Monday, November 06, 2006

Christening the New Government

Whatever happens on Tuesday, we can be sure that a sizable chunk of the populace will be disappointed in the results. Just as we are certain that, many will be indifferent, although they weighed in for one candidate, or one ballot initiative-perhaps, without thinking, in the booth.

For those of us who care about whom is elected, let me offer this one positive outlook. No matter which individual takes office in January. No matter which party marks the win, or which special interest group, our government is never divorced from our influence. It isn't some Cruise ship that comes ashore, only, every two years for a visit. We are in this government. It is a part of us, not we of it.

Think of what could have happened, in recent years, if certain elected officials got their way.
  • 138% tax increase
  • NSL becomes Orchard Hills
  • No "Legacy Highway"
  • Constitutional Flag burning amendment
Now what about the future? What more could we, the electorate, do?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Question the Candidates

I have been asked to post the following Q&A's on several of our County and State Candidates. The submitter asked that I keep them anonymous, and I'll respect that. For those of you, my readers, that have an insight into whom this might be, please keep it to yourselves.

I've modified the format, slightly, for stylistic purposes.

Candidates, feel free to offer corrections, and additions in the comments. If I were subject to the same rules as the MSM, I would, probably, not post the comments from candidates that came unanswered by the opposition, but I am not subject to those rules. Therefore, one Commission Candidate(Miller) gets a free ride. I invite his opponent(Millburn) to respond, as is his right. Anyway, I've covered a lot on Millburn, and Miller on this blog, so I don't feel terrible about this post. As it stands, this late in the game, it's a little unfair to expect an immediate response from anyone, if we also expect the candidates to be hitting the pavement, and knocking on doors. A week before the election, all good candidates should be very hard to reach, open-door policies notwithstanding.

Submitted by: Anonymous



1. There will be quite a bit of pressure from many groups regarding projects/programs which would require tax monies. How, as commissioner, would you do to determine when to place a proposition on the ballot vs. when to tell the group to go out to the community to either collect the funds necessary themselves or gather the requisite signatures to place the initiative on the ballot themselves? Feelings on a RAP tax?

2. What do you consider/define “core functions of government”?

3. When should tax increases be considered? What criteria would you use to cut spending/programs? Are there any you would cut now?

4. How would you address the senior center/flood control issues?

Identity Theft (this also, somewhat, ties into illegal immigration)

5. Would you support requiring the county to verify (using free Federal Programs) the SSN of new hires as well as requiring those to whom the county contracts to?

STATE HOUSE: Questions


1. What would you propose to do with a tax surplus?

2. What do you consider/define “core functions of government”?


3. What do you propose to do regarding granting of in-state tuition for illegal immigrants?

4. What do you propose to do regarding granting of driver privilege cards?

ID Theft

5. Would you support requiring the State/Businesses to verify the SSN of those they hire (using free Federal programs)?


6. What are your attitudes regarding the funding of public education and tuition tax credits/vouchers?

Gas Prices

7. Do you feel price gouging is occurring? Why/Why not?


8. What are you feelings regarding concealed weapons permit issues (in schools etc etc)


Bret Millburn (Seat A – Republican)

***Unable to reach. Bad luck on my part (whenever I called, no one was home!)?***

Rob Miller (Seat A – Democrat)

Q1. There will be quite a bit of pressure from many groups regarding projects/programs which would require tax monies. How, as commissioner, would you do to determine when to place a proposition on the ballot vs. when to tell the group to go out to the community to either collect the funds necessary themselves or gather the requisite signatures to place the initiative on the ballot themselves? Feelings on a RAP tax?

A1. There is an established procedure for ballot issues. Not sure of details but current commission follows it. However, if it is an issue with strong support it is worth studying. RAP tax isn't necessary but is a quality of life issue and would support placing it on the ballot. Emphasized that he doesn't want to raise taxes but taxes are needed for certain issues. Doesn't believe taxes are the answer to everything. Noted that he went into a business that was losing $40K/month – he cut the waste and turned it into a profitable operation. Would bring that same mentality to the commission. Trim fat first before looking at taxes.

Q2. What do you consider/define “core functions of government”?

A2. Flood control, infrastructure, roads, Dept of Health, corridor preservation. Shouldn't legislate morality nor be anti-business. Some social services are appropriate: meth is a growing problem and treatment would be cheaper and more effective than simply housing a prisoner (noted SL Co. found it cost $10/day? in a recovery program rather than $80/day? in prison. Obviously not all meth users etc would qualify for recovery – certain criteria would have to be met.

Q3. When should tax increases be considered? What criteria would you use to cut spending/programs? Are there any you would cut now?

A3. Doesn't believe in protecting people from themselves – RAP is Ok if people are happy with it and willing to pay. Go back East to see how high property taxes can be. Pledged that he would NOT vote for new property taxes during his 4 year term.

Q4. How would you address the senior center/flood control issues?

A4. ***My bad – I forgot to ask him about the flood control/senior issues – Sorry!!!***

Q5. Would you support requiring the county to verify (using free Federal Programs) the SSN of new hires as well as requiring those to whom the county contracts to?

A5. Fully supports requiring county and contractor SSN verification.

Louenda Downs (Seat B – Republican)

Q1. There will be quite a bit of pressure from many groups regarding projects/programs which would require tax monies. How, as commissioner, would you do to determine when to place a proposition on the ballot vs. when to tell the group to go out to the community to either collect the funds necessary themselves or gather the requisite signatures to place the initiative on the ballot themselves? Feelings on a RAP tax?

A1. [Specifically addressed RAP tax as an example]. First ask, do citizens want it and is great interest expressed – if so support placing on ballot, but would understand that commission must be willing to 'take heat' for doing so. Wouldn't support placing every request on a ballot. Also, proposals must demonstrate that they wouldn't over-burden taxpayers.

Q2. What do you consider/define “core functions of government”?

A2. State/Fed constitutions define to a point. Essentially represent the people and provide services necessary spelled out by policy/statute. Stated RAP wouldn't fit her definition but depends on how it is pursued (some could argue it relates to tourism), nevertheless after defining 'core functions', she may have to reconsider RAP and it must be more clearly defined as to how it would meet these criteria.

Q3. When should tax increases be considered? What criteria would you use to cut spending/programs? Are there any you would cut now?

A3. Taxes should be a last resort. There are many ways to take care of services rather than immediately turning to taxes. Every option should be explored first. Commissioners must remember they represent the people including their pocketbooks. Taxes are crushing to many. Better planning is needed as the commission appeared to avoid addressing cost increases leading to the large tax increase proposal. People should initially be brought together to find an alternative solution to taxation. Worthy to look at cutting programs and fat in programs, although this can be limited by statutory requirements (eg. mandated funding levels etc).

Q4. How would you address the senior center/flood control issues?

A4. Bring a group together that understands the problem and is tied to the community. Initially look for sources of alternative funding. Wonders why plan for flood control infrastructure wasn't addressed until now. Believes grants could help as well as pursuing other funding options other than taxes.

Q5. Would you support requiring the county to verify (using free Federal Programs) the SSN of new hires as well as requiring those to whom the county contracts to?

A5. Feels inclined to support, but hasn't heard enough about the programs etc and would like to garner more information prior to taking a strong stance on SSN verification.

Chris Martinez (Seat B – Democrat)

Q1. There will be quite a bit of pressure from many groups regarding projects/programs which would require tax monies. How, as commissioner, would you do to determine when to place a proposition on the ballot vs. when to tell the group to go out to the community to either collect the funds necessary themselves or gather the requisite signatures to place the initiative on the ballot themselves? Feelings on a RAP tax?

A1. Initiate a complete study of the project/program. Meet with citizens for their opinion remembering it is your money we're dealing with. Felt it is fine for the commission to place a RAP tax on the ballot.

Q2. What do you consider/define “core functions of government”?

A2. Wouldn't include 'nice to haves'. Conference Center likely shouldn't be considered a core function but we're not really paying for it. Senior's don't need a 'nice to have building' but should have something they can freely move around in. A RAP tax would be ok assuming the moneys were used for their defined purpose and not siphoned off to other areas of government – then again, RAP would be mostly city administered rather than county.

Q3. When should tax increases be considered? What criteria would you use to cut spending/programs? Are there any you would cut now?

A3. Study the project first and invite citizens to comment upon it. Should cut spending by first conducting a wage study as the Commissioner's salaries appear very high. Cut COLAs for the commissioners. Conduct a wage study for the entire county. Include a study on current spending – doesn't feel that we have full fiscal accountability in all county depts (ie waste). We should have a surplus, but don't.

Q4. How would you address the senior center/flood control issues?

A4. Supports senior center and flood controls but believes that available state/fed/other grants could fund the projects. Wonders why the county hadn't planned for the eventual maintenance/repairs of the flood controls.

