This is the first of a series of profiles of recent candidates.
Cora Landis was elected for Palisades School Board on Nov. 2, in a decisive victory over her Democratic opponent, Jamie Davis. Landis got 59 percent of the vote, with an especially strong showing in the west Springfield precinct.
But in the fall, before she ran for school board, a Cora Landis on Facebook seemed to identify with Qanon, a right-wing conspiracy hub dedicated to looney ideas. In a Sept 2, 2020 Facebook post this Cora Landis said “Yes I am a Q follower,” and went on to say that 5G “is deadly to those with weak and compromised systems” and that “[w]hen you die from wearing the masks and not having enough oxygen in your blood they will blame it on corona.”
Further eye-opening Facebook posts from 2020 are available on Cyril Mychalejko Substack site. Joey Sweeney referred to it as a guide to some of Bucks County wackadoodle school board candidates, as they spin out “a meme salad of xenophobic, galaxy-brain misapprehensions.” For instance, Landis shares her belief that there were “satanists” in Hollywood who drank the blood of newborn babies to keep themselves young.
Landis attended an Evangelical Bible college in Philadelphia and frequently cites Bible verses and God. Her reference to “moloch” is appropriate. Moloch was considered a pagan god of the Canaanites who demanded the sacrifice of babies. Landis’s religious and Qanon background put her in synch with what some consider a troubling situation: the increasing belief that America is on the verge of an apocalyse and that patriotic militias and strong men will have to defy “the rules” and “the deep state.”
The big money PACs that fund school board chaos specialize in stirring up conflict.
In a Facebook post from TheDailySignal (which sounds as if it should be from Batman or the Communist Party, but is instead from the ultrapowerful, rightwing Heritage Foundation), Cora Landis in 2020 sent along, “Are These Seven LGBT ‘Kids’ Books in Your Child’s Classroom, Library?”
She reported this as if anthrax had been released.
And as if on cue, she discovered something more potent to rant about than 5G. Parents. Parents could be riled up!
The GOP had discovered them too. Chicken or the egg? The GOP game plan for 2022 is “personal empowerment,” as in, “Who has the power?” We do!”
Does the school administration run things? Hell no. Parents do!
Should someone tell us to wear masks? No sir!
Parents rule! Just keep saying the word “parents.”
That brought Cora Landis to the race for Palisades School Board, 3rd Region. Her old Facebook page was shut down.
A new Facebook page, Cora Landis for Palisades School Board was begun in March 13, 2021. On it she said: “I’ve seen disparaging remarks about me – and someone supposedly has dug up some controversial past posts I supposedly wrote, which I am not going to respond to.”
In the language of politics, that is known as a “nondenial denial.”
As the school board race developed over the summer, the main issues became the mask mandate (Landis felt parents should decide), the vaccine mandate (parents should decide) and contentious school board meetings at which Critical Race Theory was a topic.
How is Critical Race Theory, which was raised at many of the contentious Bucks County board meetings, and is not taught in schools, relevant?
As Politico puts it, the “Republicans see a rich opportunity to build a pipeline of new political candidates by pushing the culture war issue.”
Beginning her school board campaign, Cora Landis said, “Critical Race Theory (CRT) appears to have taken priority in our education systems. Many schools and some in government want to make it a standard part of their curriculum.” She then proceeded to tie it to Marxism, and promised to talk about it further.
Who’s the puppet?
See Part 2.