Like every other Utahn, I witnessed PCE's last gasp in an efforts at making vouchers a reality. You've got Rob Bishop, a Congressman who as a teacher and a legislator undermined public education during his tenure at the capitol using that status as a former teacher coming out for vouchers. Having spent enough time up at the hill, I can guarantee you that Bishop wasn't a teacher legislator, but a legislator teacher looking to get out of the teaching career for higher office. His support for public education was always conditional and tepid at best.
Now, PCE also has an ad using Jon Huntsman jr., calling him a "champion of public education." Listen PCE, let us be the judge of who's a champion of public education, not you. In his tenure as Governor, I can't think of a single innovation regarding public education coming from the Governor's office, nor can I think of a single tangible accomplishment in any realm by his administration. Huntsman's adminstration appears to me to be even more obsessed with image over substance than the high fallutant Leavitt administration, which is saying something. Huntsman's endorsement is irrelevant, because frankly, Huntsman himself is irrelevant as a Governor. Ask Huntsman to give a speech, cut a ribbon or kiss a baby and he's in his element. Ask Huntsman to make a principled and reasoned policy decision and you'd might as well listen to the crickets chirp.
Huntsman's allowing his name to be used by PCE because frankly, he fears the crazies in his own party and is doing so for purely political purposes. In that regard I don't blame him. If I was a Republican Governor in Utah, the only worry I would have politically is a primary challenge. Too many voters in this state would vote for any Republican for Governor because they feel that is their duty. This reality creates alot of power to the fringe element of the Republican party. Gayle Ruzika and her fanatical fringe may make up only 10% of the population, but they represent 35% of the effective political power in Utah due to Utah's single party dominance. That is why PCE has picked Utah as their test case. Utah is to be the guineau pig for this right-wing gambit and our school children are the ones being injected.
Disclaimer: I normally don't like to sound as strident as I do in this post. However, I have to admit, that PCE has a way of getting under my skin. The dark side of the force is indeed strong with them.