Why I believe candidate Steve Baugh should not be elected

Steve Baugh is a man who is appreciated by many in our community for his years of service as a teacher and former superintendent of Alpine School District (ASD). I have met Mr. Baugh once at an ASD function and he’s a very pleasant individual. However, now that he is entering the political arena running as a candidate for the Utah House of Representatives, it is fair to look at some of the decisions he has made and associations he has entered into to determine what type of person we would be electing to the legislature. I think when you consider the information below, you will come to the conclusion that although we may agree on many things, Mr. Baugh doesn’t represent the traditional values we hold dear in Utah county.

INVESTIGATIONS MATH

On his candidate website, he lists his first pledge as “Trust me to fight for world-class education for all children.” It is disappointing that he would lead off with this when he was the superintendent of Alpine School District who initiated the process of bringing residents the disastrous Investigations math program. Not a good foot to start on. Nor is it positive that his CITES organization (detailed below) pushes constructivist math in all their training.

EMPLOYMENT & JOHN GOODLAD ASSOCIATION

Mr. Baugh seems intentionally vague on his website about his current employment. He merely states “I am an associate professor of educational leadership at BYU where I direct a school-university partnership centered in the school of education.”

To be specific, Steve Baugh is the director of CITES, the Center for the Improvement of Teacher Education and Schooling. This organization disseminates John Goodlad’s “Agenda for Education in a Democracy,” to teachers and administrators in several surrounding school districts which are part of the BYU-PSP (Public School Partnership).

John Goodlad is a dangerous man as anyone that has read this website knows. He is in favor of the fundamental transformation of America from a republic to socialism and emphasizes teaching people the humanistic philosophy of moral relativism (ex. since there is no God and no absolutes we should democratically vote on morals, knowledge, patriotism, etc…). Reinforcing this notion is the fact that Goodlad has invited Bill Ayers the terrorist turned educator to be the keynote speaker at his October NNER conference (National Network for Educational Renewal).

How tied is Mr. Baugh to Goodlad? From the research section of Mr. Baugh’s bio page (http://education.byu.edu/edlf/faculty/baugh_steven.html) on BYU’s website, he lists,

“Moral Dimensions of Teaching. I am interested in the moral dimensions of teaching as identified by Dr. John Goodlad and his associates. Included in this interest are issues of how to help people develop a deeper understanding of the moral dimensions and then to use that understanding to make applications in their work for the benefit of both adults and children.”

Really Mr. Baugh? One of John Goodlad’s “Moral Dimensions” is “Enculturating the young in a social and political democracy.” A social democracy is defined as the gradual transformation of a capitalist society to a democratic welfare state and I believe we should not come anywhere near indoctrinating our children into that philosophy.

Here’s a few quotes from Mr. Goodlad related to his “moral dimensions of teaching” (footnote references at the end):

  • Most youth still hold the same values of their parents… if we do not alter this pattern, if we don’t resocialize, our system will decay.” (1)
  • Parents do not own their children. They have no ‘natural right’ to control their education fully.” (2)
  • “The curriculum of the future ‘will be what one might call the humanistic curriculum.’” (3)
  • Enlightened social engineering is required to face situations that demand global action now.” (4)
  • “…the state we should strive for is better described in Deweyan terms as a social democracy.” (5)
  • “…educators must resist the quest for certainty.  If there were certainty there would be no scientific advancement. So it is with morals and patriotism.” (6)
  • Education is a task for both parents and state. The state, parents, and children all have interests that must be protected.” (7)

This sounds like a nightmare scenario for God-fearing parents.

Utah, with less than 1% of the nation’s population, has the rare and unfortunate distinction of possessing 13% of the nation’s AED Scholars (Goodlad’s national title for those fully indoctrinated in his “Agenda for Education in a Democracy” effort). Mr. Baugh is one of these special recipients along with another member of the McKay School of Education at BYU, and 2 others who are administrators at Alpine School District. Why Mr. Baugh doesn’t cite this distinction on his campaign website isn’t surprising when you understand the controversy. (http://education.byu.edu/news/2007/01/01/aed-scholars/)

How involved is Mr. Baugh with Goodlad’s organizations? Very. Over the years he has presented at Goodlad conferences and been very involved. In 2009 he was on the planning committee for Goodlad’s NNER conference that year (National Network for Educational Renewal). He was on an expert study panel that presented at the conference; he presented with others on the democratic purpose of schooling; and he presented “A Continuing Struggle for a Center of Pedagogy: The Evolution of CITES at Brigham Young University.” (lets hope the struggle continues…)(from http://depts.washington.edu/nner2009/nner_program.pdf)

“Well,” say those who embrace Goodlad and understand his philosophies, “we only take the good and reject the bad.” The problem is, by associating with someone known to have radically *bad* ideas, it gives credence to their organization to be able to say, “well even the people at the McKay School of Education and Alpine School District administration embrace Goodlad so you should too.” This promotes the full philosophy to those that never look into the true Goodlad Agenda.

