The Park Record Editorial, Feb. 29-March 2, 2012 |

The Park Record Editorial, Feb. 29-March 2, 2012

Instead of bashing the whole bunch, let's track voting records

Guilty as charged.

At least once a year during the State Legislature’s General Session, The Park Record froths at the mouth and accuses the whole posse of being crooked, ignorant, prehistoric, and/or mean spirited.

Well, we aren’t going to do that this year.

We are still exasperated, flummoxed and angry about many of the legislators’ recent decisions, but since they recently asked us to look at them as individuals, we are checking out how they actually vote.

And you know what? The mostly white, mostly male, mostly Republican elected officials do not always vote as a bloc. On the controversial issue of whether to ban schools from teaching about contraceptive methods other than abstinence, among House members the vote was 45 in favor of the ban and 28 opposed. And, even more surprisingly, of the 28 opposed, 10 were Republicans.

So, we are not going to bash the Legislature as a whole for trying to send our kids back to the Stone Age in terms of sex education. We are going to try to be more specific about our rage.

Instead of painting the entire Legislature with the same tar brush, we will only call out those who want to extend the waiting period for abortions, who want to peel back every small gain that has been made toward protecting the environment, and who believe that the state with the biggest families in the nation can cut back on funding for public education. In doing so we hope that voters will soon send them back to a geologic era in which they might be more comfortable Jurassic, for example.

This November, all 75 seats in the state House of Representatives are up for reelection and half of the state’s 29 senators’ seats are on the ballot. It is VITAL to note that the real race for those seats begins next month.

If there is any hope of bringing the majority of the legislature into the 21st century, residents need to start scouring the countryside NOW for candidates who will represent their and their kids’ best interests.

Summit County residents can do their part by ensuring that the best possible candidates file to run for the following seats:

  • State Senate Seat 19 currently held by Allen Christensen (R-Ogden), who has yet to vote on the sex education ban which has just been sent to the Senate for consideration.
  • House Seat 53, currently held by Mel Brown (R-Coalville), who voted in favor of the sex education ban.
  • House Seat 54, currently held by Kraig Powell (R-Heber), who opposed the sex education ban. Powell will represent parts of Summit County under the new redistricting boundaries.
  • House Seat 28, currently held Brian King (D-Salt Lake City), who also opposed the sex education ban. King will also represent parts of Summit County under the new redistricting boundaries.

    Prospective candidates for these seats, along with three seats on the county council, and three seats on every local school board must file with the county clerk between March 9 and March 15.