Friday, September 29, 2006

RETREAT!

I often sympathise with the "it's not ideal, but it's what CAN be done" argument. It makes sense. When you're talking about some things. Things like settling for a 5% flat tax when you really want 3%. Or whatever. But safe districts are a subversion of our Republican form of government. Instead of leading a battle for Utah, Governor Huntsman is leading a cowardly retreat before the battle has even begun. His four safe district map perpetuates a system by which incumbents create such unassailable positions of power that they are not held accountable until they committ such gross misconduct that even the most strident partisan finally says "enough".

Competition

Governor Huntsman's problem isn't that he'll hold up the 4th seat. What the Governor has done in creating four safe districts is ended any competition outside of the convention. We can create at least two competitive districts. The problem is, competition is bad when all you want to do is hold on to power. This is simply a way for Utah's elite to put distance between themselves and the voters. I thought the Governor was bigger than this.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Failure

Governor Huntsman had a chance to show us what he is made of. Instead, he chose to reinforce a very dangerous status quo. He's just like all the others. Sure, he likes The Who, rides motorcycles, etc. etc. I don't dispute he's the coolest governor we've ever had. But he had an opportunity to leverage his popularity and power into some real advancements for Utah politics. Instead, he's dooming Utah to under- representation for decades to come. Looks like he finally swallowed that silver spoon. I hope he chokes on it.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Amended Affadavit

The affadavit of North Salt Lake City Manager Collin Wood will be amended so paragraph five reads: -------------- 5. I have personally met with the Salt Lake County Council and discussed with them the issue of disconnection from salt Lake City and subsequent annexation into North Salt Lake City. -------------- Compare to original paragraph in the post below.

Affadavit In Question

The NSL affadavit that got everyone so upset read: (I only include the paragraph in question: #5) -------------- I, Collin H. Wood, being first duly sworn, testify that the following statements are true and correct: 5. I have personally met with the Salt Lake County Council and discussed with them the issue of disconnection from Salt Lake City and subsequent annexation into North Salt Lake City and found them to be understanding and sympathetic to North Salt Lake's position. Given this knowledge, I believe a resolution will be adopted by the Salt Lake County Council, thereby allowing North Salt Lake City to annex the property. --------------

Monday, September 25, 2006

Positive Developments At Salt Lake County

Members of the Salt Lake County Council have started catching flak over standing up to North Salt Lake. They're being asked why they're taking Salt Lake City's side over North Salt Lake. We all know what's being implied here. Mormon/Non- Mormon, Conservative/Liberal. NSL is trying to play every card but the good public policy card. Because they don't have it. I'm just extremely glad that FINALLY the County Council is standing up for Salt Lake City.

Development, Land, Lawsuit, Perjury

Remember the SLC/NSL land battle? Well that is still going on. In fact, it's about to explode. The NSL City Manager filed an affadavit that claimed NSL had met with SLCo and that SLCo was sympathetic to the NSL cause. That affadavit has people very upset. Publicly the talk is misunderstanding. Privately it's perjury. Tomorrow, Salt Lake County Council Chairman Cort Ashton will introduce a resolution that basically says that even if NSL wins their court battle with SLC, SLCo will prevent any development.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Congressman Guess Who

Before they seriously consider Governor Huntsman's plan to create four non- competitive districts for Utah, The Utah Legislature should consider the following: Governor Huntsman drew Congressman Matheson a much more liberal district. Some speculate whether the Congressman could be elected in such a district. Maybe he could, maybe he couldn't. You know what well- known liberal and Matheson foil could win in Governor Huntsman's new district? Here's a clue: He ran once before. Utah's Republican leadership needs to remember: The only thing worse than not getting what you want is getting what you want. I'm just sayin... that kind of irony is only funny to bloggers.

Governor Huntsman Needs To Step Up

It's time for Governor Huntsman to decide what he truly believes. District 1 & 3 are a total farce. They are a textbook example of the dangers of safe districts. Congressmen Cannon and Bishop practically mock their constituents through their utter apathy or their embarrassing ethical ignorance. All they have to do is make it through their convention and then double dog dare their constituents to vote for their opponent, Hillary Clinton. Why does Governor Huntsman want to do this with every single Utah district? What a disaster.

Competition

Naturally, not every district can be competitive. But if we're talking four districts, I think we can make two competitive. The Governor's current four safe district map has SLCo cut through its beltline. I think a better division would be to draw a vertical line through the county. Dividing the County East/West then adding rural counties can make two competitive districts instead of two safe districts.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Fairness? No Way

Governor Huntsman drew up a 4 district map that he says is fair. He needs to be more specific. Fair to whom? This map is fair to everyone but the voters. All the Governor did is include Congressman Matheson in the standard incumbent protection program. If Governor Huntsman truly wants Utahns to be treated fairly, then he will give us as many competitive districts as possible. We deserve at least that much. His plan of four safe districts is not fair. It is gross, irresponsible governing that shields the powerful from having to honestly face the voting population.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

In Case You Missed It

You can still hear the politics of Nightside Spin It's up at nightside.ksl.com. Just press play.

