Saturday, February 24, 2007

Senator Stephenson Grills PTA

In Paul Rolly's column on February 14, 2007, he described a grilling that Senator Howard Stephenson administered to the Utah PTA representative (Debi Tabor) that was speaking on SB57. In that grilling, he accused the PTA of not polling all of the members to see their position on this bill (the implication being that they don't really adequately represent the PTA members in the state of Utah). Senator Stephenson said that despite being a PTA member for over 20 years, he had never been approached about his positions. Then Senator Bramble decided to go on record and pour more salt on the wound.

See the 36:30 mark for the Feburary 9, 2007 Senate Education Committee hearing.

Shame on both of you!!

Notes to Senator Stephenson:
  1. You are my state senator. You have never polled me on my thoughts about any bill that you are voting on. I doubt that you have talked to more than a very small fraction of people in your district regarding any issue, let alone the issue represented by SB57. You, therefore, according, to your own criteria, do not represent me or your constituents.
  2. I would be willing to bet that most people in your district don't even know who you are. A recent survey that I saw from your district, where people listed their state senator and representative, had very few right answers. Many were left blank, and many had incorrect answers. Some thought Senator Hatch and even Scott Matheson were their state senator. Very few people knew that you were their senator.
  3. The PTA has a very specific process by which positions on bills are determined. The process is not perfect, and like any volunteer organization it depends on people being involved. Senator, if you have been a PTA member for 20 years, why do you not know anything about this process? Why do you wait for PTA people to come to you and ask your position? Why did you not seek out the opportunity to make your views known and find out how you could be involved in the legislative process? If you haven't tried, you have no reason to complain.
  4. Every year, the PTA has a legislative convention where positions are debated and voted upon. EVERY PTA can send representatives to this convention and provide input to the PTA positions. You could have gone as a member of your PTA and provided input and actually voted at this convention. You apparently did not.
  5. Last note---people that live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
  6. Next to last note---you'll do much better if you talk with people and not down to them.
  7. Very last note---these same thoughts apply to Senator Bramble.

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