[T]he target audiences of the intimate gatherings - active Republican and unaffiliated voters - suggest the meetings are more about marshaling ground troops for the Nov. 6 referendum than about fostering a genuine discussion of the pros and cons of vouchers.
The whole thing is a sham
The public meetings have not been widely publicized. The Salt Lake Tribune, for instance, had to ask for a schedule of gatherings, and was given an incomplete list. The explanation? Organizers are able to lock down the schedules of busy lawmakers only about a week in advance of any given session.And filled with trickery and astroturf
"If their goal is to really try to inform all potential voters on this referendum - it seems like it's not the most effective strategy," says University of Utah political scientist Matthew Burbank. "They are talking to a very narrow slice of those voters.
"But if they are trying to put some pressure on people they think should be supporting this, but apparently are not - then it may be somewhat effective," says Burbank.
Orem resident Ada Wilson said this week she received an e-mail because she was actively involved in "politics and policy here in Utah," from an organization calling itself Utahns for Public School — not to be confused with the anti-voucher coalition Utahns for Public Schools.Here's the real reason Republicans have for supporting school vouchers: "Children in private schools will be protected from the liberal brainwashing currently occurring in our public schools." Really? I thought private schools were liberal, isn't that why the right keeps railing against people who go to good private schools, claiming liberal professors brainwash them? They have got to keep their arguments straight.
But some people did.
And after a closer look, the fact that the e-mail sender clearly wasn't anti-voucher at all had some recipients scratching their heads.
The e-mail said, "If you support our cause to defeat this pro-voucher movement we would ask you to reply to this e-mail so we can build an action list of anti-voucher supporters."
It asked recipients to provide a personal e-mail address, name and contact number and then visit another Web site, www.vouchernews.blogspot.com.
That site is an anti-union blog clearly not aimed at defeating vouchers.
If you have to resort to lies, deception, self-contradictory arguments, and desperate pleas for help from conservative bloggers, you know you are in trouble in November. [Oh and the research shows, vouchers make things worse, not better.] [Oh and Utahns don't want them:]