Q5. Would you support requiring the county to verify (using free Federal Programs) the SSN of new hires as well as requiring those to whom the county contracts to?

A5. Issue is mostly federal but runs to lowest level. Wouldn't allow false SSNs to be used – favors the proposal to verify SSNs prior to employment etc.


Beth Holbrook (Democrat)

Q1. What would you propose to do with a tax surplus?

A1. Should look at better funding for education. Doesn't believe their needs are adequately funded. Should also look at funding for transportation to give people as many options as possible. Also consider a 'rainy day fund'.

Q2. What do you consider/define “core functions of government”?

A2. Basic functions such as police functions etc. Obviously we shouldn't throw money at everything. Some gray areas such as the $2 mil Emergency Medicaid Fund shortfall that was covered by private individuals last session may be in government's interest. RAP/Open space could also be a gray area depending on circumstances – need to look at it in a long term perspective, if we only have 50 acres left, do we allow them to be developed or maintain them as an open space?

Q3. What do you propose to do regarding granting of in-state tuition for illegal immigrants?

A3. Attended UofU President's event. Only 27 students are using the benefit and working to citizenship. So far there is no comprehensive national solution. At least we could create citizens who are a value to society.

Q4. What do you propose to do regarding granting of driver privilege cards?

A4. Shouldn't issue the licenses. People from other states are coming here for them. Fraud seems to be rampant as the current system stands and it needs to be fixed.

Q5. Would you support requiring the State/Businesses to verify the SSN of those they hire (using free Federal programs)?

A5. ID theft/fraud is rampant. There is easy availability via computer programs/thefts etc. Hasn't heard much about the SSN verification systems and would have to look into it further. Grey area of government intervention. Employers should be allowed to run businesses as they wish but they do have repercussions and affect others by their practices. SSN verification is something that should be studied.

Q6. What are your attitudes regarding the funding of public education and tuition tax credits/vouchers?

A6. Touchy subject. Many feel their children aren't getting the education they should and want control. However, public ed. Is funded by society as a whole and allow government scrutiny (sometimes too much). Concerned private wouldn't have the same scrutiny as public ed schools thereby not allowing a good comparison. Theoretically, we could pay for Johnny to learn to paint a fence (NOTE: she, strongly, specified that she doesn't believe that actually occurs). Worth looking at certain aspects of education, but taking $2200 out no wouldn't be helpful.

Q7. Do you feel price gouging is occurring? Why/Why not?

A7. Believes some sort of investigation is in order. Large corps making huge profits may need more scrutiny to avoid any more ENRON-type issues. Ultimately, a gray area where government intervention could be overbearing, but oil is a limited market dealing with a commodity everyone depends on (affects every part of our lives). If investigation reveals prices are simple supply and demand, then let the subject go.

Q8. What are you feelings regarding concealed weapons permit issues (in schools etc etc)

A8. Supports with the current guidelines in place. Doesn't feel well informed about the issue. Possibly schools could ban them. [Asked for more info. - specifically if there are any legal/vigilante issues with concealed permit holders and if I, as a parent would be comfortable with a teacher having a firearm. I noted that permit holders have much lower crime rates than the general population and have regular background checks run on them by the regulating agency. Personally know several permit holders and you would never know it unless they told you. Also noted that I do have a child in school and that I would feel much more comfortable if they had something to defend my child with should a lock down occur and an assailant attempt to harm anyone in their class]. She noted that my comments eased her concern and that my armed teacher point did make sense. Additionally noted that an armed teacher may also aid in avoiding any confrontation whatsoever as most criminals etc prefer to be unopposed (ie initially keeping them away or resulting in their withdrawal from the venue prior to any conflict.

Robert Moultrie (Constitution)

Q1. What would you propose to do with a tax surplus?

A1. Return the surplus to the tax payers.

Q2. What do you consider/define “core functions of government”?

A2. Core functions mean bare bones – public safety, protection of freedom of expression, religion. Laws framed to protect and maintain property rights etc. If it's not in the UT constitution it is not necessary. Programs would have to be looked at in a case-by-case basis.

Q3. What do you propose to do regarding granting of in-state tuition for illegal immigrants?

A3. End the in-state tuition program for illegal immigrants.

Q4. What do you propose to do regarding granting of driver privilege cards?

A4. End the driver privilege card program.

Q5. Would you support requiring the State/Businesses to verify the SSN of those they hire (using free Federal programs)?

A5. Fully supports SSN verification

Q6. What are your attitudes regarding the funding of public education and tuition tax credits/vouchers?

A6. Initially, vouchers may be good (short term). However, is concerned that private schools could become dependent upon them and, over the long term, the government would begin to attach strings to the vouchers thereby creating a new class of public schools under government control. Would prefer ending public education system altogether, but that is unlikely to occur.

Q7. Do you feel price gouging is occurring? Why/Why not?

A7. Support the free market but thinks it worthy of an investigation. If investigation indicates it is free market at work, then so be it. Believes that consumers have responsibility in where they purchase fuel from however also feels that long established oil companies may be suppressing competition (and full free market effects). Cited example that many of these oil companies are the largest/chief funding sources of environmental groups. The environmental groups lobby/sue etc to create stricter controls and more red tape for startup oil companies making it virtually impossible to build new refineries etc resulting in a hindrance to free market forces. [note: he never cast the impression that this was some kind of 'conspiracy' and should not be taken as such. Essentially, he was stating a potential tactic used by the established oil companies to suppress startups from entering the market].

Q8. What are you feelings regarding concealed weapons permit issues (in schools etc etc)

A8. Fully supports permit holder's rights to carry. Fully supports the 2nd Amendment.

Paul Neuenschwander (Republican)

Q1. What would you propose to do with a tax surplus?

A1. There is a spending limit of $80 million with the exception of Education and Transportation. It would require the legislature to raise the cap or exempt other areas of the cap. With surpluses, we should consider all opportunities first. It might be wise to look at a 0.25% tax increase for transportation corridors. Favors returning as much as possible to taxpayers – taking into consideration what government can do with it.

Q2. What do you consider/define “core functions of government”?

A2. Public safety, public education, constitutionally defined items, assistance with drug/alcohol abuse – would like to see more programs as he believes they assist in public safety. [Asked if RAP/open space tax proposals would fall in as a core function]. Is it government responsibility? No. But he has supported both and will continue to do so – will also consider how they might affect his district.

Q3. What do you propose to do regarding granting of in-state tuition for illegal immigrants?

A3. Feels opposed to in-state tuition but under a hundred people are using it right now (attended a UofU President's event on the matter). UofU event argued that we put them through high school – do we continue to improve their way of life?

Q4. What do you propose to do regarding granting of driver privilege cards?

A4. Opposed driver privilege cards – it entices them and others to the state.

Q5. Would you support requiring the State/Businesses to verify the SSN of those they hire (using free Federal programs)?

A5. May be hard for small business – why place burden on them [I noted the programs were free and returned results in short time frames – oftentimes minutes, depending on the program]. Understands how it could help but what do we do if they don't verify? Fine them? Businesses shouldn't have to do it but supports the idea/goal.

Q6. What are your attitudes regarding the funding of public education and tuition tax credits/vouchers?

A6. Hasn't accepted money form the UEA or tax credit/voucher folks. Education has been given a $245 mil. Increase last year and 300% increase over the last 10 years. What should we expect for that money? Not willing to commit to either side until he can study issue/proposals and get further answers to questions.

Q7. Do you feel price gouging is occurring? Why/Why not?

A7. Believes the free market system is at work. Noted that there is some recent interest in opening a refinery in Vernal. Government shouldn't come along and ask businesses regarding their costs and products as may open up their trade secrets.

Q8. What are you feelings regarding concealed weapons permit issues (in schools etc etc)

A8. Supports the 2nd Amendment, but believes some restrictions are appropriate – such as a ban firearms (including concealed weapons permit holders) in schools and churches.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Vote R. Christopher Barden

I met Dr. Barden's wife the other day and was impressed enough, that I've decided to endorse Dr. Barden for the State Board of Education.

His credentials are impeccable. He's often introduced, when he speaks as the "only licensed psychologist and licensed attorney in America to receive two national research awards in psychology and a law degree with honors from Harvard Law School." He took it upon himself to single-handedly debunk the junk science of 'repressed memories'. As a psychologist, and an attorney, he was able to successfully present cases across the country, simultaneously.

Now, he wants to serve on the State Board of Education without monetary compensation (that means without pay). I support him for the following reasons.

  • Pay for Performance: He wants teachers pay to be merit based. I, Tyler, work in the private sector, and my pay is, in part, dependant upon my performance. Teachers will excel where they are given the proper motivation to succeed.
  • Reward Successful Schools: He will apply performance based rewards across the spectrum. (to faculty, administrators, schools, districts).
  • Transparency: He will apply the principle of transparency to tax-dollars spent for education.
  • Recruitment: He is suggesting a scholarship program that will incentivize the best university students to teach in Public Schools.

