Alan Wheelwright speaks out!
As some of you might know I am running for House District 8. This being my first foray into politics, it has been a real awakening to me how the system works.
One surprise came the other night with my interview with the Ogden/Weber Uniserv (the political arm of the teachers union). My campaign is based upon the unfulfilled hollow election time promises of our elected officials, year after year, to make education a serious priority and adequately fund it. I have two children in public elementary school and see the effects of having the lowest per pupil spending in the country everyday. I spoke to the Union of the millions that was spent to defeat vouchers when my opponent Rep. Froerer switched his vote in favor of vouchers. I let them know that this is one of the closest races in the state and their endorsement might be the deciding factor. I also looked at their own ratings of Rep. Gage Froerer voting record at the hill, with regard to education, over the last four years he has received an average of 52% with a pitiful 43% in 2010. It was also hard to notice that he arrived to the meeting 20 minutes late.
It was then surprising to me the next day when I was informed by Ogden/Weber Uniserv that they would be supporting my opponent. Asking why, I was only told that they had a complicated relationship with Gage but hopped that it would be better in the future.
My open question to the teachers union is “what does an incumbent politician have to do to loose your support?” How low of a rating would a politician have to receive so that you would be willing to go out on a limb and endorse the underdog? Is Uniserv so afraid of political backlash that it is impossible to support the candidate that might loose, but would be more in-line with their core beliefs to properly fund education?
The one thing that I am sure of is, that if I win in November, I will harbor no ill will against the Union and will fight to fund education at a level that shows our commitment to schools. It is about time that politicians either put-up or shut-up about education. I am tired of education being the central theme of every election, on both sides, but still seeing Utah end up dead last in the Country on per pupil education spending.