Skip to comments.Today In History: 1968 California GOP Senate Primary (Max Rafferty)
Posted on 06/04/2008 6:34:38 AM PDT by Nextrush
He had a doctorate in education from UCLA, but his ideas were anything but "Piled higher and deeper."
Max Rafferty had been elected twice (in 1962 and 1966) as California's Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Dr. Max Rafferty wrote books with titles like "Suffer Little Children" and "What They Are Doing To Your Children." Rafferty blasted modern public education and its emphasis on "life adjustment." His conservative views on education appeared in a nationally syndicated newspaper column.
Rafferty's conservative supporters put him up as an alternative in the June 4th, 1968 Republican U.S. Senate Primary. Rafferty faced incumbent liberal Republican U.S. Senator Thomas Kuchel and pulled off an upset victory.
Unfortunately, Rafferty lost to Alan Cranston in the fall of 1968 with a series of "LA Times" smear articles published ahead of the election.
After his defeat in the 1970 election for Superintendent of Public Instruction, Rafferty became Dean of Education at Troy State University in Alabama. He died in an auto accident in 1984.
Well, at least he lived to see Governor Reagan ascend to the presidency. Reagan mentioned Rafferty in one of his mid-seventies radio broadcasts.
It is very interesting. Thanks for posting. I went to school with his daughter, who thot he was a right-wing nut! I would now call him a visionary — he pulled our community out of the greater school community and set up a unified school district, which is still strong and very well thought of today. The larger district tanked a long time ago — I think he saw it coming.
Sorry to hear he was killed in an auto accident.
I supported Rafferty against Kuchel in 1968. Unfortunately, his primary victory threw moderate and liberal Republicans into a snit, and many of them reacted in the same way that they did when Goldwater was nominated in 1964—by sitting on their hands or even endorsing Cranston, who narrowly won in November.
Rafferty's victory party was held in the Ambassador Hotel, where in a different room, another event would occur that night which would grab the world's attention.
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