Dr. R. Chris Barden

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Blogging Politics: An act of will

To those who have noticed the chasm between posts on this blog I apologize! I've been a little sick of politics, this election cycle. To go easy on myself, I have been looking for non-partisan politics in which to delve. I have to say that the least partisan of issues this time around the track 'appears' to be education. For example, it appears that nobody really wants the tax-cut we got, just the one we didn't, which is what happens when our personal prosperity is pitted against the prosperity of the children. In particular, non-partisanship is found in the list of candidates for the Davis School Board. A view from outer space shows us a list of candidates that are, entirely, 'Non-Partisan'. However, a closer inspection of any one of these candidates should show some bias. So, it should be clear that because a person is non-partisan, it does not always follow that they are objective. In fact, looking beyond Party, we should notice a growing list of groups, known as the PAC, or Political Action Commitee. These are groups that lobby, not one party alone, but throw their money across all political divides. They promote one candidate over another, just as Parties do. A PAC can be Non-Partisan, yet can also be so destructive. Ah, so my illness, of late, has not been the result of too much partisanship. Perhaps it has been too much divisiveness?

Divisive can be defined as the attribute of one who cuts through the crap so as to add more to the pile. This time around the track, I have seen the crap-pile grow exponentially. I would like to create a list of divisive activities that I've encountered, yet I don't want to add fuel to the fire. If I were to, say, accuse another of such an act than, I too, may be found guilty of it.

So, cut the crap--or, don't.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Utah Amicus Press Conference

I found this nugget in Rob Miller's speech.

"It is a pledge that this Democrat will make and will keep. If there is an emergency that requires a tax hike, there are two other commissioners that will have to do it. Maybe even with my public support, but never my vote."(italics are mine)

At the risk of sounding pedantic, I want to reiterate what Miller is saying. He's saying the the line that he is walking may be to encourage the other Commisioners to vote for a tax, while washing his hands of the blame that comes with a vote. That is a very comfortable stand to take. It isn't taking a risk at all, and is an easy promise to keep.

It just doesn't show the spine that I know Miller has.

I want someone in office that will use their principles, not just declare their principles.

My vote is still for Bret Millburn.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Juan C. Arce-Larreta for Mayor of North Salt Lake

A While ago, I said that Arce-Larreta's website wouldn't exist after the Election for NSL Mayor was over. I stand corrected.

Juan C. Arce-Larreta for Mayor of North Salt Lake

Monday, September 18, 2006

Who is the new Mayor of NSL?

Natalie knows.

I yield the floor to our NSL insider.


Politics: Where are you Grounded?

Which of the three categories below do you feel is most important? Which is the least important?

Personal Ideology
Political Party
The Candidate

Some of you might be like my grandmother who voted for the most physically attractive candidate. This is the type of person that puts a lot of stock in who the person is running for office, but not much thought goes into what the the party wants. Your spouse could be the candidate in question in which case ideology, and party, are not considerations. You may pick a candidate based upon how well they have acted as leaders. You base your decision on the perceived success or failure of a politician-not their ideas-not their party.

Others of you may actually oppose 'ideologues'. You are Party people. You were born Republican, and you will stay so. You don't want any candidates religious, or personal, beliefs to bleed, too much, into their policy. Or, you see everyone else joining the Republican Party, and can't see a reason to follow the crowd, like lemmings. Instead, you're a Utah Democrat.

The third choice is the 'idealogue'. They wear their principles like a badge of honor. This individual may not show any loyalty at all to the candidate when the candidate appears to compromise. They don't always vote the party line, but will if it furthers their cause.

You may value a mixture of these, or have a different backstory than I have provided here, but you should generally find one of these criteria to be preeminent over the others. Which one do you choose? Personal Ideology? Political Party? The Candidate? | North Salt Lake mayoral hopefuls line up

There are now nine people that want the job of Mayor of North Salt Lake(Orchard Hills). Three are currently on the city council and have to recuse themselves from the vote. That leaves two people to decide on the next Mayor.

Lisa Watts Baskin and Matt Hardy.

Be afraid! Be very afraid! | North Salt Lake mayoral hopefuls line up

Salt Lake Tribune - Off the Agenda: Rocky jabs at Utah Democratic Party

I'm told that I have "partisan eyes" (Actually, their green). This, of course, means that I always take the Republican stance, support the party, and oppose all alternatives. Here is our Loyalist chant (sung to the tune of Batman).

Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na Republican
Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na Republican
Republican, Republican, Republican.

The flip-side of this coin would be the person that exhibits no loyalty, whatsoever, to their party. Rocky Anderson is a good example of this type of person.

Exhibit A.
"'Democrats have a long history of screwing up just about everything they touch.' "

Exhibit B.
Rocky's endorsement of Keith Christensen, Republican.

I guess this means that in Bizarro world, my name would be Rocky!

Salt Lake Tribune - Off the Agenda: Rocky jabs at Utah Democratic Party

Two opinions on Taxes: Where North Korea and Cuba meet

The Clipper, lovely paper that it is, has posted two opinions on the proposition of raising taxes within Davis County. (There is no indication on the Clipper website as to who wrote each article, but I've sorted it out for you below.)

Anyway, the articles reveal a lot about who wrote them. Sanders, a Democrat, is proposing a moral equivalency test that compares Davis County with North Korea and Cuba. Sanders seems to imply that because our County is largely Republican, that it's citizens have become the victims of starvation--which, I'll agree is the program of many a Dictatorship. Where I disagree is in how he is associating Davis County Government with some of the more heartless, evil, governments that have ever existed on planet earth. Because we have Golf Professionals in the County does not imply that we are neglecting our duty to provide for our Women, Infants, and Children. It does say something about what we, collectively, think of golf.

I, myself, don't play golf and think it should be abolished. Why our fearless leaders have restrained themselves in issuing such a decree I can't say?

Even I have, once upon a time, drawn a comparison between Davis County and Cuba. But, I never said that our people don't get fed because of the government. (In an earlier blog post I compared our Channel 17 with Cuba's state run Television channel.) What Sanders has implied of the Republican Party in this county is reprehensible!

Todd Weiler heads the Republican Party for the county and wrote a more reasonable and, therefore, dull opinion. Well, it's not controversial enough to discuss here. You may follow the link, and read it, yourself.

Gregory J. Sanders

Todd Weiler

Woods Cross Citizen: Questions the Candidates

Woods Cross Citizen has put up a great set of questions posed to our candidates for County Commission. I think these questions embrace what most citizens are asking.

Hat tip: Jeremy's Jeremaid

Jana Truman Responds

I got this comment from Jana Truman on an old post of mine-back when she was in the runnings for County Commissioner. It deserves it's own post. My post that she references is here.


Now the election is over, I BEG your pardon that I did not communicate clearly my ideas to you. In a previous post on your blog you said I was already making excuses for poor performance. You also said that I espoused conservative principles but I wouldn’t accomplish anything because I didn’t know the difference between a beggar and a negotiator. I respectfully acknowledge your right to your opinion. I believe you are confused not only about my willingness to stand on issues, but also to be persistent in pursuing change, and if that is my fault then I am truly sorry.

I did not win the right to be placed on the ballot. Even so, without a title I am still keeping my campaign promises. For the record, I promised I would pursue changing an ineffectual law allowing judges to assign fees to inmates, both county and state, for the amount of core costs. Only Cache county judges are actually imposing such fees. Since the election, I have made presentations to the Director of the Sentencing Commission, the Governor’s general counsel representatives, the chairman of the joint judiciary committee and have attended and participated in the Governor’s Jail Reimbursement Reform Summit. I have been working with several county attorney offices (including Cache), sheriffs’ offices and legislators to bring a series of changes to existing law to increase compliance to the spirit of the existing law. If inmates pay their fair share of their core costs this could mean several tens of thousands of dollars to Davis County.

Core costs are negotiated by the state and a large panel consisting of sheriff’s and other stake holders. A county commissioner can give his or her opinion, but ultimately the body makes its own recommendation to the legislature for approval. A commissioner can influence by lobbying, but not participate in the committee. I can either obey the law or change the law. If you call my willingness to obey current law while trying to change it begging, then so be it.

I believe understanding current law and precedence and working to change those laws is not a reflection of my unwillingness to commit to conservative principles. In fact, if working to decrease the burden inmates place on the taxpayer and increase the inmates’ penalties is not a conservative principle, I admit, I have no idea what is.

If you wanted rhetoric from me I obviously disappointed you. I negotiate, I inform, I put my money where my mouth is and I do not quit. I take what I can get and I keep asking until I get everything I want.