CITES FINANCIAL CONCERNS

Two years ago (January 2008) I discovered on www.UtahsRight.com that ASD had 3 employees identified not as teachers or administrators, but had positions labeled “1,” “2,” and “3.” I had no idea what that meant since everyone else had a title, so I Googled the names and discovered that although ASD had these three on payroll, they actually worked for CITES at BYU. I don’t know if they were getting a BYU salary in addition to this salary, but they were making between $41,000 and $66,000. Two years later, the UtahsRight.com site shows these individuals now work for ASD, two of them as teachers and one as a principal. I’m honestly not sure what has transpired over the past couple years but I am curious to know why they were on ASD’s salary but working for CITES, and now they are apparently working for ASD. They now make between $50,000 and $74,000. Not bad promotions for a down economy.

CITES has received public grant funds but haven’t cooperated in showing where that money has gone. Senator Margaret Dayton has gone to great lengths to find out what happened to this money and she has been stonewalled at every turn. Why aren’t these public funds being instantly revealed? They aren’t private grants, they are public tax dollars and the public has a right to know how they’re being spent and if it’s in accordance with the reason for which they were applied.

This following table provided by the Utah State Office of the Legislative Fiscal Analyst shows self-reported funds these “Public School Partnership” districts have received from local and federal sources and then sent to CITES during the last couple years. I have reorganized the chart for formatting purposes in this document. I do not know why there is such a large discrepancy between districts, but if ASD was indeed paying salaries for CITES employees, those dollars are not included in the totals below.

Brigham Young University
Center for the Improvement of Teacher Education & Schooling (CITES)
School District Funding to CITES

2008-2009 Funding School District*

District Local Federal Total
Alpine $ 29,180 $ 12,050 $ 41,230
Jordan $ 143,698 $ 143,698
Nebo $ 71,375
Provo $ 20,000 $ 507,027 $ 527,027
Wasatch $ 31,250 $ 31,250
Total $ 227,998 $ 532,527 $ 831,900

2009-2010 Funding

District Local Federal Total
Alpine $ 29,180 $ 12,050 $ 41,230
Jordan $ 73,718 $ 73,718
Nebo $ 71,375
Provo $ 10,730 $ 380,957 $ 391,687
Wasatch $ 8,755 $ 8,755
Total $ 122,383 $ 393,007 $ 568,455

*Note: Information is selfreported by school districts. No information was included by Nebo SD on their mix of funds

Prepared by Office of the Legislative Fiscal Analyst, 05/2010 PL

These charts make one wonder about a lot of things related to this “partnership” and what’s really happening with the public tax dollars being funneled to CITES by our school districts. Nice transparency with our tax dollars. Regardless of what’s actually happening, it smells bad and is perhaps another reason Mr. Baugh doesn’t list his association as the CITES director on his campaign website.

UTAH CITIZENS ETHICS INITIATIVE

However, these things all pale in comparison to what I consider the most troubling aspect of Mr. Baugh’s public statements, that of his support of the Citizens Ethics Initiative (http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700014368/Former-Alpine-school-chief-Steven-Baugh-running-for-Utah-Legislature.html).

Standing outside your local grocery stores you may have seen individuals asking people if they want ethics in our government. “Of course” is the constant reply. “Then sign here” comes the workers’ response. Those unfortunate enough to sign onto the document don’t realize they are signing away their government into the hands of political elitists who would transformation Utah into an oligarchy.

What is this “ethics initiative?” Anyone who has read the proposed language should be shocked enough to never sign onto it, but those who have endorsed it openly and seek public office after such openness should be rejected by the voters by a wide margin.

A few details about the initiative should illustrate why there is concern.

