser sharp focus” on Ms. Skandera’s actions during her two years as Secretary-designate of the NM PED including possible illegal actions.
Senator Ivey-Soto deconstructed the K12, Inc contract (and looked at Connections Inc, but there contract is not readily available) and how it clearly violates both ED law and procurement code. There is no denying that K12, Inc is operating as a for-profit management company, illegal in New Mexico, and has a sole source contract that is more than twice as long as is allowed under New Mexico law. Yet Skandera’s office continues to send them hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars.
Senator Candelaria, brought “laser like focus” to Ms. Skandera’s misuse of government resources and personnel for political purposes, deconstructing the actions of her staff, pointing out significant inconsistencies in public statements, and the lack of any public policy justification for those actions.
Senator Ortiz Y Pino questioned Ms. Skandera’s reversal of the Public Education Commission’s denial of charter schools, her efforts to eliminate local control of education, her lack of disclosure of travel and other job perks, and her unilateral disregard for the actions of the legislature.
Skandera was asked to provide documentation to the committee. She faces still more questions before a confirmation vote can be held.
The administration has repeatedly attacked Senator Linda Lopez, the Rules Committee Chair for not holding hearings. Now they are decrying the hearings because Skandera is having to address her actions in office.
Be careful for what you wish for you just might get it.