Wednesday, May 19, 2010

How blatantly will the State Board of Education Nominating Committee thumb its nose at the public? Or will Kim Burningham get his today?

I don't have time for much. Utah Mom's Care had an excellent post on this a few days ago. The results of Monday's meeting and vote will be announced this afternoon.

Basically, Republican leadership can't keep it's theories straight on their opinions of Utah voters. In the case of the state school board, they're too stupid to vote unless there is an R(epublican) or D(emocrat) next to the name of a candidate, so we have to appoint a committee literally half made up of lobbyists (all the industry "rep's" are lobbyists appointed by the governor--people like Stan Lockhart, Micron lobbyist and head of the state GOP when they passed vouchers) to remove "unworthy" candidates from the ballot. In the case of vouchers, the public rejected them almost 2-1 because they were misinformed by evil teachers.

But when the ethics reform initiative didn't get enough signatures, that was because Utah voters are so smart and approved of the legislature's already passed reform. I think as the Utah Mom's Care post said--voter apathy enables this ridiculous, easily abused system. And in the last days of the ethics petition drive, there were still more people than not that had not heard of the initiative.

Here's an opinion piece by two Republican activists spelling out how the public is too dumb to vote without party affiliation, and the Tribune Editorial rightly stating that this system actually takes advantage of voter apathy for political gain rather than doing anything to make the final election between the chosen candidates more informed.

Sara Brate at the Accountability blog covered this bad process two years ago. Most revealingly, she put the candidate vote totals in an excel sheet for all to see. Notice that industry voter block that pushed the agenda. There were two incumbents pushed out by the vote of 6 people and shenanigans in my state school board district.

So Kim Burningham effectively represented the overwhelming majority of both Utahns and his district in the anti-voucher battle, infuriating Republican leadership. He fought hard on the ethics initiative, once again battling for things large majorities of Utahns want, but legislative and political party leadership abhor. Will he be taken off the ballot by 6 lobbyists? If so, I predict a short period of outrage from observers, and then no consequences. If only 2 legislators got taken out after the voucher debacle, and the bill to change this process couldn't get traction the last 2 years, nothing will happen now.


Natalie said...

Burningham made it through - Denis Morrill didn't. I am anxiously awaiting the rest of the list - and to see what Gov Herbert does with it. I know he'll be more thoughtful than Gov Huntsman was.

UtahTeacher said...

Thanks for the early info before I could find anything else online. With the new info, they were definitely blatant. They accidentally let Burningham through in a tie for 3rd place, eliminated another incumbent, and tried to hide who voted as a block against them! I just get continually flabbergasted by what political "leaders" and lobbyists pull in this state.