Nightside Spin= Politics

Tonight 7:40pm 102.7fm or 1160am nightside.ksl.com Listen every Thursday. Same time, same station. Politics are so not lame.

Pete Ashdown

Go to this link, find Pete's photo, and vote for him. It takes only a few seconds. If we can get enough votes for Pete, he'll be featured in some nationwide fundraising efforts. Pass the link to everyone you know. Pete has more on it.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

4 Districts

The Governor unveiled a map of Utah drawn to include four congressional districts. Compare it to the 4 district map the legislature drew in 2001. A few things: 1. The Legislature drew 4 GOP districts. The Governor drew 3 GOP and one Dem. 2. The Governor drew LaVar Christensen out of District 2 BUT 3. Christensen is in the new District 4 which appears to be pretty Republican and which includes Washington County where Christensen has been campaigning for a while already.

Thanks, I Feel Much Better

Great threats, everyone. Very creepy stuff.

Arr! A Missed Opportunity

Yesterday was International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Looks like I missed a real opportunity during yesterday's session. Tragic.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Bucket Of Hot Wings

You can check out our coverage of today's special session on nightside.ksl.com. I went live from inside the Senate Lounge surrounded by tasty food. We also interviewed Senate President John Valentine. He was a champ to stay late and talk to us. Knowing he'd be hungry, I offered hot wings to help grease the deal. He did the interview anyway.

What Does It Take?

I'm feeling left out. I want to be threatened. Someone threaten me! I promise to act scared. I'll give you bonus points for having an establishment domain like utahpolicy.com or utah.gov That's extra scary.

Fly On The Wall

Want a view into today's special session? Log onto the Senate Site's webcam.

mark@utahpolicy.com

A favorite local blogger received a very disturbing email. He's not the first to be threatened like this. The title of the email was "I see everything" and the text read: "Watch for the subpoena coming soon". It was sent from mark@utahpolicy.com Mark Towner has threatened at least one other blogger with legal action in an attempt to silence them. The first threat was to a blogger commenting on the sham lawsuit Towner filed to keep a U.S. Senate candidate from speaking at the convention. This most recent threat was over participation in a bi- partisan group blog called UTOPOLY. One of the several participants was Mark Towner's political enemy, so he apparently saw fit to scare away the other participants through threat of legal action.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Rob Miller

Tomorrow at noon, I'll be at the steps of the Davis County Memorial Courthouse for Rob Miller's press conference. To all the bloggers and readers in Davis County: Consider spending your lunch hour getting to know a great man. Rob is our candidate. He's been operating The Utah Amicus for a while now. His site is a fresh, sincere, and thought provoking look into the intersection of family, faith, and public service. Rob Miller for Davis County Commission Seat A Tomorrow (Tues) 12 Noon 28 East State Street Farmington

Always Tell The Truth

Governor Huntsman told the U.S. House that Utah would be fair in drawing in a fourth Congressional seat. Two things about that: 1. It has been made abundantly clear that Governor Huntsman does not speak for the Legislature 2. It's wrong to lie when you testify before Congress

Mystery

I have a subscription to Country Home magazine. I have no idea where it came from.

Friday, September 15, 2006

A Great Lesson

The unfortunate resurgence of the Towner/Ridgway silliness holds an important lesson for all of us. When you publish to the Internet, you'd better be sure of what you are doing. Because it can't be undone. RSS feed readers trap and hold posts independent of their original site. Services like GOOGLE take pictures of every web page. And finally, email comment notification puts blog comments into an email inbox where they sit even after their author tries to delete them. Here's a great example. Perhaps Mark Towner recognizes this post.

I Always Knew Utah Had Some Weird Place Names

But this song and video posted at Deseret Spectacle was a real eye opener.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I Prayed These Two Would Never Darken My Door Again

Received this email today from Mark Towner: "I post a simply reply to your 97.5 revelation and from nowhere I am flamed by Mike Ridgway or his supporters. I respectfully request you remove this messages posted by likely Mike Ridgway. I did not post this, please remove this and any other references to me." I don't moderate comments. You can't hide behind a restraining order, and use the Internet to bait and slander your personal political enemy then try to hurry and delete everything. (by 'everything' I mean comments on SLCSpin and multiple posts on Spyglass. Did you just think we wouldn't notice?)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Where Were You When You Heard?

Utah Debate Forums

Where Were You When You Heard?

I was in a motel in Reno. Like many people, I received a phone call directing me to the television because "something has happened". I don't remember any emotions outside of anger. Sadness came later, but anger was the first and most abiding emotion.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Rumors

Remember when Tom Barberi was talking on 97.5fm? The "younger" talk radio? He's not there anymore. No one is there. You can listen right now to some early Christmas music. Or you can bide your time until the station begins its new Christian music program. Yeah, Christian music.