Monday, October 8, 2007

Going after parents?

Not content with attacking Utah's public school teachers, voucher supporters now are turning their sights on Utah's parents!

Paul Rolly reported in today's Salt Lake City Tribune that:

"After receiving a number of complaints, the Utah Lieutenant Governor's Office says it is investigating whether the state PTA should register as a Political Issues Committee (PIC) because it apparently is spending money to defeat the voucher law in the November referendum. We're not sure whether the complainants are the same folks who refuse to reveal who is spending money for pro-voucher radio ads."

(BTW: Did that issue with the anonymous client of Crowell Advertising who paid for those radio ads ever get resolved? If so, I didn't see it, so please let me know.)

Parents, especially parents who belong to and lead the PTA, are the most unlikely targets for the continued intimidation tactics of the pro-voucher crowd. I'm not sure who is advising PCE and its friends, but their tactics are crude, ugly and totally unnecessary. Parents and teachers have just as much a right to speak out as say, Paul Mero at the Sutherland Institute does.

Wait! I am sure that with all the flacking that the Sutherland Institute has been doing on the pro voucher side they certainly are registered as a Political Issues Committee (PIC).

After all, the Lt. Governor's site lists this definition of a PIC:

"Political Issues Committees (Utah Code 20A-11-101)

"A Political Issue Committee is an entity, or any group of individuals or entities within or outside this state, that solicits or receives donations from any other person, group, or entity or makes disbursements to influence, or to intend to influence, directly or indirectly, any person to assist in placing a statewide ballot proposition on the ballot, assist in keeping a statewide ballot proposition off the ballot, or refrain from voting or vote for or vote against any statewide ballot proposition; or sign or refuse to sign an incorporation petition or refrain from voting, vote for, or vote against any proposed incorporation in an incorporation election."

Hasn't Sutherland made "disbursements" (i.e. spent money) to try and influence the outcome of Referendum 1? Isn't Paul Mero unabashedly pro-voucher? Haven't all of Sutherland's so-called "research" papers and news releases made private school vouchers sound better than sliced bread?

Then, surely they must be registered as a PIC!

Alas, no. No sign of the Sutherland Institute in the list of PICs. You can check the list here.

Wonder why not???

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