If you would like to help be part of this solution I invite you to call me privately at 801-682-9527. I would also be happy to tell you about the other conservative solutions I am pursuing even without the benefit of a title, in behalf of the taxpayers of Davis County.

Free Republic picks up ID Theft by illegals story

It looks like the Free Republic has picked up on Ronald Mortensens article on ID Theft. What is interesting about this post is the screen capture of the state website that features the colors of the Mexican flag.

Hat tip: Salt Lake UT

Clippertoday::Mortensen stresses legal immigration, fiscal restraint

Mortensen stresses legal immigration, fiscal restraint: "“If I were elected to legislature, I’d do whatever I could to help North Salt Lake against (Salt Lake City Mayor) Rocky (Anderson).”"

That's a happy quote!

Here's the Clipper article on Neuenschwander as well.

Neuenschwander emphasizes budget

Two anecdotes:Funny, but tragic

Every once in a while I experience something that is so tragic that it is funny. One such occasion happened to me as an L.D.S. missionary. I taught one person, who was living in a hostel, about a law of health commonly called the Word of Wisdom. When asked to give up coffee he was, at once, willing to do so. However, he had just purchased some gourmet coffee in bulk and felt it would be wasteful to just throw it away. My missionary companion and I could see no harm in putting the coffee in the common area of the hostel for someone else to use. This person kept his commitment and was baptized soon thereafter.

A short time later, this new member referred his friend to listen to us. As we sat down to commit the friend to abstain from coffee, tea, tobacco and alcohol we were told, 'I would love to give up these things, but I recently starting drinking a lot of coffee. I didn't really drink it before, but I found some free coffee in the common area about a month ago. I think I'm addicted now.'

Funny, but tragic.

Fast forward to just this week. I was out campaigning for Ron Mortensen. I've come to learn that he and his Republican opponent are very similar in their ideology.

Similar, but not exactly the same. One, notable, difference is that Mortensen has signed a tax pledge vowing to not raise taxes, while Neuenschwander has refused. He justified this stance by saying the following.

"I agree that we will probably never see a situation to raise taxes. It[a tax pledge] does tie your hands to a certain extent. Like, taking care of certain primary services that are necessary. I believe that I have the right as a legislature to look and see what is best for the people."

I ran into Neuenschwander in my area, and as we talked, I was asked about one of my neighbors that is ranked highly for voting Republican in the county. (Apparently, we are all ranked if we are members of the party). I, gladly, showed him the location of the house. Before we parted company Neuenschwander related that he thought Mortensen was more conservative, and that he had learned over the years that one cannot get things done in politics unless one is more moderate.

Tonight, I finally had a chance to talk to my highly-ranked neighbor and he said, "I'll tell you what I told the other guy. 'You're too late!'" He went on to explain that he had voted early and that he had "flipped a coin" on the two and picked the one that he thought was more conservative-Neuenschwander!

I gasped and said, "Neuenschwander would disagree with you! He said to me that Mortensen was further to the right."

He retorted, 'Right can mean anything, but I wanted the one that is more fiscally conservative!'

Just then his phone rang, and before he answered it I blurted out, "but Mortensen signed a pledge not to raise taxes, and Neuenschwander refused that pledge!" I may have misread his facial expression, but I can guess what raised eyebrows mean.


Funny, but tragic.

StandardNET/Standard-Examiner:Civil debates

I might have called this, "Let's take this fight outside in the parking lot!", since that is what the candidates were instructed to do after each debate. At the end of the debate we were also urged to evacuate the building as soon as possible. It's good that the DCRW are concerned with keeping to time constraints since the event took the full two hours. Ironically, I probably took better notes on the debates that weren't covered in the Examiner article, below, and vice-versa.

Let's get to it!

Deamer vs. Downs

In the Deamer-Downs debate the candidates were asked about raising taxes.

Downs believes that a tax increase for the jail expansion was already put to a vote, so no tax increase should be required. (Tyler says, only one tax increase has been implemented. We were promised another vote on an increase when it comes time to staff the jail.) Downs said that we had saved $250,0000 in combining Aging Services with the Health Department but we would still need to consider how to manage the Baby Boomers that are entering retirement. She said she is not predisposed to increase or decrease taxes. She said that planning is a big key to keeping taxes low. She would not accept at face value every written document that is shown her. "Look 'em in the eye and say I want another report!" She said there was a six-week study out on the Conference center to see if there is a cost-effective way to go about expansion.

Deamer said he will not raise taxes without a citizens vote.

When asked about Transportation Downs and Deamer did not clash. However, Deamer went on to say that we need to get something like Utopia here. He felt that building a UTOPIA was like building an airport that would not compete with the Private sector. It is a place for the private sector to exist. Preserve and protect HAFB. He denies that the Recreation Center competes with the Private sector. He said it is needed because Churches do not open their basketball courts to the public, and the private sector won't cover it. Deamer said that if you look at it that everything that government does competes with private industry. He said that when you have a 'commissary at a Jail that it competes with local restaurants'. (Tyler says: I'm not joking! That is what he said!)

Downs disagreed that UTOPIA was worth building since we can use wireless technology that is provided by Private industry. Government needs to step out unless health and safety is involved. We are looked on as a bedroom community but we are much more. We are running out of space to build so we need to create a better tax base. Downs said that she was involved in writing the Economic Development plan ten years ago and wasn't sure why not much happened with COG after that. (Tyler says: Correct me if I'm wrong but I think she means Council of Governments).

Deamer's closing statement said that the overall goal of government is to "maintain and improve the quality of life". He then went on to discuss child abuse and Meth addiction. (Tyler says: Correct me here. Meth addiction is beyond the scope of what can be called 'quality of life'. I see quality of life to be something that individuals can strive for themselves. It is the governments role to not stand in the way of the individuals pursuit of a 'quality of life'. I clearly have a problem with this statement by Deamer.)

Mortensen vs. Neuenschwander

This is an easy debate to cover, because neither candidate successfully clashed with the other except on one question. In fairness to the candidates, they had fewer questions given since they were last and we had to evacuate. Both candidates represent the party platform well. Both are strong Republicans to the core.

Taxes were the point of pain for these two. Neuenschwander agreed with Mortensen that more could have been refunded in taxes, that State Sales tax could be taken off of food, but Cities could decide on their own sales tax formula. Neuenschwander would not pledge to not raise taxes which Mortensen was not only willing, but eager to do. Neuenschwander invoked the common comparison to the first President Bush's pledge to "Read my lips". (Tyler says: Most citizens only have a problem with the famous pledge not to raise taxes in that it was not a kept promise. I can't think of a soul that would not accept a moratorium on tax increases by a public official.) Mortensen said there was never a case that would require a tax increase. He gave an example of a Katrina like disaster. If we had such a disaster in Utah then raising taxes would be the last thing we would do to bring relief to a impoverished people. We would want to invite economic growth. (Tyler says: Mortensen could have taken this logic a step further to conclude that the only time officials are tempted to raise taxes are when they conclude that the public can easily bear the cost. They tell us that the money will not be missed. They also confuse needs with wants in their discourse.) Neuenschwander said, " I agree that we will probably never see a situation to raise taxes. It does tie your hands to a certain extent. Like, taking care of certain primary services that are necessary. I believe that I have the right as a legislature to look and see what is best for the people.”

Even on taxes the candidates were similar. Neuenschwander said that "The best person to spend is the person who makes the money".

On Education Neuenschwander said, "All children have the right to choose between private and public schools. Parents need to have that opportunity to choose. Having said that, If we were wildly successful in supporting vouchers and other incentives we can't do anything to jeopardize the public school system."

Mortensen agreed . "In education our focus is children. It is not about teacher rights, not parents, but children. All children aren't the same. I'd like to make it possible to have parents determine the best method to educate their children."

On the government funding of private enterprise Neuenschwander said, "The primary role of government is to secure the rights of citizens. I’m very concerned with causes that don’t take into account the needs of citizens. Whenever you want economic development, you want to create wealth. I’m not sure a hotdog vendor at a soccer stadium is what I would consider good economic development."

Mortensen would have opposed the bill that would have led to the soccer stadium.

On Driver priviledge cards being issued, Neuenschwander said, "[that] the card is a very dangerous step. That is convuluted thinking." 'Since a person is here illegally, it doesn't mean we should help them out.'

Mortensen said that the idea for the card came from Tenessee which, ultimately, had to suspend their card. They found that 50-60 licenses were being issued for the same address.

Wrapping up

There you have it. See the Examiner article for more on the other debates. I will mention that I saw both Rob Miller and Bret Millburn in attendance. (Rob, I was the guy with the laptop that you passed on your way out the door- sitting next to Millburn. I'm sure we'll meet someday.) I enjoyed talking with all the candidates I could after the debate. We have some great candidates from which to choose.

