Saturday, November 1, 2008

A. Legrand Richards in State School Board Distict 13...Could the rules be broken if the others don't even show up to play? Sign search...

OK. Tom Gregory, the current State School Board member from District 13 let me know about some technicalities, and I found the stats from 2004 when he won his seat.

In 2004, Mr. Gregory won his seat on the state board with a total of 16,865 votes, while his opponent received 13, 310. My candidate of choice, A. Legrand Richards obviously will not be receiving that many votes. Plus, for reasons unknown, the county doesn't count votes for write-in candidates if they don't register a "Write-In Candidacy." Can someone please explain that to me? Candidates register with the state or county in order to get on the ballot, not to be a resident citizen eligible for office. Why should their registration have any bearing on my right to cast my vote as a desire for them to represent me? What if in some unusual circumstance, an undeclared write-in candidate won? It's not like he or she would be "cheating." Why should those voters be ignored?

This is just reality, but it's really frustrating because I will be surprised if either Kyle Bateman or C. Mark Openshaw receive even 10,000 votes. Has either one even put up a sign? I am certain that A. LeGrand Richards would have beaten either handily if he hadn't been undemocratically disallowed as an eligible citizen to run for elected office. I also think that if we had started a month or two ago, he would have had a much better chance as a write-in candidate than normal because of our two candidates' complete lack of interest in campaigning. Neither has a web presence. When you search for their names, the few newspaper articles about the race and some blogs, including mine and the Accountability Blog show up. I am receiving dozens and dozens of hits each day from people searching for information on the mystery men.

As I said, neither has a website or has given out their email or phone numbers except when required to for candidate registration. Neither provided contact information to the Tribune. They ignored some requests from organizations for their positions. Kyle Bateman at least responded to the Utahns for Public Schools questionnaire. I emailed C. Mark Openshaw as a citizen (after searching out his email on the state candidate registration) and asked what he thought were the most important issues and he didn't answer me. I honestly wonder if either has put up even one sign, walked even one neighborhood, or reached out in anyway except when cornered by the newspaper? Even the current rep., Tom Gregory posted that he can't find anything the two candidates. Do they care about what voters think? And that doesn't mean they would have needed to spend a lot of money either. I'm joking around about their signs, but you could run a campaign for State School Board and at least articulate your values and answer questions for free if you wanted. A blog costs nothing. Answering an email is just common courtesy and a responsibility of an elected official in my mind.

I disagree philosophically with Kyle Bateman and I'm assuming from circumstances, C. Mark Openshaw, but I sincerely disagree more with their aloof attitudes towards their constituents. I do not support Mark Cluff in District 12 either, but I can at least respect him as a competent, hard-working, and communicative person from what I've heard.

I don't know much about A. LeGrand Richards, but he has more qualifications than either of the other two candidates. He is the current Chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Foundations at BYU, was the choice of all the school representatives on the governor's selection committee who got to interview him, and made some great points on temporal and spiritual education in a campus devotional last year. Tom Gregory has commented on this blog that he has met him and was impressed. Read what you can and make a good decision. I recommend that all write in A. LeGrand Richards for State School Board District 13 and let the total stand as further evidence as to why the State School Board selection process should be reformed.

On a final, lighter note, has anyone seen even one sign posted for either Openshaw or Bateman? I would love if someone could post a picture and confirm the existence of said signs to mildly rebut my assertion that they haven't put forth any effort. Signs are nothing, yet still a basic indicator of some level of involvement in the campaign. The local Alpine School District Board races have signs up everywhere. Those offices are not any more important and those candidates are not any more wealthy.


Anonymous said...

Wish I could find some more information as well. If they are serious about running, I want to hear what they have to say.

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