The People Want Non-Partisan School Boards

(Note: In this post, Burningham speaks in his own behalf. The point of view expressed in this blog does not necessarily represent any organization of which he is or has been a part.)   To my way of thinking, the issue is all about power! Those who desire partisan elections of school boards (state and/or local) want politicians to have the power.   Those seeking a governor appointed state board want the Governor to have the power. Those who want school board elections to remain non-partisan elections believe the power is…

An Open Letter to Parents, Utah Legislators, and Newly Elected State School Board Members Concerning Education Legislation from a Public School Educator

A few years ago I had the opportunity to lead a training for some teachers in the LA Unified School District.   The minute I set foot on campus, it was obvious that I wasn’t in Utah anymore. The training venue looked more like a lockdown facility than any high school I was accustomed to back home. The teachers were nice enough, and the training went as expected. While eating lunch with the teachers, I was asked about the school where I taught. I proudly talked about my district and the…

Here’s Why Judge Waddoups Put Another Candidate Back On The Ballot

If it wasn’t official before, it is now.  The Utah State School Board (“USBE”) nomination and election process is an absolute mess. After Judge Waddoups ruled last week to allow two candidates for the USBE back on the ballot, a third–Joel David Wright–asked the court to do the same for him and successfully got himself a place on voters’ ballots. At this point, the Utah Legislature has failed at multiple attempts to reform a board of education selection process that no one really likes, a federal court has struck down that process,…

BUZZ: Judge Waddoups Rules State School Board Election Process Unconstitutional

On Friday, Judge Clark Waddoups ruled the process by which State School Board Candidates appear on the ballot is unconstitutional, though did not give a remedy. State School Board candidates are interviewed by the Governor’s Nominating and Recruiting Committee, which selects at least three names to forward to the Governor.  The Governor then selects the two names that appear on the November ballot.  Breck England, a candidate for District 5, was eliminated following the interviews by the committee.  He quickly filed a complaint.  Pat Rusk, a candidate from District 6,…

Failed USBOE Candidate’s Viewpoint Discrimination Claim Fails the Ron Swanson Test

Breck England is complaining about viewpoint discrimination, and he is completely right…and totally wrong.   In the latest strange development in Utah’s political litigation industry, Breck England, an unsuccessful candidate for the Utah State Board of Education (USBOE), has sued the members of the USBOE nominating committee, Governor Herbert, and Lt. Governor Cox for allegedly engaging in discrimination in violation of his constitutional rights (a copy of the complaint is embedded below). The basis for England’s claim is that, during vetting process of state school board candidates, some candidates are favored…

The Strangest of Bedfellows

It has been said that politics makes the strangest of bedfellows. Every once in a while during the session the universe seems to tilt. Legislators who are fierce opponents join together for the passage or defeat of a bill. This last week saw Sen. Deidre Henderson and Sen. Jim Dabakis join sides in opposition to a bill related to the NSA center in Bluffdale.  Sometimes it is not just legislators, but lobbies.  

The Simple, The Complex, and The Convoluted – How Candidates’ Names Make Their Way to the Ballot

It seems it would be simple for a person to decide to run for office, and then for their name to appear on the ballot – and in some cases it is, but that is not the rule.  Here is a quick run down of the simple, the complex and the just plain convoluted ways by which candidates’ names appear on the ballot in Utah.