Why do I say this? Because our state's Governor decided that the definitive issue of his governorship back in 2004 was getting school vouchers passed. He was elected and vouchers did get looked at by the Utah State Legislature. They were passed, he signed them to much fanfare, and then people started opposing it. By people I mean of course teachers and teachers' unions. Anything that would inject some sort of competition into an archaic, Soviet-style school system and force some change is just wrong. I am over-generalizing, I know, but the fact does remain that the legislature passed it. The people spoke in favor of a referendum, as is our right to do so. I'm not angry at that. What does annoy me, however, is the Governor suddenly kicking back and saying "well, whatever." After pushing them and using that as a lever to get him elected, he decided that it didn't matter anymore. He became a man without principles because it was politically expedient to do so. I don't know if he cared about vouchers and was afraid of what the UEA would do to him in 2008 or if he didn't care about vouchers and was afraid of what the Republicans would do to him in 2004. Either way, I'm about yea close to voting for whoever runs against him next year. That includes Matheson, Jr. He has acres of political capital and he chose not to use it at all even though this was supposedly his top priority. That's like President Bush saying that prosecuting the war in Iraq is his top priority, followed by withdrawing all the troops from the country. He's a lot of things, but he actually does stand by his beliefs, for better or worse. What really made it bad was that Huntsman voted for the vouchers. He showed he still backed them, but chose not to use his influence to get something that he cared about passed. He makes other politicians look like ametures because he is just that skilled and practiced at being entirely inoffensive.
Again, I'm not mad at the voucher opponents. I think they're wrong, but they won fair and square. I didn't see nearly as many ads from voucher proponents, nor did I see as much mail from them. I think that some of that is because there were more national groups pumping money into the anti-voucher side instead of the one man Overstock.com wrecking crew that was the pro-voucher group. The other reason is because the most influential man in Utah politics decided to sit this one out because it was just too hot to handle.