  1. Gives the writers of the initiative power to select who sits on the ethics committee if the Republicans and Democrats in the legislature can’t agree. (ie. A stalemate means those who support the bill writers win)
  2. Once on the committee, you can’t be removed except by death or your choice.
  3. The committee is able to investigate both current and past legislators.
  4. The commission can issue subpoenas.
  5. Legislators must disclose client lists even if they would be protected under a professional client confidentiality agreement.
  6. The independence of the ethics committee cannot be threatened (ie. Funding cuts) or impaired without violating the bill so they become the untouchables.
  7. Once a person is accused of a violation, they may not participate in the proceedings, but the accusers CAN.
  8. The committee is not subject to judicial review and the Attorney General is forbidden from imposing him/herself into a role as counsel for the commission.

The constitutional thieves that wrote this bill should be run out of state on a rail. They’re better suited to a life in a communist dictatorship than to live in a free country.

For more information see http://www.unethicalreform.org/.

CONCLUSION

While I’m sure Mr. Baugh and I would agree on so much more than we disagree on, the above items are so troubling that I could never vote for an individual who has been involved in such activities and associations. I encourage you to re-elect Representative Stephen Sandstrom rather than bring Mr. Baugh into power where his philosophical views would carry an even stronger statewide weight.

Sincerely,

Oak Norton


John Goodlad quote references:

1) John Goodlad, “Report of Task Force C: Strategies for Change,” Schooling for the Future, a report to the President’s Commission on Schools Finance, Issue #9, 1971
2) John Goodlad, Roger Soder & Timothy McMannon, “Developing Democratic Character in the Young”, pg. 164
3) John Goodlad, “Directions of Curriculum Change”, The NEA Journal, March 1966
4) John Goodlad, “Schooling for a Global Age,” pg. xiii
5) John Goodlad, “Developing Democratic Character in the Young”, 2001, pg. 153
6) John Goodlad, Corinne Mantle-Bromley, Stephen John Goodlad, “Education for Everyone: Agenda for Education in a Democracy”, Woods Learning Center, pg. 6
7) John Goodlad, “Developing Democratic Character in the Young”, 2001, pg. 164

43 Responses to “Why I believe candidate Steve Baugh should not be elected”

  • Guest:

    What bothers me the most of all the disturbing issues in this article is that a Senator, Margaret Dayton, can’t find out where the public grants funds have gone! What could possibly be the reason for keeping this funding secret? And WHO is controlling the information. We REALLY need a change in ASD!!

  • Anonymous:

    I agree with the above comment, however, this funding isn’t being kept secret, it’s just that we, as citizens, aren’t willing to put in the time to get the information for ourselves. We have got to stop asking information to be spoon fed to us! If we want the whole story, then we are going to have to go to the sources ourselves and stop allowing others to report to us. We have done that for too long. That’s why the media and the government are the way they are because we just take the information they dole out as the truth. We now know that we can’t trust the media or the government to give the whole truth. They have their own interests to protect and they don’t want to tell us the “WHOLE truth and NOTHING but the truth”. So help us, God!

  • JM:

    cea7of9, I nominate you to go get it.

  • ksev:

    Our complacency has led to these liberty thieves getting into our schools. After we defeat them in seeking political office, we need to systematically, search them out and remove them from our school systems. Or better yet, let’s just get vouchers in place, and parents can choose the education of their choice. What a concept, freedom of education in the land of the free.

  • Anonymous:

    Touché, JM! It is true that what I say also applies to me and I am just as dissatisfied with the media and government as anyone. I do go to find the truth out as much as I possibly can using resources such as Oaks’ website and the PCE news letter. However, other people like Oaks go a step further and let others know of their findings. I am not as committed as that!

    I do prefer to go to the source but that is not always possible for my time restraints. Yet, if I felt that I did not have reliable sources or that the current sources I employ were losing their reliability, I would make every effort to find the sources myself.

    Thank you, JM! It is important that we keep everyone on their toes! We need to not allow ourselves to ever become complacent again.

  • Lewis B:

    …and the conspiracy deepens!

  • Jarmill:

    …and the conspiracy continues.

    When we allow tyranny in any form to take power, we always regret it in the long run, no matter how beneficial the short run. When the wicked rule, the people mourn.

    When Gov assumed/usurped the authority to educate or school our children, at that instant the freedom and control was lost. Gov schools will never be the real solution. Vouchers are a start, but far from real choice and freedom. To force people to pay for your or my child’s education is wrong. They pay whether they want to or not.

