After finishing the paperwork for the precinct caucus meeting at my home, I turned on the television to find Sen. Howard Stephenson on the news. He was lamenting about how many other meetings were scheduled for the same night. He seemed to think that because "people" had Scout meetings, church meetings, city council meetings, and Jazz tickets, the turnout at the caucuses would be small, allowing special interest groups, particularly the UEA, to turn out its members to the meetings and control the process. Dream on, Sen. Stephenson.

The arrogance of Sen. Stephenson to think that UEA has nothing better to do than stalk his every move amazes me. Unlike the senator's friends in the Eagle Forum, UEA does not go to caucus meetings to intimidate or berate those who choose to become involved.I was contacted by one of our members immediately following his Republican precinct caucus meeting. He was appalled at the process that went on in his neighborhood. Five delegates were sought from the seven people attending. He expressed a desire to be a delegate and was nominated. When it was discovered that he was a teacher and a member of UEA, a person who was not even present was nominated and elected instead.

I am proud to be a veteran teacher with 20 years of experience and a member of UEA. I became involved politically and in an association leadership position because it became increasingly evident to me that UEA was the only advocate for classroom teachers. I resent Sen. Stephenson's attempt to paint me and my colleagues as some evil, immoral force trying to destroy children and families. UEA's agenda is to advocate for teachers, promote the health and safety of children, and advance the cause of public education. If we have to be politically involved to do it, so be it.

Pat Rusk