This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2007, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
With polls showing overwhelming numbers of voters poised to repeal the voucher law that was passed by the Legislature last winter, voucher advocates got so desperate Thursday they sent an e-mail from the FreeCapitalist Project offering money for pro-voucher votes in next month's referendum election.
But then someone must have let them know it usually is considered illegal to buy votes, so they sent a second e-mail several hours later retracting everything they said in the first e-mail.
The original e-mail said Parents for Choice in Education is conducting a "Friends and Family" campaign in which "advocates" are encouraged to sign up friends and relatives who commit to voting in favor of the voucher law in next month's referendum election.
If the advocate provides his or her field manager with 25 names committed to voting for vouchers and they actually vote, the advocate gets $10 per person, or $250 for the 25 names, the e-mail said. Plus, the advocate will get $10 for each voter they get beyond the 25.
The contacts for the program were listed as Brandon Dupuis and Jim Speth, PCE field managers for northern and southern Utah, respectively.
So, as the old saying goes (a bit amended): If you can't dazzle them with your brilliance, baffle them with a bribe.
But then came the Oops!
"Retraction," the second e-mail boomed.
"We apologize for the previous e-mail . . . . It was simply incorrect and misrepresents the Free Capitalist Projects' grass-roots efforts. Neither Parents for Choice in Education nor the Free Capitalist Project will ever provide incentives that appear to pay people to vote. The earlier e-mail was sent by determined and sincere individuals who are working diligently, but the Free Capitalist Project and Parents for Choice in Education did not approve, authorize or see the e-mail in advance."
Enforcement or entrapment? Scott Smith of Mona says when he, his father and brother went to Spanish Fork to buy carpet Tuesday, they nearly hit a man in a crosswalk on Main Street.
They immediately were pulled over by a police officer and his brother was given a $100 ticket.
Smith says that ticket was legitimate.
But when they went to the carpet store, they noticed the man they almost hit walking in another crosswalk - several times.
As cars went through, they were pulled over by waiting squad cars.
Smith maintains many of those cars were nearly in the intersection when the man, who turned out to be a cop, started walking, and that made it nearly impossible for them to stop in time.
Spanish Fork police spokesman Steve Adams says 15 motorists were caught violating the law against passing through a pedestrian-occupied crosswalk during the hour-long operation.
He says the city wanted to increase awareness of the crosswalk law since a number of people will be walking throughout the business district later this month for the Halloween event.
Adams says the motorists who were cited were all at least 100 feet from the intersection when the officer began walking - an estimate disputed by the Smiths.