    These grants are just gov welfare to promote their agenda. Those who have the power to control these purse strings feel as though they are doing much good. But the basic premise is starting from the wrong side of the tracks, and no amount of good people trying to do good with forced contributions makes it right. It is still forced payment.

    I wish that we were a more free thinking society, especially considering our roots in the early history of Utah, where education was by community promotion, not gov mandated. Once the feds forced the Utah territory to include gov schools in the Utah constitution, to draw power away from the people, the end result is much corruption and sorrow. There are some very good people in the system, who try hard to accomplish much good. Even with these good people, the system suffers from much corruption. Imagine how completely degraded schools would be if left to those who aren’t good, but like the power and money anyway.

    Give power back to the parents. Let the parents control the education of their children. Stop punishing them for trying to educate their own.

  • Lewis B:

    Jarmill, the parents have always had control. The problem is that what one parent wants is not necessarily what another parent wants and therefore they enlist the help of their favorite politicians to take up their cause. The people caught in the middle are the teachers who face a “darned if you do and darned if you don’t” public. I think that many of the problems in public education are because of the public and the various public viewpoints that compete for dominance.

    I watched a special on Fox News about the writing of the Texas Education standards and it was really quite sad that political partisanship dominated the discussions and the subsequent standards. Rather than decide what was important for kids to know, they were arguing over whether or not the standards conformed to specific political party platforms. Politics and politicians at state or national levels should not involve themselves in the education of children. Schools should be run by local school boards that represent the local community.

  • Therabird:

    Something everyone should know about Steve Baugh. He was my principal at American Fork High School. I taught under him one year and then transferred to Pleasant Grove Jr. High. I changed schools because Steve Baugh refused to let me fail some students. He called me in his office and told me I could not fail a certain student. I told him that if I could not fail that student I would not fail anyone as it would not be fair to fail some and not others if they didn’t pass. A couple of hours later, he came into my room and told me that I could fail that student. I found out later that he had gone into the counselor’s office and told them to pass that student anyway.

    If a student is absent and can’t take a test for a certain reason, it is required by Alpine School District rules to give that student a 2nd chance to make up the test. On the last day of school ( the year I transferred) I told a certain student, who had already had a chance to make up the test, that she could come in after school and make it up. She said that she had to make one up in biology and that biology was more important than English so she would not come in. During the summer the assistant principal called me in to say that Mr. Baugh wanted me to come to the school and give that student the test. I told the Asst. that she had already had several chances to make up the test so she called Dr.Baugh and told me that he said that I had to give her the test again.
    I did as I was told, but she failed. I was told later that Dr. Baugh gave instructions to the counsellors to pass her anyway. I don’t think that a person should be in the state legislature or in any position of leadership when he has no integrity. That was dishonest and not fair to the other students who failed.

  • So because they finally got a conservative majority on the board in Texas they are now playing political games but for decades of liberal control that wasn’t partisan? The standards weren’t political, they were fact based. We are a Constitutional Republic and they put that in. They added in a ton more minorities to study about that greatly influenced our nation’s history. You are concerned about one thing, McCarthy and the Venona papers. Have you read through the standards? Please do, they are among the best available in the country for teaching students about the various events and heroes of our country.

  • Steve:

    Paaaaleeeezzz,
    people you know that Mr. Baugh is running as a Democrat. Jesus wouldnt be elected in Utah county as a Democrat. This blog doesnt have anything to do with Mr. Baugh as a representative to the Utah House, it is an excuse to belittle and berate and whine about the Alpine School District and any one else who doesnt agree with Oak Norton.

  • I don’t agree with you Steve and I don’t belittle or berate you. Although I think Mr. Baugh is a nice guy, he’s signed onto a dangerous ethics initiative, blocked an audit by a sitting senator, and put Investigations math into ASD years ago. CITES needs audited. Not only that, it appears that he had somewhat unethical behavior from the above teacher comment. That’s pretty alarming, don’t you agree?

  • Steve:

    Nope, I dont agree. You have just made the statement about Mr. Baugh being a nice guy after spending a considerable amount of space belittling and berating him. The above teacher comment can be evidence against Mr. Baugh? If someone makes a statement in an internet blog then it must be true? I dont even know much about Mr. Baugh, but what I do know is that I get a little tired of people using words like “dangerous ethics initiative” for the purpose of invoking fear in the minds of people who think everything is a result of some conspiracy.