StandardNET/Standard-Examiner:Civil debates

What I Learned from President Reagan-Ronald Mortensen

What I Learned from President Reagan
Ronald Mortensen

"In 1986, I was a member of the advance team for the Reagan-Gorbachev meetings in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Once in Iceland, preparations were made. The schedule was approved. President Reagan and Gorbachev arrived. The meetings began.

And then something happened. The meetings continued late into the night. The schedule was thrown out.

Finally, after nearly two days, the meetings broke up. The leaders returned home.

The press reported that the meetings had failed.

However, we all know the end of the story. Because President Reagan held to his principles at Reykjavik, the cold war eventually ended and the Soviet Union dissolved.

President Reagan taught us to never compromise principles for temporary success.

I was there and I saw principle and integrity in action.

If I am elected, I will follow President Reagan’s example. I will work to achieve results based on principles and integrity– not on tolerance and expediency."

{Tyler says:} When relating this story to me, Ron told me what he thought was the single most important contribution that he made to this meeting in Iceland. It was late, and the delegation was hungry. Ron woke up a cook and had some sandwiches made. He delivered them to outside the door of where the negotiations were taking place. He knocked on the door and left the food.

Every cog is a piece of the larger gear and keeps the machine of progress moving smoothly. Ron has demonstrated to me that he isn't caught up in formalities. He has a doctorate, but I've not, once, been asked to call him 'Doctor'. Although, I've been in his company when others touted their own titles and degrees. | State must prevent ID thefts by illegals

When I started reading this article in the Deseret News, given the subject matter, I thought, 'Wow! I wonder if this guy knows about Ron Mortensen'? Then I got further into the article and saw a comment about the Citizens for Tax Fairness and I thought, 'He must know Mortensen'.

Well, the end of the article gives it all away. Or, if I'd looked at the name of the author from the start I would have realized that Ron Mortensen was the author! | State must prevent ID thefts by illegals

Mortensen: No government contracts for illegals

Chris Phares at the Clipper has done a good job of covering the, June 8th, illegal immigration event, according to Ron Mortensen. I saw him over the weekend to get a lawn sign for his campaign. He mentioned that there were few in attendance, but he did see Rob Miller and Brett Milburn both.

Mortensen: No government contracts for illegals

Salt Lake Tribune - Davis candidates battle to end

What are your thoughts about the race between Louenda Downs and Michael Deamer? I had an email exchange with Centerville Citizen that made me think that I'm not the only one disliking the prospects of electing one of this pair-or, either one. Dispite what I've said on this blog elsewhere, I think I may vote for Deamer. But, I'm holding off on any endorsement until I see Tuesday nights debate.

Salt Lake Tribune - Davis candidates battle to end

Clippertoday:Mortensen proposes taxpayer recreation credit

Ron Mortensen is currently running for the House of Representatives-District 20. He has shown he is determined to pursue the Recreation District to get them to cut waste and reduce costs for citizens of Davis County.

Mortensen proposes taxpayer recreation credit

Sheriff should be concerned with public safety

A succinct but accurate letter to the editor has appeared on the Standard Examiner. The author, Rachel Cottle wonders, "Why is an incumbent sheriff attacking the character of his opponent? His campaign must be in trouble. Negative campaigning is for desperate candidates, and by all accounts it sounds like Sheriff Cox is getting desperate."

Sheriff should be concerned with public safety

Please Attend - The Negative Impact of Illegal Immigration

Ronald Mortensen

Candidate Meeting

The Negative Impact of Illegal Immigration

Location: Bountiful City Library Date: Thursday, June 8, 2006 Time: 7:00 pm

Ronald Mortensen, Ph.D., a retired Foreign Service Officer and Republican Candidate for the House of Representatives in District 20, invites you to a discussion on the negative impacts of illegal immigration.

While immigration is federal responsibility, many of the negative impacts of illegal immigration fall on Utah and its citizens. During this discussion, we will look at the epidemic of illegal immigrant driven identity theft that appears to be targeting our children and other issues that you may wish to cover.

By the conclusion of the evening, we will have identified the things that our elected state representatives can do to mitigate the negative impacts of illegal immigration.


Please take the time to click on the hyperlinks in the last paragraph for additional and important information on illegal immigrant driven identity theft.

According to a Brookings Institute study, Utah is an emergency gateway for illegal immigration. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Utah is a destination of choice for illegal immigrants due to our driver's privilege card, in-state college tuition for the children of illegal immigrants and the generally welcoming attitude of Utahns.

Following the march of tens of thousands for illegal immigrant rights, KSL-TV reported that there are an estimated 90,000 illegal immigrants in Utah with other media outlets setting the number at 100,000.

Those who support illegal immigrants argue that these are good people who take jobs that Utahns won't do. They contribute to the economy, pay taxes, enhance the state's diversity and deserve to be given a path to citizenship.

Those opposing illegal immigration cite national security concerns that come from a porous, uncontrolled border and a disregard for the rule-of-law. They point out that illegal immigrants suppress wages, take jobs that many of our young people and other citizens would do, drive up the crime rate and increase the cost of health care, social programs and public education.

Proponents of Utah's in-state tuition law argue that it is unfair to make the children of illegal immigrants pay out-of-state tuition at our colleges and universities. After all, they were brought here by the parents and shouldn't be made to pay for their parents illegal acts. The Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce strongly supports in-state tuition and argues that it will prepare these young people to be leaders in our business community.

Opponents note that even if a students who are illegally in the United States graduate from college, they will still not be able to legally work in the United States. They also argue that Utah's in-state tuition program opens the state up to potential litigation from American citizens and legal immigrants who have to pay out-of-state tuition. Finally, they point out that Governor Mitt Romney vetoed an in-state tuition bill that was passed in Massachusetts arguing that it was not appropriate to reward illegal acts.

It has been widely reported that wherever there are large numbers of illegal immigrants, identity theft becomes a major problem since they require Social Security numbers and other documents in order to obtain employment. In fact, a rather limited, 2005 investigation by the Attorney General's office revealed that 1,800 Utah children under the age of 12 had their Social Security numbers stolen. When applied to the entire population, tens of thousands of Utah's children may well be the victims of identity theft.

Last year, bills were introduced in the legislature that would have repealed Utah's in-state tuition provision, ended the issuance of driving privilege cards and required employers to verify employment eligibility and Social Security numbers. None were considered by the full body of the Senate or the House.

Clippertoday:Inside Story-Manipulation of online polling hurts all of us

Treasure the Clipper

The Clipper is an amazing paper!

No, really! I am astounded when I do read it. One never knows what can, and will, be printed in it's pages. Let me offer one example.

Rolf Koecher at the Clipper wrote an article about me last week without contacting me for comment. He did seem to have talked to one other party regarding the incident (Rob Miller), but did not quote anyone else. The article was about an opinion poll that pitted Dannie McConkie against Bret Millburn and Rob Miller. I would think that a balanced reporter would also have tried to get a comment from Millburn after writing, "In a Monday afternoon conversation with Rob Miller over this incident, he told me he had seen an outpouring of support from all quarters — not just from those in Davis County — judging from the huge volume of e-mail he had received over the poll." There was not a single statement from Millburn in the entire article!

Two is not a few?

Apparently, the Clipper has had more incidents than this. (italics are mine)

"The company that hosts our Web site manages sites for well over 100 newspapers across America. They’ve had few problems in their other markets — except for here. So we’ve asked them to beef up their security measures a second time. "

If I'm to understand the above paragraph correctly, other markets haven't been without incident regarding security. They've had "few" problems elsewhere. The implication is that we've had two incidents with security on the Clipper website. What was the first incident? If we've, actually, only had this one incident, then it is impossible that we have had more problems than other markets that have seen "few", not zero, incidents. It seems to me that our market isn't that different at all.

No online poll is perfect but this is the worst I've ever seen. The least the Clipper Poll could do is record IP addresses when votes are cast so to prevent duplicate votes from the same machine. This is already done by other online polls.The Clipper has repeatedly demonstrated it's own mediocrity in it's reporting. It seldom gives all parties a fair hearing. It should at least try to give those it opposes the credit that it gives itself.

Clippertoday:Inside Story-Manipulation of online polling hurts all of us

The Clipper Online Poll

I have had a few assumptions regarding the state of Utah political thought.

First, there are more Democrats in the blogosphere than Republicans. Second, there are more Republicans who will vote than Democrats. Third, online insta-polling is flawed.

Thinking I knew enough, I sabotaged the Clipper online poll.

It was always my intention to make this known, but not for the reason that I am now. I knew that the results of the poll could not be trusted and I knew many across the divide knew that as well- but they weren't saying anything about it as long as their guy was winning. I figured two things would happen if ballots were stuffed in Milburn's box. First, that the ballot stuffing would be recognized and exposed. Second, that one or more people would retaliate and that Miller's box would become very full. At this point I thought that the poll would be seen as a loss, the results in question, and shutdown.

