Jeremy and Bob and Marshall are already on this one, so just a quick recap. Rolly writes a column, Craig Frank questions the accuracy of his numbers, and in doing so sugar coats a gerrymander that placed him in his seat.
In his commentary, Stan points out some of the dilluted and misleading statistics Mr. Rolly used to try to flush out the perceived gerrymandering , which allegedly took place during the 2001 redistricting process.Perceived. Alleged. Here is the definition of gerrymander, and here is the definition of gas bag, and here is a district map.
Taking a look at the district map, and ask yourself were these lines drawn for better representation or for political gain? (hint: Cache Valley divisions seem a little odd, don't they? And how well represented Tooele must feel!). Then ask yourself does Craig Frank think I am this stupid?
Yes, he does. And to make matters worse, he "speaks for his constituents on the issues," claiming that voters "sent" him into service, when in fact he was appointed to fill a hole, and has simply toed the line since. Frankly (no pun intended) he could've voted for himself and won this seat. He goes on to further "represent," claiming in the comments that more than 40% his voters supported school vouchers, and therefore want change, ignoring the majority of voters who made it clear the change they want does not include the vouchers Frank so vigilantly supported. Whalla! Representation!
Where does all of this bring the fightin' 57th? Simply put, Frank has a challenger in reformed Republican, now Democrat Bryan Horn that the district may want to get to know.
Horn on abortion: Supports a ban, except in the case of rape, incest, threat to the mother. Not great here, but to his credit he ads "I will fight to increase sexual education programs in the classroom..."Despite falling a bit right for my tastes, Horn seems to hold a strong Democratic identity on many issues, while remaining largely in line with the values Pleasant Grove. More simply put; Horn is viable and electable.
Horn on marriage: "I believe every American is entitled to the God-given rights promised in the US Constitution, regardless of sexual orientation. I support legislation granting domestic partnerships in Utah."
Horn on education: "Our school system is considered of the finest in the nation. This achievement is due in no part to the actions of our government, but rather by the integrity of Utah's teachers. [...] Utah ranks last in the nation for teacher pay and per student funding. I pledge to reverse this trend and invest whatever is necessary..."
Horn on immigration: I pledge to draft legislation that will aggressively crack down on employers who knowingly hire undocumented workers. [...] We have created incentives to draw undocumented workers to our state. I believe it is a crisis that must be stopped. [...] I do not desire to break up families, but lawlessness cannot be fostered.
Admittedly, a rally of vocal support from leftist bloggers may do more damage to Horn's campaign than good, considering his district, but this by no means should hold us back in engaging him on the issues, or even throwing a bit of coin is way.
Craig Frank wants you to believe he serves by mandate, and represents the people of Pleasant Grove, who chose him above all others. Reality begs to differ. He wants you to think our leadership would never gerrymander for political gain above accurate representation. Maps beg to differ.
As a parting example, let me finish with a comparison. Consider candidate Bryan Horn's statements above on education leadership, then ponder this missive from Frank,
...I reiterate that Utah will probably never catch up to 50th; because, every time we (#51) put a half billion into education, so does Arizona (#50). Everyone’s running the same race at a similar pace.Pleasant Grove can do much better.