  • Nope Steve, just because you may like the ethics initiative because of your beliefs, I have read the initiative and find it quite dangerous to our liberties in what it sets up. As for the teacher comment, I have contacted her and she has another witness and they are debating what to do. It’s also untrue that I made little of Mr. Baugh. Pointing out someone’s actions and saying it needs investigated is hardly belittling. I guess your question asking if I gave Vern’s son a pass because he was conservative, doesn’t work the other way for you. Mr. Baugh is a liberal so everything he does gets a pass and your full support, eh? :)

  • Steve:

    I stated that I dont know much about Mr. Baugh, his politics, or much else. I just have a hard time with your methods Oak. By the way which of John Goodlad’s 12 major goals of American Schools dont you agree with?

  • Therabird:

    Many people don’t believe that some schools don’t teach that the US is a Republic. After retiring from teaching I used to sub teach. At one Jr. high I noticed (when I was returning tests) that the teacher had marked wrong when the students had answered the question “What kind of govt did the Founding Fathers set up in the US.?” The students who answered a Republic, the teacher marked it wrong. I couldn’t believe it. In the Pledge of Allegiance. we say. ” …and to the Republic for which it stands…..”

    Another time, my son who was in 6th grade, missed the school bus when we stayed after to tell the teacher she was wrong when she said that our Govt. was a democracy.

    I never taught history, but when I gave my students a theme to write, I would ask them to write whether we lived in a Democracy or a Republic.

  • Lewis B:

    I have been reading some standards and there are some that are factually incorrect. I also find it interesting in the World History/World Geography standards they take out the names of some countries and substitute Texas or the U.S. as examples to be taught. Only in Texas would they think that Texas should be included in a course about the world. Wouldn’t it be better to teach students about places they don’t know about in the world rather than Texas? I’m am currently creating a list of odd things found in the Texas social studies standards that are clearly partisan or political in nature that are obvious efforts at indoctrination. Don’t get me wrong. They rightly took out liberal political concepts/ideas, but unfortunately replaced them with conservative ones. They even dumbed-down higher level thinking language in order to discourage debate over various political topics. Very enlightening reading though and give more reasons why education should not be left in the hands of agenda-driven bickering politicians and partisans who are waging war to see who can “control the past.”

  • Lewis B:

    Steve, no sense in arguing with Oak. He is always right.

  • Lewis B:

    I can see this in elementary, where teachers don’t specialize in any particular topic and can get confused by the modern lexicon or use of the word “democracy.” I doubt it is part of a Goodladian-ASD-BYU-Ayers-Dewey-Marx conspiracy though. These types of problems result from knowing little about U.S. History and Government by a baby-faced teacher straight out of university.

  • Aww shucks Lewis. I just posted a writeup that I was clearly in the wrong and I even said it probably wouldn’t satisfy you, and….hey, I was RIGHT! Wow, I guess you are right. ;)

  • Lewis B:

    You are right, it doesn’t satisfy me. When I first read your blog about being wrong and the Herald right, I was disappointed. For a hopeful moment, I though you were going to admit to being wrong about a conclusion you have drawn about someone, a line of reasoning, or something like that. Instead, you admit to being wrong about giving ASD a pass for once (just when I thought you were growing a heart). You call it a mistake, I call it returning to the same old ways of Oak Norton. I’m sure that whatever you conclude about the Henshaw’s will be unwavering as usual, like all the conclusions you have come to.

  • Well Lewis, I’m not sure you’ve ever shown me to be wrong on this forum. You’ve speculated like crazy about what you think I believe and posted it as if it were factual. You’ve even been proven completely wrong on several occasions and never once admitted it, so I guess I’m in good company. :)

    As for the information on Mr. Baugh, dispute or disprove it. It’s factual information, not a personal attack. When someone runs for office they open their life up to examination and I’m doing my due diligence of examining a candidate and have found him to have issues I find disturbing. Publishing those findings is absolutely essential for others to find the truth about someone’s character and if they are fit for public office. I do not believe Mr. Baugh should be elected for the reasons above. Give me one good reason why it’s inappropriate to publish this information. I can’t believe you’re not honest enough to admit the information is disturbing.

  • Curtis_blanco:

    I agree with Oak on this one, Steve Baugh should not be elected. Any educator who is in favor of investigations math should not be elected to school board or the legislature.