On the last point I was very wrong.

The poll was shutdown but, somehow, the results of that poll seem to be held inviolate. I wish to apologize to any whose opinion has been changed, or not, as a result of my manipulation. What I did may not have been illegal, but it was wrong. Just because a process is flawed does not mean that trust in that process should be violated without regard. It was not my intention to swing favor in the direction of any one candidate (I placed a number of votes in McConkie's box with that in mind), but I did swing favor and I feel awful about it. I ask of any that read this to not let a tainted poll show a candidate's quality, but let the candidate's themselves show it. It wasn't "cheating", for any one candidate, it was monkeywrenching for none.

Revealing my part in this charade was supposed to be satisfying. It has been anything but that. It has, however, been entirely voluntary. If I did one good thing, in the end, it was to come clean anyway.

Ron Mortensen:Avoiding the appearance of evil

Ron Mortensen is running an interesting campaign for the House of Representatives in that he won't accept campaign contributions from special interest groups. This accomplishes two things. First, he can't be said to be under the influence from any group. Second, Mortensen sends a clear message that he will be frugal with taxpayer dollars as well.

Spending by Candidate can be found here. Those who want to help by dedicating some time to Ron's campaign can can send an email to

Ron Mortensen

Ashdown: Right Medium-Wrong Message

Needed Reform

Consider how earmark reform could be expedited by the use of collaborative software (like Wikipedia) in crafting legislation. Congressional staffers would make changes to legislation in a medium that would be transparent to the public. Pete Ashdown is using Wiki software in formulating talking points for his campaign. The examples below(pdf) illustrate how transparency is needed to reform the Legislative branch. On this point Ashdown is spot-on.

"...In 1997, Jason Alderman, a staffer for the late Rep. Sidney Yates (D-Ill.), had an altercation
with a policeman after being stopped for walking his dog without a leash in Meridian Hill
Park in Washington, D.C. Alderman later got language added to a House appropriations bill
ordering the National Park Service to build a dog run at the park “as expeditiously as
possible.” Rep. Yates was unaware of the earmark until it appeared in a column by the late
journalist (and CAGW co-founder) Jack Anderson."

"More recently, a staffer held up passage of the fiscal 2005 Omnibus Appropriations Act after
he added an obscure line to the 3,000-page bill that would give the chairmen of the
Appropriations Committees and their staff assistants the authority to access the income tax
returns of any American. The language was discovered only hours before the original vote
was scheduled and Republican leaders had to convene a special session to remove the

A chink in Ashdown's armor

Ashdown's strength is is his familiarity with technology-despite what he says about himself, "...I don't view my expertise on tech as the big motivator for swing voters in Utah. I think the fact that I'm a native Utahn who has run a business for over a decade here is." (Pete Ashdown Chat - July 15th, 2005.) A candidates business success is not a big differentiator in Utah politics anymore since Governor Huntsman has taken to the stage. In fact we have many business men and women involved heavily in Utah politics. However, Ashdown's technical prowess is unsurpassed. Where Ashdown begins to fail is in choosing to be a Democrat.

Take, for example, Ashdown's stand on a couple of issues.

"The death penalty is not a deterrent for violent crime. It has also been used in cases where innocence was proven later. We can let someone out of prison, but we can never give them back life. If it is not a deterrent and there is potential for a grave nonretractable mistake, then I see no reason to continue its use in America.

It should also be noted that in spite of the extended use of the death penalty in the United States, our country does not have lower criminality rates than other countries where it is not in use. According to a study conducted by the Taiwan government, the United States annually witnesses as many as 6.32 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, whereas countries such as Spain (1.08) or Japan (0.58), which do not use the death penalty, have dramatically fewer murders. (Japan does have a death penalty, but it is systematically commuted to a life sentence.) In fact, only the Russian Federation (18.07) has higher murder rates. This tends to prove that death penalty does not dissuade people from commiting crimes. Other approaches should be considered to solve our criminality issues.

The financial cost of executing a prisoner in the United States has been shown repeatedly to be far higher than life imprisonment. All issues of deterrence and morality aside, the financial cost is not worth it."

Yesterday, we saw sentence passed on Zacarias Moussaoui-Life without parole. We must, at a nexus such as this, consider the message that is being broadcast by this act. Not on an individual basis, but to groups such as Al Qaeda. Is it this? In Moussaoui's words, "America, you lost. I won." The death penalty would have sent an unwavering message to those who attempt to destroy human life. Financial costs aside, it is innocent human life that Ashdown should want to protect.

Ashdown would also like to see America's military presence in Iraq go to a vote of Iraqis. "The answer to Iraq is simple: let the Iraqis vote on how long they want the US to stay, then do what they say." Perhaps the Iraqis should also vote on whether they want the insurgency to stay in Iraq? Ashdown also proposes that we might move into Kuwait if the Iraqis ask us to leave. Before doing so we, certainly, should put that to Kuwait for a vote too!

Anyone else would be better?

I feel as much as anyone that there ought to be a better person for Senator than Hatch. But, Urqhart isn't running anymore. I don't believe that a candidate should gain my vote because I don't like the other guy. I'm still looking for my candidate.

County Convention: Preliminary to a Primary

The results are in.

P. Bret Millburn beat out McConkie with a whopping 67% of the vote! My vote was clearly for Milburn, but I had been worried at the start that he may not do as well in front of a crowd. I am glad to have been wrong at that. Millburn managed to rally the crowd in his favor that may have been undecided up to that point. It seemed he was channeling Reagan in communicating. He deserved his ovation, and deserved the win. I wonder how McConkie will finish his term? My guess is that he has not finished with politics. I'm betting he is eyeing an appointment somewhere at the State level. He isn't out of sight despite his unpopularity at the convention.

Other results include Ivie with 87% of the vote. This was not a surprise.

Yet more will have to be decided in the Primaries this summer. Michael Deamer and Louenda Downs came in close and were too close to decide. Todd Richardson and Bud Cox came within 10 votes of one another.

County Delegate: Note to self

My time as a Delegate is not quite over this year, but I have learned at least one lesson well. Only argue with the Candidate when at a 'Meet the Candidate' function. I've had too many good points completely ignored by allowing other delegates to engage me in a debate. One can imagine the White House Press Corps, ardently, arguing amongst themselves while the Press Secretary smiles blissfully from the podium. It is hard to brush off a direct challenge from another delegate when presented with one, but my pat-answer will now be, "Let's talk about that later. I would like to hear the Candidates response to the question."

Meet the Candidate: Michael L. Deamer

If my discussion with Mike Deamer tonight had been a debate, and the winner was decided based upon their popularity, then I would have lost. Let me start by running over my biases, for those who don't already know them. I am a fiscal conservative which opposes government spending for what I consider to be non-core functions. I expect responsible spending on core functions, and no spending when possible. This can put one like myself out in the cold when in the company of those with a softer, fuzzier view of the world. Now, on to the bullet points.


Deamer began well. He layed out a well reasoned criticism of the Wasatch Intergrated Waste Management, a waste burning facility that is operated under Davis County Government. He says, (and I believe it) that he has been after the entity to lower rates for years. They finally did so, to a small degree. I think I'm saving about fifty cents a month on my garbage bill now.

Jail expansion

The Candidate outlined his opposition to the handling of the Jail expansion. He felt that the cost to the taxpayer was too high, and lumped the difficulty of the Jail in with the failed attempt to raise taxes 138%.

South Davis Recreation Center

He openly supported the funding and building of the Center. Why wouldn't he since he sits on the Board, you ask? Well, for one thing, he sits on the Waste Board as well, yet he's been critical of them. He spoke highly of the Davis School District, the County, and Bountiful for the additional contribution they made when the costs escalated. (Fact check: How much did the School District contribute?)

Why Commissioner?

Deamer said that the job of Mayor of Centerville did not pay that well for a full-time job. He was running for Commissioner because it paid well and he thought he could make a difference in the County. I don't think I'm twisting words here. It was a bold admission that Commissioners earn good money. I don't think Deamer's ashamed of it.


I asked him if he had studied whether the Recreation Center would ever turn a profit. He went through a litany of other facilities and pools that they had visited which they thought, as a group, were just fantastic. I pressed on the question of a profitable facility. He admitted, eventually, that it would probably always be subsidized by the government. He also confessed that the planners did not consider the financial aspects of the Rec Center when it was being considered.

I mentioned that the center would be a multiple-purpose facility, and that they could have kept things to a pool and a ice-rink. Why build a climbing wall, three pools of such large purportions, and a rink? The argument was presented that the Center would not compete with the private sector since nobody in the private sector had built such a facility. I said that businesses may never try to compete, now that the building was almost finished.

Now it get's interesting.

When I questioned Deamer on how he could oppose the Jail expansion, but support the Rec Center, he said, 'the main difference between the two issues are that the Rec Center was brought to a public vote while the Jail never was'. What was that?

