Vote Buttars out of office

By By Logan Campbell

By Logan Campbell

John Rendell, a U student, is making an admirable run for state Senate in District 10 in West Jordan. Even if you don’t live in West Jordan, you might not shrug off Rendell’s campaign when you realize that his opponent is the infamous incumbent Sen. Chris Buttars, whom U Communication and Honors Program Professor Matt Bradley called “a patronizing, ignorant, homophobic, racist bully.”

Rendell is pursuing his MBA at the U, and also earned his bachelor’s in Information Science here. A major factor in deciding an election is name recognition. Here’s hoping that face recognition can also be a factor, because you might have passed him walking to class.

Call up your friends who are registered to vote in West Jordan and tell them to vote for John Rendell. He deserves a chance to restore integrity to the state Senate, and whether or not you live in his district, he can impact your life here on campus.

As students of a state university, we should be aware that academic freedom is not always safe on Capitol Hill.

Rendell said, “As a student at the U of U I believe in academic freedom. I don’t want Utah schools, primary or secondary, to be restricted to specific theories mandated by legislation.”

Buttars, however, has a history of enforcing his religious beliefs in government, including in our public education system. He tried to eliminate the teaching of evolution from schools, despite evidence supporting it. His reason for proposing the “Divine Design” bill was clearly religious, and he said “the only people who will be upset about this are atheists.”

Buttars said that he’s an avid defender of the Constitution, but he seems to have a basic misunderstanding of it. Our Constitution demands a separation of church and state, and it also tolerates people of all creeds, including atheists. In one bill he manages to both contradict the Constitution and prove his intolerance. He proposes religious legislation, and defends it by admitting that it will offend a certain group, as if that group were not a legitimate part of society.

Rendell said he wants to “send a message that we will no longer support or tolerate hate and intolerance in Utah. It is time to focus on what is important to District 10 and all of Utah, not on distractions.”

Buttars, on the other hand, said in a 2006 radio interview that “Brown v. Board of Education is wrong to begin with.” Brown v. Board of Education desegregated schools in 1954, and a man passing laws for our entire state believes that was the wrong thing to do.

That atrocious idea in its own right should be reason enough for Buttars to be ousted from office Tuesday. Our fellow Ute John Rendell is the candidate who can do so. Even though we might not know much about him, it is less risky to give a new guy a chance than it is to continue with a well-proven bigot.

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Logan Campbell