    However the comment by Steve Baugh, ““Parents do not own their children. They have no ‘natural right’ to control their education fully.” , is correct. If parents want to teach investigations math to their children instead of quality math, this is tanamount to child abuse, the state should step in and stop it. — The reality is though, it is the parents who have a clue on this one, not the state for the most part. But the idea of the state stepping in when parents fall short, in such a severe manner is a valid one.

    If parents want to pass on the tradition of racial discrimination to their children, the state has the obligation to step in and let the children know the error or their parents ways.

  • Curtis, Steve Baugh didn’t say that, John Goodlad said that, but Steve is one of 30 national John Goodlad “AED Scholars” (Agenda for Education in a Democracy). Further, that statement is not correct. Goodlad’s premise for the statement is to separate children from parents in order to indoctrinate them in socialism and to take their parents values and shred them. It’s a national indoctrination effort which Bill Ayers and John Goodlad are both in favor of.

  • Lewis B:

    I’ve conceded many points to you. It is your conclusions and courses of action that I have a difficult time stomaching.

    Also, I have never said you can’t publish information. This is your website and you can publish what you want. I’ve said that before.

    I have to laugh though at your versions of the “truth.” I just find it hard to believe that Baugh doesn’t have any redeeming qualities or positive qualities. You continually focus on the negative and purposely look for attributes that might come into conflict with your utopian world view. You praise those who have nothing good to say on the forum about Baugh and excoriate or belittle those who question your viewpoints. For instance, you claim that I’m not honest because I’m not admitting that your Baugh connections are not disturbing. The truth is that I’ve never even engaged in the debate about Baugh on this thread. Instead, I’ve tried to make you the center of the debate. I’m trying to discover more about the man who connects the dots about others and makes final judgments and innuendos for others to adopt. You see, when someone such as yourself is running ahead of the pack and encouraging others to follow his lead, I tend to stop and analyze that person, trying to discover motives, logic, rationales, agendas, retributions, etc. While many may blindly follow, I do the opposite. Yes, I do find your web of connections interesting and of further study, but your conclusions often take a leap of faith. I can play the same game. I can say that you are a connected to the conspiracy theory laden JBS by your associations with Gayle Ruzicka of the Utah Chapter of the Eagle Forum who is connected to Phyllis Schlafly (founder of the Eagle Forum) who is connected to the John Birch Society as a charter member. Your use of Ezra Taft Benson’s political quotes made while he was connected to the JBS is further evidence of your connections to an organization that is known for its outlandish conspiracy theories and extremist conservative politics. Your endorsement of the Texas Education Standards that incorporated right wing political ideologies into learning standards which also require students to learn about Phyllis Schlafly is further evidence of your guilt by mere association. However, despite all these “disturbing” things I’m learning about you, I’m not willing to make the leap that you so easily make. Even though you cite, quote, and support JBS connected people, I cannot say that you are a member of the JBS or support all of their agendas, however; from reading your diatribe of Steven Baugh, you are no doubt trying to say that he is on the same page as Bill Ayers and Karl Marx. In fact, you might as well say that Baugh is a Marxist Communist because you infer as much.

    What I’m trying to say, Oak, is that you are a playing the game by a set of rules that you don’t want others to play by.

    I do want you to know that despite our sometimes heated debates, I do not personally dislike you. I understand your concerns and your opinions and I believe there is some validity to them, but they often just go too far and frequently to the point of a hysterical absurdity. I can respect your opinion about not electing Baugh on the grounds of his support for investigations math, but not electing him because he communes with former domestic terrorists such as Bill Ayers is just too much of a stretch for most grounded people.

    I’m really not sure why you are afraid of someone running as a Democrat in Utah County any way. I’ve always postulated that Utah County folks will elect the most corrupt of individuals if he/she has an (R) next to his/her name. I’ve been proven right every single election. Don’t Utah County Republicans vote straight party ticket about 90% of the time? It is obvious that voters here don’t care much about the person, just the platform. That is probably why we have seen so much corruption in state government lately. The politicians know that barring any moral issues, they can get elected despite money-related corruption. That is also why I’m against any politicization of school board elections. The last thing we need is to have our school districts run by partisans without any effective checks and balances by voters who have been blinded by party loyalty.