I informed Deamer that the Jail expansion was brought to a vote of the public. But, I let him off too easy. I should have re-asked the question. What is the difference between the Rec Center and the Jail? When pressed Deamer said that he thought that the building of a Rec Center was a core function of government. If that's true, then Deamer is a Fiscal Conservative.

Losing the Delegates

As it turns out there were a whole bunch of people in favor of a Rec Center. One told me a story about how when she was a child she had to travel miles to swim in the Deseret Gym. Another told me that without the government, we may not have mountains to climb (responding to my expression that anyone wanting a climbing wall ought to look to the mountains. I do enjoy rock climbing in the mountains). Yet, this delegate actually said, we may not have mountains without the government! I think he meant that we would have leveled them all to build houses, but I responded that God gave us the mountains, not the government. One person said it all, "I like the Rec Center"! It should be clear to me at this point that I have lost these people, but I continued in my futile attempts at persuasion for another few minutes.


If you believe that the Rec Center deserved less financial scrutiny than our Jail, or our Waste Management facilities then you should give Mike Deamer your full support. If you want Deamer pinching pennies on our Jails while he doles out dollars for our climbing wall, then jump aboard the Deamer campaign.

Davis School District: Bond Survey

Study conducted for the

Davis School District

Bond Survey

February/March 2006


Dan Jones & Associates, Inc.

Questions asked during Bond Survey

Question 1-4: Do you have any children or grandchildren who attend school in the (1) Davis School District in: (2) Elementary School? (3) Junior High School? (4) High School?

Questions 5-13: To address population growth, safety concerns and ongoing maintenance needs, the Davis School District has presented a plan that will address such needs for the next five years. This plan affects virtually every community in the District. The plan calls for new schools in areas of growth, reconstruction of one old school, and renovation and upgrading of school buildings throughout the district. A special election, in conjunction with a primary election, will be held on June 27, 2006, for a $230 million dollar bond. And the district has promised, as it did in 2003, to keep the current tax rate as it currently is, meaning if the bond is passed, the current tax rate would remain the same as it is today.

I would like to read you a list of some items in the School Building Improvement and Construction plan that will be covered by the bond. Please tell me whether you favor or oppose bonding for each item?

(5) Upgrade Bountiful High, (6) Upgrade Woods Cross High, (7) Upgrade Clearfield High, (8) Addition to South Davis Junior High, (9) Addition to Farmington Junior High, (10) Addition to Reading Elementary, (11) Addition to South Weber Elementary, (12) Replacement of Wasatch Elementary, (13) Building new schools

Question 14: And, how likely are you to vote in a school bond election to be held as part of the June Primary Election?

Question 15: If a special bond election were held today, would you vote for or against the district’s proposed $230 million dollar bond for school construction, renovation, and upgrading?

Question 16: If against: Why would you likely vote against the bond?

Question 17: Generally speaking, how interested are you in this school bond election, using a 1-10 scale, with one meaning not at all interested and ten meaning very interested?

Question 18: Do you currently work with the PTA, school community council or volunteer at one of the schools?

I will post my comments on this Bond next week. -Tyler

Meet the Candidate: Brian Cook

I met Brian Cook on Friday, who is running for the 'Northern' Commission seat B. He saw who was running for that seat and where they live and felt that the Northern part of the County would be severely under-represented if he didn't run. Up until Friday, I thought I might support Deamer for that seat, but I think I'm changing horses on this one. I'll meet Deamer on Tuesday night, so I can still change my mind, but I'm backing Cook.

I have many reasons for thinking this way. Cook only needs to continue on the Commission as he has acted as Mayor for eight years to win my support. As Mayor of Kaysville the property tax went down 16%. He brought business to Kaysville by helping to develop a business park (the park is privately owned and operated). He researched the cost of building a public swimming pool in Kaysville and determined that there was no way such a facility could be operated at a profit and so did not pursue it. As I understand things, the city has contracted with a private group to provide some recreation facility's for the city. In short he acted the part of a fiscal conservative.

Meet the Candidate: Bret Millburn

I saw Bret Millburn last night and now I've found my Candidate for Seat A.

Let's contrast Millburn with Jana Truman, who is running for Commission Seat B. Truman said she was a Conservative, but did not feel that it worked in practice. Millburn said he believed that conservative principles could be successfully implemented. Millburn actually levelled a gutsy critisism at the county citizens for saying that we are conservative, but then asking for things that make us anything but conservative. The word he used was, 'hypocrites'. He used the Recreation Center as an example of something that we should not ask the government to provide. He actual spent most of his time talking about positive changes that could be made to make County Government more transparent and accessible to the citizens. Both have been heavily involved in politics, but Millburn seemed to have a humility that Truman lacked. He made the meeting less a referendum on him and more about the issues he cared about.

It seemed that he had the support of almost everyone in the room until he was asked a question about his views on Education. At this point, one individual, seemed concerned. Let me specify first, that Education has very little to do with the duties of a Commissioner, but Millburn tackled the question anyway. The question posed was on how Millburn felt about credits being given to those who choose private schools for their children. Millburn responded that he felt that it was right that public schools should exist, but that we should hold them accountable for what they do. He feels that if public schools needed to compete that they would start to improve. I feel as Millburn does. This is a core Conservative principle, and even though Millburn didn't have to state this view, he did.

Jana Truman: Beggars can't be choosers

Over the weekend I went to a 'Meet the Candidate night' with Jana Truman, Troy Rawlings, and James Ivie. Although she's not been elected, Truman was already making excuses for poor performance. She was unwilling to commit to anything, but if she made a campaign promise, that afternoon, it was something like this, 'I will do everything I can not to raise taxes until I inevitably do!' She indicated that she espoused conservative principles, 'in principle', but thought they could, often, not be implemented. So, you can thank the ACLU, or the State of Utah if Truman doesn't accomplish anything. She did reveal the first sprouts of a good idea which I doubt will bear any good fruit, because she will be ineffectual at implementing it. Her idea was to take some of the load off the County Jail by establishing a rehabilitation center for drug abusers. When I asked her if she would accept money for inmates from the State on the condition that they wouldn't reimburse Medical expenses (which is how things are for the Jail) she didn't think that she could say 'No' to the State.

The overall impression I get from Truman is that she doesn't know the difference between a negotiator, and a beggar. The negotiator can walk away from a deal if it doesn't meet specific conditions. A beggar takes what they can get, but they don't get much. Some people call her 'honest', but I call her ineffective.

One side note: I actually was impressed with both Rawlings, and Ivie. I don't know why they've sided with Truman other than some political inexperience on Rawlings part. They may have my vote, though. We'll see.

Have you seen me?? --Citizens For Tax Fairness

Demonstrating his frugality, Ronald Mortensen has opted to use as his campaign website. 'CFTF' has never asked for contributions, and the money for the domain was put up by Ron himself, so this is more than welcome in my view. Those who may see a conspiracy in this can rest assured that CFTF will take a stand for government to cut spending on everything but the core functions of government. Indeed, this seems a primary focus of Mortensen's campaign. I will have to ask Ron if the $20 he spent on the domain name was counted as a tax-deduction, or not. So, keep an eye out for, a somewhat emaciated, Citizen Watchdog. I'm thinking of printing some stickers, with pictures of the noble pooch, to be placed the side of milk jugs everywhere. From now until May 1st contributions made to my paypal account will go for that purpose.

In the meantime, I give you the much improved Campaign website (really,

The small print: No tax deductions were had by any person due to their involvement with Citizens for Tax Fairness.

StandardNET/Standard-Examiner::Tonight's party caucuses

The Standard Examiner has advocated that we eliminate the traditional caucus system in favor of a "series of direct primary elections". This, because ideologues have organized in order to influence public policy at it's most basic level.

This begs the question. Do we want a system that encourages apathy, or one that only suffers from it? To move away from our Republic towards a straight Democracy might, on the surface, look like it cures apathy because we will count more ballots, initially. However, citizens in a purely Democratic society may only be active in the voting booth. At least with the system we now have we can expect to see a few 'idealogues' make their voices heard.

StandardNET/Standard-Examiner::Tonight's party caucuses

Ronald W. Mortensen for Utah House of Representatives

Imagine my delight and surprise when I saw that Ronald Mortensen is running for the Utah House. Surprise, because I've known him to be busy in other pursuits which, in the past, have taken him out of the country. Well, not so much out of this country as into many other countries that one doesn't pick as a vacation destination (i.e. Iraq, Sudan, Pakistan, etc.) A decision to run for a local office would mean taking a break from his service abroad. I feel delight, because the biggest weakness I've seen in him is a profound humility that does not suit a career politician. I assume that he has no intention of making this a career, but is intent on making a difference in a way that is his habit--as a servant.

