Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Senator Stephenson and the Wizard of Oz

This is almost too funny. In defending a proposal to make the state school board elections partisan, Senator Howard Stephenson believes that by increasing the number of board members to 29 and aligning them with the district boundaries for the Utah Senate, constituents would actually know the state school board member who represents them:

"Ninety-five percent of the population could not name their state school board member if their life depended on it. That's a problem," he said. "Why even have an election? Why not just have them appointed by the Wizard of Oz?" (See The Deseret Morning News)

What's funny about this is that last year I saw a survey where constituents of Senator Stephenson (and other senators in northern Utah county) were asked to identify their state senator. Among the answers:

  • Senator Hatch
  • Senator Bennett
  • Senator Scott Matheson (this was the most interesting)
  • Senator Jim Matheson

along with a variety of other answers that I don't recall at the moment. There were a couple that correctly identified their state senator, but not many.

I would love to go to a busy street corner or store and conduct such a survey to see how many actually know their state senator and representative. My guess? Probably 95% would not be able to correctly identify their senator and representative.

I guess we should just let our senators be appointed by the Wizard of Oz also.

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