  • Lewis, I don’t believe you’ve ever conceded a point on this forum, but regardless, you have no problem drawing conclusions about me out of thin air. You’ve done it repeatedly trying to make inferences that were way off base.

    As for Mr. Baugh, you’ve clearly done this again. Instead of reading my letter for what it is, you’re grasping at straws saying I’m trying to make him into Bill Ayers. Read the first and last paragraph and then feel free to post another distortion of my views.

    As for my “versions of the truth”, I don’t believe you’ve ever shown me a contradiction of any fact I’ve published on this website. If you have, please share it with me. You and a couple others post plenty of things distorting what I’ve said or trying to contradict me, but arguing the facts has rarely even happened. Consider the post you just made that I’m replying to. As you said, it’s all about me, not the facts of the post.

    As for the JBS and Eagle Forum and President Benson, they’re all great organizations and people. The Texas Standards are one of the biggest improvements in standards we’ve had in the last century. If there’s a few “right wing” items, then it’s just amazing they’re actually in there after decades of left wing ideology.

    By the way, the 10 minute “Republic vs. Democracy” clip on this website was actually produced by the JBS organization who by the way, has been right about things far more than they’ve been wrong. It’s taken decades for people to come to realize that both parties are destroying the constitution and subverting our government. They’ve been shouting that from the rooftops way before it was publicly visible.

    On partisan races for school boards, I believe we absolutely need them to be partisan. Right now nobody checks on the qualifications of a school board candidate. These races don’t produce TV ads and radio spots. They’re low budget races. People typically don’t even know who is running in their area until they walk into the booth and see whose name they recognize from signs they’ve seen. At least if the races were partisan, hundreds of delegates would examine a candidate and ask questions and make an informed decision. Then those candidates could go to the ballot through a vetting process.

    Here’s a couple case-in-points.

    Mark Cluff, state school board member loses his last election to a woman who didn’t put up ANY signs, and whose solely campaigning effort was standing in front of Walmart on a couple Saturdays for a couple hours passing out little cards. Mark had signs up and spoke with people as well, but the woman’s name was first on the ballot so people that walked into the booth checked off her name and she just edged Mark.

    Another example, in my area in the primary earlier this year, Zonda Perry who had signs up all around the area received less votes than Suzanne Tingey who decided not to run but didn’t pull out in time to get her name off the ballot. Zonda attended a public debate and had a good platform, but the public walked into the voting booth and because Zonda was down the list further, she got marginalized even though she would have made a great board member.

    The public doesn’t take an interest in non-partisan races. They see the big names and the little ones get right through without any type of vetting process, yet these people are the ones who determine our future. School boards influence the rising generation by allowing their heads to be filled by what the district teaches. I am 100% for making school board races partisan. In Utah County I think there are ~800 delegates in the Republican party alone. Delegates dig into the issues where the public does not. It’s actually republican government at work by electing representatives (the delegates) to dig into the issues and make an informed decision.

  • Ayn Rand:

    Amen to making school board races partisan, but I think you give too little credit to the UEA. My wife is a teacher and just today received a “Dear Friends and Colleagues” letter from the Baugh campaign. She is a registered and active Republican, and not a member of NEA/UEA, but as a teacher is an assumed supporter. More fool he…

  • guest:

    Ayn Rand was an atheist and was liberal on social issues.

  • Lewis B:

    I’m sure they take Ayn Rand out of context like they do with every thing else.

  • Lewis, I can’t even believe you post comments like this. That’s such a choice comment after you recently posted a dozen things on my intentions which were almost entirely false.

  • Visitor:

    Sorry, I’m an outsider but living close to Baugh. His neighbors emphasize an important previous church position – also evident on his website http://www.baugh4utah.com/about.php and the party website. Is a former leader cashing in on his religious service, and implying church endorsement? Ethical? Isn’t religious grandstanding the kiss of death, even in LDS politics? Another obvious possibility is that LDS citizenry regards high church position as a rite of passage, and therefore the reference is appropriate for promotion to elected office. Maybe it cuts both ways.

    Outsider view: Oak’s article shows due diligence – good references, highly opinionated, but not offensive or vulgar.

  • pleasant girl:

    I apparently live not far from Baugh. I believe this because as I drive down the street I see an amazing amount of signs for him. I don’t know anything about him except what I have read on this website. Maybe what’s been said is true and maybe it’s not. Maybe his views are of concern, maybe they aren’t. What I do know is that I have been quite happy with Sandstrom’s positions. It would be a shame to lose a man like Stephen Sandstrom.