I don't want to start making campaign promises on his behalf, but I'm certain his focus would be on returning the State to fiscal sanity. I couldn't be happier that he's running.

Todd Richardson For Davis County Sheriff

Sheriff Bud Cox has some competition for the office in his Deputy. It's too early in the game to expect any real statement of goals for the next term, but Richardson has wasted no time in leveling a few criticisms.

First, Cox has campaigned in uniform in a run for office in 2002. Second, Cox has recently cut drug tests for inmates to save money, while, at the same time asking for a $1,200 contract for a weekly movie night for inmates. Third, Richardson has been critical of Cox exempting himself from the physical fitness requirement.

Todd Richardson For Davis County Sheriff

Commissioner Cook: Not yet!

This seems a little presumptuous to me.

Update: The site looks a whole lot better now.

Brian D. Cook: Davis County Commissioner

Davis County: Election Public Notice

The period to file for public office begins a week from today. I'd like to see things mixed up in a few areas. The office of U.S. Senator, State Board of Education, County Commisioners, and Davis School Board member.

Election Public Notice (pdf)

Should there be a changing of the Guards?

Now that the people have spoken and a number of Mayors will be stepping down it is time to change the makeup of the Recreation District Board. The members of the board were picked in a very haphazard way. According to Tom Hardy, "each of the cities will appoint a representative to the administrative control board initially." Well, each of the cities chose to send their Mayor's.

Hardy stated that the whole setup was to be temporary until a time in which a better selection process could be implemented. That time is now.

Beginning in January, or if possible sooner, the responsibility for the Rec District should go to other shoulders. Beginning next year, Mayors Deamer, Martin, and Larrabee will step down. I would like to see Mayor's-elect Ron Russell, James Behunin, and Kent M. Parry step up to replace Deamer, Martin, and Larabee with an appropriate third-party representative.

It is also time for Joe Johnson to step down as Chairman of the District to hold true to the spirit of Hardy's comment. Johnson was there to hold the position "initially". It is time to establish a selection policy that will serve all five cities represented in the Recreation District, not just Bountiful.

Current South Davis Recreation Board*

Mayor Joe Johnson, Bountiful, Chair (801) 298-6146
Mayor Michael Deamer, Centerville 801-295-3477

Mayor Kay Briggs, North Salt Lake 801-936-3877

Mayor Carl Martin, West Bountiful 801-292-4486

Mayor Jerry Larrabee, Woods Cross (801) 292-4421

Dannie McConkie, Davis County Commission (801) 451-3200

Steve Rawlings, Davis County Clerk/Auditor (801) 451-3324

Darrel Twede, Citizen Representative

*Contact information taken from Citizens For Tax Fairness

A Smattering of Election Results

Joe Johnson (I), 4373
Jeff Ovitt, 1170
(Two council seats)
John Marc Knight,
R. Fred Moss (I),
Thomas Tolman (I),
Phill Wright,

Michael Johnson, 1017
Ron Russell, 2152
(Two council seats)
Justin Allen,
Richard Hunt,
Sherri Lindstrom,
Jim Pedersen,

David M Connors (I),
Scott C. Harbertson,
(Two council seats)
Paula Alder,
David Hale (I),
Susan Tanner Holmes (I),
Darrell Lake,

North Salt Lake
Juan C. Arce-Larreta, 255
Kay W. Briggs (I), 586
(City Council — 2 seats)
Lisa Watts Baskin, 653
Brian Elkins, 254
Matt Hardy, 612
(3 of 4 districts)

West Bountiful
Carl Martin (I), 433
James Behunin, 624
(Two council seats)
Wes Argyle,
Jay Bangerter,
Debbie McKean,
Rex Turnbridge,

Woods Cross
Jerry E. Larrabee I (I), 623
Kent M. Parry, 638
(Two four-year council seats)
Tamara Dayley, 650
Jill Evans, 536
Randen J. Funk, 592
Jon W. Hadlow (I), 645
(I) = incumbent

Procrastinating your Civic Duty

There is a lot of talk around the water cooler today about getting out to vote. This is good. I have not heard much talk about being an informed voter, though. It seems that hits to this blog have already doubled the average hit for a day. I'll have to check again when the polls close to see if anyone still cares. Better yet, I'll check tomorrow to see if people have decided it's time to learn something about the person that got their vote!

Salt Lake Tribune - Utah:Hillside not all that divides North Salt Lake's mayoral candidates

Today, the Tribune focused on the race for Mayor in North Salt Lake. Juan Arce-Larreta says that our city leaders aren't listening. From the article.

"At a recent public meeting on parks, participants selected preserving the bench on the hill as the top priority, says Arce-Larreta, who serves on North Salt Lake's trails committee."

First, I was at that meeting. When given the choice between building a park (open-space), or building a trail(open space). The consensus will be for open space. If we had been given an alternative to open space, and we still voted for it, and Briggs had ignored the vote, then Juan may have had something. Except for one thing, Mayor Briggs does want to preserve open-space on the hillside.

Second, It was made clear at the beginning of the meeting that Arce-Larreta had the same agenda then that he has today. He has demonstrated, since that time, the same fidelity to his own ideas as the Mayor has to his. If the Mayor is guilty of not listening, then so is Arce-Larreta. Both have remained true to their original viewpoints.

Those who are grounded in reality want a balance between open-space and development. They want a cemetery, trails, parks, and also the means to pay for them. Briggs is fighting for a reasonable comprimise that should satisfy most people. He is also fighting a bully, in Rocky Anderson, that wants to impose an outsiders will on a smaller neighbor right to choose.

Salt Lake Tribune - Utah

Brian Elkins: Q & A

Update: Let me first apologize to Brian Elkins for misleading him regarding the purpose of the Q&A that I sent him. I had no intention of deceiving him. I'm sorry. As an aside, I thought his answers were thoughtful and perfectly suitable for posting. I would not have posted it if I had known that he did not wish it. He sent me this email shortly after this post.


I didn't realize you were going to post the questions and answers on your

I wish to clarify that I believe all people should be treated equally
regardless of their religious, ethnic background, gender, socio-economic
status or sexual preference.

You have my permission to post this on your blog if you wish.


Brian Elkins"

I received answers to some questions that I posed to Brian Elkins who is running for City Council in North Salt Lake.


I'm curious about how you feel about Equality Utah's recent endorsement of your candidacy? Do you welcome their endorsement? Are there ways in which you may disagree with their viewpoint?

I'm honored to receive an endorsement from Equality Utah. They are the only
organization that contacted me with regard to an endorsement and I was
flattered to receive it.

They wished to provide a campaign contribution but I turned it down as I am
not accepting any campaign contributions.

You can go to the Equality Utah website and read their mission statement and
what they support. Many people incorrectly think that Equality Utah is in
support of gay marriage, that is far from the case. Their mission statement
does not even begin to address this particular issue.

I would imagine Equality Utah has some members who are in support of gay
marriage and others who are not.

I was asked privately at "Meet the Candidates Night" if I was concerned that
the endorsement might harm my chances at being elected. My response was that
I honestly did not know but if it did end up making the difference between my
being elected or not I will graciously accept defeat but I will retain my
honor and integrity.

I asked this person if the endorsement meant that I would not have his vote
and he replied in the affirmative. I'm disappointed that I will not have his
vote but I certainly understand his reasons. I honestly enjoyed talking with
this person and I wished we had more time to speak. We were both very
cordial and listened to each other's opinion and I believe he respected my
opinion and I certainly respected his.

He feels marriage is strictly between a man and a woman. Unfortunately it did
not occur to me at the time to mention that Equality Utah did not have a
position on gay marriage.

As far as their mission statement is concerned I fully support it. I feel it
is important in our society that the strong support the weak and oppressed.

One thing I think I need to mention is that I am straight and I am married to
a lovely woman!

What position do you take on the recent land dispute between North Salt Lake and Salt Lake City? Do you support Mayor Briggs' actions in this regard?

The most recent proposed plan I have seen from the city calls for a ten acre
cemetery, twenty acres for development and 50 acres of open space which would
include natural open space, parks and soccer fields. I fully support this

Needless to say I support Mayor Briggs' position.

Where do you stand on the Rec Center Debate? In particular, what do you think about the escalating costs associated with the facility?

I honestly do not know enough about the Rec Center debate to voice an opinion.
If you know of a website that would enable me to learn more about it I would
certainly appreciate you passing it on.

What do you feel is the greatest challenge that NSL faces in the next few years?

I think the greatest challenge facing NSL will be the ability to provide
adequate services (in particular water, emergency services and educational
facilities) to the burgeoning population. I recently heard that NSL is the
second fastest growing city in Utah (of course that is fairly easy to
accomplish since we have a small population at this point).

Regardless of how the election turns out, will you continue to blog after November?

Yes, but I don't know if it will be about politics.

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