This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Mark Besendorfer, a 60-year-old elementary school teacher, impresses on his students the importance of involvement in their representative government and tries to practice what he preaches.
So, on Jan. 25, just as the legislative session was about to begin, he wrote to his new state representative, Bruce Cutler, R-Murray, to congratulate him on his election and to urge him to properly fund public schools and support teachers.
He asked Cutler to respond to him about his education views but did not hear from the lawmaker.
On March 1, after the Republican-dominated Legislature indicated it would not meet Gov. Gary Herbert's requested increase for public education, Besendorfer again emailed Cutler on the need to support education and asked for a response.
On March 9, as the 2015 legislative session was winding down, Besendorfer emailed Cutler and invited the lawmaker to visit his classroom.
No answer. Again.
But when Besendorfer emailed Cutler on May 1, saying that he and his friends wanted to donate to the legislator's campaign, voilà, he got a response right away.
"Thanks for your email," Cutler wrote. "I am pleased to know that you are willing to support me in my re-election next year."
The legislator, who works as a software developer, then gave Besendorfer the address to his campaign website with instructions on how to click on the "donate" button and added his home address in case Besendorfer wanted to send a check.
The teacher has had a different experience with his state senator, Brian Shiozawa, also a Republican, who has responded to all his emails and addressed his concerns. Besendorfer said what makes that even more impressive is that Shiozawa is an emergency room physician, but he still takes time to respond.
Cutler told me he does not recall the earlier emails from Besendorfer. They came during the session when he received hundreds a day. The May 1 email was after the session.
"I'm a strong proponent of education," Cutler said. "I served on the Murray School Board for eight years."
The freshman lawmaker said the email offering to make a campaign contribution indicated Besendorfer taught in Canyons School District. "I had recently been recognized by the Canyons board for the work I have done for education. I thought his email was in response to that."
Cutler got back to me late in the day Thursday because he visited three schools that day, "two in Granite District and one in Murray." He said he would love to visit Besendorfer's school, too. The lawmaker also said he found the earlier emails and noted they didn't include a home address; the legislative intern likely didn't know the teacher lived in Cutler's district.
Romney-Holyfield weigh-in • Besides the Mitt Romney-Evander Holyfield fight at the Rail Event Center in Salt Lake City to raise money for the Utah-based nonprofit CharityVision on May 15, an additional fundraiser will occur the day before, when Romney, Holyfield and the pro boxers in the other bouts have their official weigh-in at Xcel Fitness, 6151 S. Highland Drive, from 6 to 8 p.m.
Proceeds from weigh-in ticket sales will go to CharityVision, a humanitarian organization founded about 20 years ago by retired Utah physician Bill Jackson. The nonprofit provides state-of-the-art medical equipment for physicians in developing nations on the condition that half the surgeries and medical services they provide go to charity patients.
The weigh-in, which includes picture opportunities with Holyfield, will be much more accessible to potential donors than the fights the next night. Tickets for the weigh-in are just $25 each, while philanthropy from the boxing matches will come from corporate sponsorships ranging from $25,000 to $250,000.
Details and ticket information can be found at xcelfitness.com. The other fights: Fereti Spitzenberg vs. Gary Cobia; Christian Nava vs. Jordan Smith; Kenton Sippio-Cook vs. Wes Capper; and Rashad Ganaway vs. Leon Spinks III.
Like father, like son • Love Communications President Tom Love will receive the American Advertising Federation of Utah's highest recognition, the Silver Medal Award, exactly 30 years after his late father, Bob Love, was honored with the same award.
It marks the second time a father and son have won the honor in the 50 years the Silver Medal has been in existence. Jack Gallivan, late publisher of The Salt Lake Tribune, won the award in 1968. Son Mickey Gallivan received the medal in 2001.
The award recognizes achievement in advertising and communications, along with furthering the industry's standards. The award will be given at the Grand America Hotel on May 21 at 11:15 a.m., followed by a luncheon and program.