  • pleasant girl:

    I would have no trouble not voting for my former Stake President, even if he was a “good man”, if I disagreed with his politics. It would be no different than me not wanting to vote for one of my best friends, if I disagreed with their political views. There are plenty of good and well-meaning people who are not educated on the proper role of government and ironically many of them are entrenched in the public education system.

  • Dan F Nelson:

    I find it interesting that Mr. Baugh has proliferated his potential district with “huge political signs”, but not one of those signs declares his party affilitation. Is he embaressed that he’s running on the Democratic ticket, but doesn’t really want residents of the district to understand that he supports the Democratic party he’s attached himself to?? I suspect that the majority of educators in district 58 haven’t really realized they are voting for a Democratic platform if they vote for Mr. Baugh.

  • Jm:

    I agree with pleasant girl and visitor. LDS affiliation as a sure sign that there are not enough valid reasons for election. I know plenty of people who attend the same church as I do that I would never vote for. Actually, there are some “leaders” who make it hard to attend church. I think the funniest self endorsement is that he has remained married to Kathy for these 43 years. Anyone closely associated with the family would know what an accomplishment that is. Again, not a qualifier for a legislative position. He is a die hard democrat and yet does not claim the party because he is aware of that kiss of death. I hope others will not vote for a past stake president.

  • Dougc:

    Yes, you bet that Baugh is using his past LDS church service as a campaigning tool. If I visit someone’s website and see that on the front page (as I do with Baugh) then it means that they are using it to help themselves get elected, and that is inappropriate.

    Thank you, Mr. Baugh (should I say brother Baugh?) for your past service in the LDS church. I have no doubt that you have served well. Please stop using it as an advertisement to be elected.

    Secondly, I have never seen any democrat in Utah post that information on their yard signs… not even Matheson. Perhaps some guys up in SLC can get away with putting the donkey symbol on their signs, but it is common practice in Utah County to hide the fact you are democrat. Luckily, that information is very clear on the ballot itself.

    My biggest concern is about Mr. Baugh’s educational ideas. I support public schools as much as I can, and I am a big support for public charter schools as well. Mr. Baugh and Mr. Sandstrom were recently invited to speak to 7th and 8th graders at Timpanogos charter school in Lindon. Mr. Baugh respectfully declined, and Mr. Sandstrom is excited and anxious to speak with the kids about education, immigration, and other things.

    I have heard that Mr. Baugh is not willing to meet Mr. Sandstrom in a debate. Why is that? Let’s hear them both speak on their feet!

  • Dougc:

    Sorry — in reply to my own comments, Mr. Baugh advertises his LDS service on his “About” page, not on his home page. It is still inappropriate in my opinion, but in fairness, it is not on his home page as I stated above.

  • Amen! I don’t know how most of what you deem as evil relates in anyway to Baugh’s qualifications. I have gone through the Moral Dimensions of Teaching with CITES as did many of my fellow teachers and found nothing nefarious in this philosophy of education. Give me a break!

    And what qualifications does Sandstrom have as an architect? Have you investigated him as thoroughly as you have Baugh? I find Baugh to be much more educated on the issues facing our county and certainly more qualified to hold this position.

  • Does his forcing a teacher to give a test and possibly changing a grade disqualify him for office? You are only getting one side of this issue and as a teacher, myself, I know there is more than one side.

  • Here is my comment on why Baugh might assume that teachers will vote for him. When Sandstrom ran against Valentine, he promised teachers that he would support public education. We rallied around him and got him elected over the incumbent. And what did Sandstrom do but turn around and stab us in the back and vote for vouchers! I don’t trust Sandstrom to keep his word as far as I can throw him!

  • The tradition to mention church callings has been in Utah County for years. So what? If it matters. I have never voted for anyone on the basis of his being a stake president just as don’t vote of something simply because he/she is a Republican. I vote for the person not the party.

    Oaks may have good references, but his logic is faulty.

  • If anyone is Utah County were to run against a Republican incumbent, what party should they affiliate themselves with? The Republicans run everything here. I’m a Republican and I would join the Democratic Party to get rid of a Republican.

  • […] stepping into their roles of shaping our children’s minds. CITES is an organization we have previously written up for not cooperating with an audit that Orem Senator Margaret Dayton was […]