"Ask not what your GOP legislator can do for you," Sen. Curt Bramble said in a rousing speech. "Ask what you can do for your GOP legislator." According to Rolly, Sen. Bramble, Rep. Greg Curtis, and other legislators held a harmless little tea party to aid their pro-voucher cause:
About 20 lobbyists were summoned to a meeting Monday by legislative leaders who urged them to roll up their sleeves and help save the voucher law.See? No pressure at all. Nothing to see here...
The meeting was held at the Utah Board of Realtors office and the lobbyists were put in the position of either committing to the pro-voucher campaign or rejecting a request from the very lawmakers they need to help pass their legislative agendas each year....
Those summoned to the meeting were asked to help defeat the November referendum that would repeal the voucher bill passed earlier this year. Most were lobbyists for business associations representing manufacturers, mining, homebuilders, small businesses, real estate agents, food retailers, trucking, the Chamber of Commerce, utilities and others.
The legislators explained to the captive audience that they were invited because their organizations were part of former Gov. Mike Leavitt's Business/Education Coalition, which issued a report in 2002 recommending various ways to improve education, including tuition tax credits for private schools.
Because their groups had already endorsed the voucher concept, the legislators said, they need to step up and help defeat those who want to repeal the law that provides up to $3,000 toward private school tuition.
They were asked to raise money for the effort and lend the names of their institutions in support of vouchers.
The lobbyists have been summoned to a follow-up breakfast meeting Thursday at the Board of Realtors to report on their fund-raising progress.