There are several good reasons to support school vouchers in Utah. But it is important to remember that good people are on both sides of this issue. Parents for Choice in Education, a national group, interjected itself somewhat mysteriously into the voucher debate in Utah, inflaming it into a controversy. I wrote previously on SUMP, that my greatest fear about education vouchers in Utah is that
...when the smoke clears, the activities of the voucher battlefield will have inspired an even more vitriolic baseline for the future of our political warfare.It now seems that Parents for Choice in Education has created that battlefield and is in the process of perfecting it.
First there was the push poll, discussed (among other places) here and here, wherein PCE asked a polling question along the lines of 'if you knew voucher opponents also supported gay marriage would you be more likely to vote for vouchers?'
It would be interesting to run this push poll question: Based on what you've learned or heard from Parents For Choice in Education, are you more or less likely to vote for vouchers in the November referendum.? If the info from PCE was the only information I had I would indicate "Much Less Likely" as my answer to the poll question.
Here's a pretty tame one. While not mentioning that PCE has spent probably more money in Utah, this ad uses propaganda to pit Utah parents against "liberal Washington special interests" and the National Education Association. Hat tip: Green Jello.
I've cringed as I've heard far worse versions of this ad on local radio stations.
Cavorting with Known Spam Artists and Political 'Hitmen'
It's been shown here, here, and here (among several other sources) that PCE likely solicited the aid from muckraker and spam/spin artist extraordinaire, Mark Towner, to decieve those in the public schools who are opposed to vouchers, almost getting them to think that UtahnsForPublicSchool.com was a public school organization that supported vouchers. Towner allegedly received $5,000 for his perfidy. It's hard to imagine that PCE didn't know about Mark Towner's reputation, which it should have steered miles clear of if PCE intended to be looked upon as an organization of noble repute.
This is merely a summary of the evidence against perhaps the most successful school voucher opponent in Utah. PCE is not from Utah, and I'm not sure how they got here. Maybe PCE should leave. If someone could (a) point out any errors in my deduction herein, or (b) provide me more information on where PCE came from, I would be appreciative.
We don't need help like this from proverbial "friends like these". It would be far better to lose the voucher referendum than to win with the mistruths and hate campaigns that have been a large part of the arsenal of the group that calls itself Parents for Choice in Education.