Thursday, June 12, 2008

Family Empowerment?

I received the pink flier from Edwards campaign some time ago and have come to some conclusions on where I differ from her. If I had to vote just on this one piece of literature, here is why I choose Neuenschwander.

The section subtitled 'Family Empowerment' lists bills that if decided the way Edwards wanted would have done nothing to empower families. The first graph in this section says:

"SB 53 - Initiative and Referendum Petition Amendments. Most of the time, local elected officials get it right. But when they don't, initiative and referendum are the citizens' recourse for undoing unpopular decisions by their government (example: the voucher referendum last Fall). This bill took away the rights of citizens to challenge land use and zoning decisions that might have huge impact on their families' way of life. Whether the issue is big-box stores or other developer-driven issues, the public's control over their established neighborhoods has been lost."
I ask, what does this have to do with families specifically? The campaign seems to be painting with some broad strokes, or they expect that people won't read far past the words, "Family Empowerment" before they decide Edwards-good, incumbent-bad. The mention of vouchers, where vouchers don't appear to apply to the overall bill is just code for this sort of thing.

The second paragraph:
"HB 17 - Child Support Bond. A big problem when marriages fail is delinquent child support. This bill would have given the court the power to order a parent, chronically delinquent in child support monies, to post a bond for up to 36 months of child support. Where agreements to pay child support are made as a condition of granting a divorce, taxpayers have a substantial interest in their enforcement, because otherwise children suffer and costs of welfare go up."
It looks like Edwards should have created a category called "Court Empowerment", because that is exactly what the flier claims this bill would do. Again, no "Family Empowerment" here.

The remaining three examples of bills would have created more government programs, government training for court personnel, and additional categories of conduct--all to do things that individuals, and in particular, families are capable of doing themselves.

If Edwards really wanted to empower families, and more specifically, parents then she would support things like home schooling, or school choice based more upon "a parents say-so" than government red-tape. However, she considers the activity of parents moving their kids between Woods Cross and Bountiful to be "..."gaming" of school residency requirements".

Edwards does not cite a single instance in which she supports empowering parents over empowering the nanny-state.

5 comments:

George said...

Tyler, who can say whether Becky is a Democrat or not. Currently, I am declared 'unaffiliated' as to my party, but I am thinking very seriously about declaring myself a Republican on Tuesday so I can vote against the slate of Republican candidates put forward by the Dark Lord Palpatine/Darth Sidious. We must put an end to the careers of so many who adhere to Sith traditions -- they who seek for power and would trample the rights of this now free, but threatened people of Utah.

Sarah said...

George-
I'm with you. Some preach one thing and live yet another. Some say they are involved in politics and strive to do something about government, and others remain neutral in hopes that the tides of change will come to shore carrying Utopian values. So, as we contemplate our threatened liberties, let's think of the issues before us. It seems only Becky herself can and should decide whether or not she's Democrat. During the last debate she made it clear she voted Democrat during the last Presidential Primary. I'm not sure what scares me more, her now running as a Republican, or her not being able to describe why she voted the way she did. As constituents, we are entitled to know how our Representatives vote...if she can't explain to us now why she voted the way she did, how can we expect her to do so in the future?

Allie said...

One word of caution George. :)

A couple of years ago, I registered as a republican so I could vote for Rob Bishop. I was sure that there was no way he would beat the Dave Thomas, but Rob's republican opponent seemed more of a challenge.

I learned my lesson. Now I have to live with the knowledge that I have voted for Rob Bishop. Yech.

George and WP said...

I think I am covering my bets, if I understand this process accurately. By registering as an R, I am allowed by that party to vote in all of their controlled and primary battles. As a registered R, I am still free to vote for J. Dell Holbrook for county commission, Melvin Robinson for state house and any other Democrat I choose including Barack Obama for president.

I have the best of both worlds. I can choose the least offensive of the R's in the primaries and vote for whatever candidate I believe represents me best then in the general election. Which in many cases will in fact be a member of the opposition Democratic Party because I believe we need a two party system in this state. We have only a one party system presently. Consequently, we see the abuses daily in the news of this concentration of power in the R controlled legislature. Locally, we have Paul N and Roger B in lockstep with the conservative leadership. Elder Marlin Jensen of the Seventy several years ago spoke of the need for political balance to make our state a better place. Few read it or took notice. In fact he was directed to make the speech by Elder Maxwell of the Twelve.

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