If you can’t cry about politics, at least you can laugh—unless you’re congressional wannabe Carl Wimmer. Wimmer has managed to draw attention to a Twitter parody of himself—@RepWimmer—by crying foul, insisting that Twitter name it a parody site. Would anyone have taken seriously that he said, “I believe Gov’t should stay out of people’s lives ... except of course women and gays”—even if it’s true? Wimmer’s whining about Twitter has inevitably drawn people to it, where you can also follow @Wimmers_Stache, which bemoans the loss of his mustache, and @Wimmerleaks, which links to WimmerLeaks.org, where you can find out he saw Atlas Shrugged paid for by a lobbyist, although he says the Trib’s Paul Rolly got that wrong.
You know the adage about insanity: You keep doing the same thing, expecting a different outcome. You could say that about the mantra from educators that Utah puts less and less money toward public education, which needs more and more. While this is a true statement, it’s gotten nowhere fast with the Legislature or the governor, who are ever so proud that Utah does “more with less.” Enter the Deseret News’ three-part series on education innovation. They’re not buying the funding dilemma because “per pupil inflation adjusted costs for primary, secondary and higher education have grown dramatically.” That they’re pondering the problem is good; that they’re coming up with stale ideas is curious. “Focus resources on student learning,” “Accept budget constraints,” “Embrace technology.” It’s the “how” that’s missing.
Kirk Jowers of the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics gets an attaboy for pushing forward with an initiative campaign to clear the path toward candidate selection in elections. Right now, candidates have to be vetted through party conventions after delegates are chosen in small caucus meetings. Jowers wants to give voters direct access to a primary, which teapartiers really don’t like. Their power lies in the ability to manipulate caucuses and the conventions. Jowers has been getting flak from a conservative donor who’s saying Jowers has been diverting donations to his personal fund, and it has nothing to do with the initiative. Whatever the coincidental timing, Jowers should continue his effort without being cowed by threats. He is a political wonk and has a right to pursue political change—especially if it peels away the layers of political flotsam.