Well, the Utah school voucher referendum has likely failed. Now we can all settle down and get back to loving our neighbors and eating green Jello with carrot shavings (or orange Jello with celery bits). Next time we bring this issue up, can we all play nice and respect others' opinions? Perhaps try to tell the truth, not mislead, and not paint our opponents as the devil (after all, we know he's at the convention)?
And maybe not spend so much money next time, too. According to the New York Sun, more than $8 million have been spent in Utah on the voucher issue (more than spent in the last gubernatorial race). I understand the need to saturate the "market" with billboards, signs, print, television, and radio ads, mass mailings, and telephone calls, but the deluge reached Biblical proportions at our house this week. In one week's time, we received at least eight glossy, full-color, unique pamphlets in the mail (addressed to various combinations of our names, plus the ubiquitous "Resident"). And the telephone calls! Yesterday I received four automated calls, each extorting me to vote "Yes" on Referendum 1. Today I received four more--one was automated, three were real live people, somewhere in the world, asking me to go to the polls and vote for the voucher program. All of these calls were paid for by "Parents for Choice in Education".
I understand the need to "get out the vote". I support the voucher program (sometimes in spite of Parents for Choice in Education). And here's the weird thing--Parents for Choice in Education should have known this. They called me two weeks ago and asked if I was willing to put a sign in my yard. I told them yes, but they never got back to me, so my yard is, sadly, signless. So somewhere in their many lists of numbers, they should have known that I was already converted. And perhaps--just perhaps, they could have saved a little money and limited the telephone calls to my home, at least, to maybe one or two a day.
Did PCE make good on their promise to pay $10 for every vote for Referendum 1?
Actually, by my calculations, PCE paid over $15 per vote in favor of vouchers. And NEA paid about $1 per public school teacher in the nation, which is roughly equivalent to $10 for each vote against vouchers.
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