I believe our legislators should not give extra time to lobbyists rather than constituents, not accept gifts (Senator Bramble's concerns about not receiving paid trips to "investigate" important issues are self-serving and far outweighed by the appearance of impropriety, whether real or only perceived) or at the least disclose every gift over five dollars in value, should not push through tax breaks for lobbyists (Delta, Anderson Corporation, Skoal, etc.), should not use omnibus bills to dishonestly shield defeated legislation from discussion and public scrutiny, and should not be able to LIE about their employment with a multi-billion dollar nuclear consortium and then testify on behalf of that corporation in front of a committee that they chair!
I believe vouchers were an ingenuous attack on public education that fooled many people through their false claims of "cookies" to redistribute. The legislators constantly attack and belittle teachers and school districts, even when their own legislative audits and public information budgets prove their findings wrong. It doesn't have to be business vs. schools, but there is a virulent anti-public-education movement that is vastly over-represented in our legislature.
Teachers are not covertly teaching abortion, sex, or anti-American values. Discussion of our history--good and bad--and moral dilemmas is not a threat to America. A lack of critical thinking and blind acceptance of what politicians tell us IS.
It's not like the blog I read today is known for critical analysis of both sides, but this post makes me simultaneously mad and sad. This is the extreme right-wing that does not represent the large center of public opinion in Utah.
If you want to protect our conservative, pro-family values in Utah, please do not stay home Tuesday night. Our opponents are organized and are launching an all-out war against conservatives, and it's won or lost in that little neighborhood caucus meeting of only about 20 people. Not only is parental choice in education at stake -- but everything we cherish as conservatives.
Teachers are not the enemy! To oppose vouchers is to support one of the primary means of creating the largest, most prosperous middle class in the history of the world. On the otherhand, vouchers benefit very few families at the expense of the majority of middle-class families.
And in a totally non-surprising show of hypocrisy, here is an excerpt from an email sent out from Parent's for Choice in Education last Friday:
Special interest groups opposed to meaningful education reforms are well aware of this, and in a bold attempt to protect the education status quo, they've recruited candidates across the state to run as Republicans against school reform incumbents. They're even running anti-voucher candidates in districts where a majority of voters voted for Referendum 1.
Translation: In a bold attempt to hijack democracy in favor of an unpopular ideological agenda, Parent's for Choice in Education has spent over half a million dollars in the last two campaign cycles ('04 and '06) to unseat pro-education Republicans--even in the majority of districts that oppose vouchers--and ramrod vouchers (among various anti-education measures) through the legislature by one vote. We are upset that people are calling us on our dishonesty and getting involved in the political process.