(photo credit: Television Heaven UK)
Remember that crappy 80's sitcom, where it was so funny that a woman could be in charge of men? And that men were stupid (Tony Danza only played characters with the name of "Tony" so he wouldn't get confused) Well it seems to be back in syndication up on Salt Lake's Capitol Hill.
"Although Superintendent (of Public Instruction Patti) Harrington initially may have indicated some availability to attend the Education Interim Committee meeting this coming Wednesday, after due deliberation, I, representing the State Board of Education, respectfully decline to send a representative to that gathering," State Board of Education chairman Kim Burningham wrote in a letter to Education Interim Committee co-chairman Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper.
"It is unclear what role the committee has in relation to what essentially is business to be conducted confidentially, if at all, between the Attorney General and the state board. It is clear, however, that any further politicization of the relationship between the Attorney General and the state board is unwelcome to the board, if not to (Attorney General Mark) Shurtleff, and would be ill-advised in any event."
The letter sent a ripple through legislative leadership Tuesday.
"The State Board of Education cannot refuse to talk to us," said Senate President John L. Valentine, R-Orem, following a meeting Tuesday afternoon of top-level legislative bosses — the Executive Appropriations Committee.
Valentine went to my law school, but he seems to forget attorney client privilege and that his duty is to the people of the state of Utah, not Mark Shurtleff or the executive committee of the Utah Republican Party. [By the way, don't you think it is funny that when they had a choice, they chose a lobbyist? And the lobbyist said that lobbyist are an important part of the GOP coalition?]
Shurtleff was pissed that they didn't follow his advise, claiming they had to. No state agency has to follow the AG's advice, but if they guess wrong and are sued, there will be no immunity. In this case, the state board guessed right, as the Utah Supremes voted unanimously that Shurtleff was completely full of sh!t. But that didn't stop legislators from doing his bidding
After that decision, the education interim committee changed its agenda for today's meeting. The committee had originally planned to discuss the board's decision no to offer vouchers. But a revised agenda released Monday had replaced that item with a discussion of the AG's duties.
All hail partisan hack Mark "Tony Danza" Shurtleff. Who's the boss now, legislature?