To: Francis Gibson, Lowry Snow, Patrice Arent, Richard Cunningham, Steve Eliason, Greg Hughes, Brad Last, David Lifferth, Daniel McCay, Carol Moss, Jim Nielson, Val Peterson, Marie Poulson, Kraig Powell, Dean Sanpei, Keven John Stratton,
Subject: PLEASE pass HB 228 on education elections
Date: Mon Feb 24 17:19:03 MST 2014
I ask that you vote to pass HB 228 on education elections out of committee. I support this bill because:
- Everything involving money is partisan.
- The NEA and UEA are partisan.
- Nobody studies the candidates for school board in elections because they are non-partisan. Making them partisan means hundreds of delegates will examine candidates closely and see who would do the best job from their party.
- Having to sell yourself to delegates instead of to the public prior to a primary is much less expensive. This saves candidates' time and money and allows more individuals to attempt to run for office without needing deep pockets right from the start.
- We opted for representational government because “we the people” can’t examine every issue and vote on it with a good working knowledge of the issue. We elect delegates who volunteer to take the time to closely examine candidates and ensure they will represent us well. That’s how a republic functions.
- Texas did this, got a conservative majority on the state school board, and for the first time in decades created history standards that teach both sides of the story.
- State School Board Districts (15) are twice as big as State Senate Districts (29), and State School Board candidates never have the resources to even send one mailer to all the voters in their area. Voters who do not hear about a state school board member cannot make an informed vote. Nonpartisan elections are intended for small local races (like City Council) where you can presumably meet the candidate, and thus do not need a party affiliation. But the 15 members of the State School Board in 2012 will likely have approximately 200,000 residents in their district! There is no way they can meet with more than 20,000, under any circumstances. In other words, party affiliation is absolutely necessary in any election on such a big scale.
- The education budget of Utah is the largest single category of expenditures. Money is always partisan. Power flocks to money. Hiding behind the non-partisan curtain does not allow constituents to know where candidates stand on any issue. Members of the state school board support democratic bills over republican bills by a 2:1 margin according to a former state school board member. This does not represent the makeup of the state electorate.
- Saying we don’t want political parties to influence school board elections guarantees that special interest groups will have greater say.
- The vetting process of a convention race helps weed out unqualified candidates but does so in a grassroots fashion.
In Liberty,Dianne Lind