The Trump administration is yanking the nomination of Tim Kelly, a Michigan state representative who President Donald Trump tapped to lead the office of career, technical, and adult education at the U.S. Department of Education, after it became clear he was the author of a personal blog that made offensive statements about Muslims, Head Start parents, and federal efforts to recruit women into the sciences, a source said.
“It became clear that Mr. Kelly had made a series of statements that were not reflective of the secretary’s values,” said an administration official. Sources characterized this as a decision that U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos made when she was presented with the blog posts. The blog should have been caught in the White House vetting process, one source said. And Kelly should have disclosed it with his application, but failed to do so, this source added.
Kelly did not respond to an email and a phone call from Education Week, and his state legislative office declined to make him available for comment. However, in comments to the Detroit News after news broke that the Trump administration had pulled his nomination, Kelly said his blogs posts “have been blown out of proportion and were generally reflected ‘mainstream’ conservative thought,” the newspaper reported.
“This has been a terribly distressing thing over the last eight months for me and my family,” Kelly told the Detroit News about the nomination process. “Increasingly, I became aware that I perhaps was not a good match for some of this given the toxicity of the swamp.”
Kelly, who had been scheduled for a Nov. 15 confirmation hearing before the Senate education Committee, would have been tasked with implementing the $1.1 billion Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education program, the largest source of federal funding for high schools, as well as initiatives dealing with adult literacy and community college.
The comments from his “Citizen Leader” blog date from 2009 to 2012.
Tim Kelly was nominated by President Donald Trump to be an assistant secretary for career and technical education, but he withdrew from consideration after controversial blog posts he wrote several years ago resurfaced. (David Eggert/AP-File)