Saturday, April 07, 2007

"Wayne Holland & Utah Amicus call Parents for Choice CHICKEN!" --- A Response From the Utah Amicus

Rob posted this in response to my previous post:

"The word "Chicken" was not actually used but it will do for now.

Republican leadership strong-armed HB 148 through the House. Please remember that it only passed by one vote.

When Democratic Senators tried to amend the bill their concerns and amendments were ignored. Why? Because Republican leadership understood that HB 148 might fail in the House on the second go-round, a chance they were not willing to take.

If vouchers go to a vote, and if vouchers pass I will be the first one to move on. However, if organizations and associations like the PTA, the UEA, and Utahns for Public Schools are not able to bring in the required signatures needed to move forward with the referendum, then we have a different problem and situation.

Section 1. [Power vested in senate, House, People.]

(1) The legislative power of the State shall be vested in:

(a) A Senate and House of Representatives which shall be designated the Legislature of the State of Utah; and
(b) the people of the State of Utah as provided in Subsection (2).

(To see a complete ARTICLE VI check out The Utah Amicus)

If the guidelines for gathering signatures for the referendum petition are unobtainable then the citizens of Utah must realize that the Utah State Legislature is jealous of their power, and that the legislature has put into law a statute that takes away the equal vested power that the people of Utah are constitutionally guaranteed.

It is my hope that this is not the case. And, as I stated above, if the good people of Utah are allowed the opportunity to vote on this matter, and if the people vote to sustain vouchers then I will be the first person to say, "the people have spoken."

Now let's talk about how the people voted this last election cycle on vouchers.

PCE targeted several seats in the legislature including Rep. Sheryl Allen's seat. The people of Utah voted against those voucher candidates, and yet, those incumbents that were in safe districts still decided to strong-arm HB 148 through the legislature.

A minority (PCE) who support tax dollars for private academies purchased HB 148 from the majority Party. So when you say the people have spoken through their elected officials you are not actually telling the entire story. How many safe legislators actually campaigned on the voucher ticket?

Thanks for advancing the dialogue, and thanks for allowing me the same opportunity.

By the way, when I call someone a chicken I usually put photo of a chicken on my blog or say, "Bawk, BaWK!"

With every best wish,

The Utah Amicus"

Thanks, Rob.


Jesse said...

So if the referendum makes it onto the ballot, "the people have spoken", but if it doesn't, then the bar is impossibly high? That's wanting to have it a bit of both ways, isn't it? What about the possibility that while a super-major may support the issue being on the ballot, a fair chunk of those people may not be motivated enough to go out and find a petition to sign?

That's the pitfall you face in the realm of public opinion: polls do NOT predict outcomes. If you can't get the signatures, it's not that the legislature set the bar too impossibly high (though I concede that more time should be allowed): it's that "the people" are too lazy and/or unmotivated to participate in the process. Even if you feel the bar *is* too high, you still need to follow the law and ask legislators to relax the requirements instead of trying to force the judiciary to enact that change for you (which this response strongly suggests). Legislating from the bench is not an acceptable alternative.

The arguments regarding PCE are little more than a collection of logical fallacies designed to invoke an appeal to the majority. It's saying "because PCE supports vouchers and the candidates they backed were defeated, the people voted against vouchers." When it's put like that, it becomes obvious how silly the argument really is.

I don't mind arguments against vouchers, but I do mind tossing logic to the side and using dubious and inconsistent arguments while doing so. It dilutes the concerns with merit (i.e. regarding affordability of private schools, the increased costs for special needs children, etc.) by burying them under hyperbole and false reasoning.

Paul Hanson said...

Miller's points are well thought out and logical.

Sorry Jesse, but the dubious and inconsistent arguments are coming over the airwaves by voucher supporters.

Thanks for supporting Utah Rob.