Thursday, September 11, 2008

Answers - Question 9

This is the ninth in a series of questions posed to the candidates in the State Senate District 23 race. To see the previous questions in this series, please go to

9) Are there any changes that you would like to see made in relation to charter schools?

Republican - Dan Liljenquist:

With 30,000+ students on charter school waiting lists, I am in favor of expanding the reach of charter schools as fast as possible. I would like to see permanent funding mechanisms put in place for charter schools to ensure their ongoing success.

Democrat - Richard Watson:

When a new charter school is proposed, we would be better served if we take away the conflict-of-interests any legislator has when building a new school.


David said...


Do you have any suggestion on how to remove any conflict of interest?

Richard Watson said...

I do. Right now, Legislators are required to report any conflict of interests before voting on a bill in the session. However, the rules are rarely enforced. In the next session, I will bring up the rules and bug the leadership to comply with those rules. But in reality, the current ethics rules and laws for lawmakers should be scraped. And then, as a body of government, we should start over and start from scratch as we write new laws and new legislative rules. This will probably take a couple of years and few lawmakers are willing to tackle the problem. But, as an elected official, I will take on the problem and I will push for changes. I know the general feeling is that once elected, I will become a "politician". If I only last one term because of "stirring the pot" or "ruffling a few feathers", so be it. I'm not in this race for political gain or power. So many people are tired of our lawmakers not caring and are more concerned about themselves. That attitude needs to change and I want to be a part of the change.