Archive for the ‘Becky Lockhart’ Category

Daily Fix, July 7

July 7, 2011

*Looking for a fun date-night activity? Check out the Salt Lake County parade of homes. The house from “Up” is in it, full-size and darling. SL Trib

*State Senator Dan Liljenquist pens an Independence Day piece on public virtue – the idea that one is willing to “voluntarily sacrifice personal benefit for the good of society.” We need more of that.

*Ogden school district puts their kids first, stops negotiating with a recalcitrant union and is having teachers sign a contract directly with the district. Over the next six years, they will also be moving away from a tenure-based pay system and towards a merit-based pay system. Ogden board member Brad Smith said ““[Performance pay] puts the focus where I believe it should be, on outcomes for students, rather than outcomes for teachers,” said Smith, noting that the district struggles with high poverty rates and achievement. “I love our teachers. I respect our teachers, but I love our students and want to help our students more.” Kudos to Ogden. Trib

*After Speaker Rebecca Lockhart sent a scathing letter to the Daily Herald taking our federal delegation to task for their dereliction of duty in acting on immigration, they responded. Senator Mike Lee said he understood the frustration and even shares it. In fact, he told Utah reporters he is open to discussions that would grant Utah a federal waiver to implement the guest worker provision. Congressman Rob Bishop also expressed sympathy and pointed to his work on getting the border closed, Hatch agreed that immigration is a problem but didn’t directly address Lockhart’s concerns, Matheson was unavailable and Chaffetz called her view disappointing, factually inaccurate and ill-informed. Trib

*Senator Jim DeMint tells NRO that Utah’s Jr Senator actually has two votes in the US Senate – his and Senator Hatch’s. “Every time he votes one way, Orrin’s going to vote the same way.” So much for the notion that freshman can’t make a difference. NRO

*A massive dust storm hit Phoenix on Tuesday night. Radar data showed the towering wall of dust reached as high as ten THOUSAND feet. That’s nearly two miles high…. SL Trib

*And if none of that floats your boat, how ’bout a little civil disobedience? Just grow some food. A woman in Oak Park, Michigan is being charged with a misdemeanor for growing a garden (instead of grass) in front of her house. Un-freaking-believable. MyFoxDetroit

Just a little bit of news……

January 30, 2011

Not sure anyone noticed the blogging has been kinda light over the last few days but I’ve been a tad busy. You see, there was this very unique situation that came up in my legislative district – the sitting representative found out he didn’t actually live in his district. The ensuing twists and turns were worthy of their own TV show – something like “As the District Turns”….. But, with Friday’s court decision, an election was held last night in Utah’s district 57. Holly on the Hill is headed to the Hill as the newest Representative in the state.

Let me just say – I’ve never experienced a campaign quite like that one. Super compressed time frame and drama and intrigue, right to the very end, including a move to overturn the election after final results were announced. By the end of the night, however, my name had been submitted to the Governor for ratification as the winner with 62% of the vote. The Governor will ratify the appointment at 8 am Monday morning. I will then be sworn in by Speaker Rebecca Lockhart – the first Representative to have the oath administered by the new Speaker – at around 9:30 am.

Just 3 weeks ago, I had no idea this could lie in my future, but I very much appreciate the opportunity the delegates of District 57 have given me to represent them on Utah’s Capitol Hill. I am conservative, I am outspoken and I am ready to hit the ground running tomorrow morning.

(And to answer your question – yes, I will continue blogging, Tweeting and Facebooking as Holly on the Hill. I welcome your input as we move forward through the session.)

Daily Fix, Jan 27

January 27, 2011

New research suggests Speaker Lockhart may do a better job than her predecessors, Chaffetz gets a sweet spot on the budget committee and UTferalcat joins Twitter.

*New research coming out in the American Journal of Political Science finds that women that get elected have more political skill because of the discrimination they’ve had to overcome to win office. Sharon Stucki says Speaker Becky Lockhart’s new role is reflective of that. Her personality will appeal to men and her example will encourage more women to participate in politics, she says. KSL

*Employees of the Springville Herald, Spanish Fork Press and Nebo Reporter were told their papers were shutting down yesterday of the changes about 1 p.m. Wednesday, after what will become the papers’ final editions had already gone to press. Eight employees were laid off as part of the changes. More proof that newspapers are a dying breed? KSL

*Congressman Jason Chaffetz has snagged a sweet spot on the budget committee with Congressman Paul Ryan. That combination of fiscal hawks has got to be the Dems worst nightmare. Chaffetz.gov

*Rep Curt Oda’s bill re: feral cats has spawned a new Twitter account. UTferalcat is quite witty. Here’s an example: “I am worried about the feral community. Killing feral cats breaks up families. Isn’t Utah about family?”

*Speaking of that bill (HB 210) Stephen Colbert postulates Oda may be on his way to Washington after proposing this bill. Colbert Nation

*And if none of that interests you, then just do your civic duty and go vote for Jimmer Fredette for the Lowe’s senior class award. Senior Class

Daily Fix, Jan 25

January 25, 2011

The 2011 legislative session is underway. Welcome to 6 weeks of intense echo chamber.

*Let’s start with the new blog started by the Utah House. Vox Populi – the voice of the people – has jumped into the online morning roundup with the Morning Buzz. (Daily Fix, Morning Buzz – I think I know where they got their inspiration….) Anyway, I think you’ll agree with me that the Morning Buzz has a bit of sausage flavor. Sausagegrinder, that is. Morning Buzz

*Next in the echo chamber, the folks over at the Senate Site have started their daily round-up and photo essay. Check ‘em out. Senate Site

*Now on to the news of the day. The Utah House welcomed Madam Speaker to the dais, to cheers and tears from those on the floor and in the Gallery. ABC4 Daily Herald KSL Holly on the Hill

*Congressman Jason Chaffetz doesn’t know who to take to the SOTU dance tonight. I know the perfect person – Congressman Jared Polis. Polis could even send flowers….and apparently he agrees me, since he invited Chaffetz to join the Colorado delegation. The Hill

Welcome, Madam Speaker

January 24, 2011

Today, as the 59th legislature opened for business, Utah’s new Speaker of the House was officially nominated, accepted and sworn-in and took her place on the dais. Amid cheers and applause, Speaker Rebecca Lockhart then addressed her colleagues. She started with the story of Mattie Hughes.

Like many University of Utah students, Mattie Hughes was a firebrand. She was outspoken and passionate. She was independent — washing dishes, doing laundry and secretarial jobs to work her own way through school.She majored in Chemistry, and at age 25 launched her career as a doctor.

Today, she’d blend in among the U’s 30,000 students. Except that “Mattie” Hughes went to school in the 1880s and the school was known then as the University of Deseret.

Hughes would go on to establish a training school for nurses, become a resident physician and marry Angus Munn Cannon. We now know her as Martha Hughes Cannon. She was drawn to politics, and felt so strongly about the issues of her day that she ran for office against her own husband in 1896. She defeated him and became the first woman in our nation to be elected to a State senate.

Martha Cannon was a trailblazer in the 1800’s. Becky Lockhart is a trailblazer in her time. She is making Utah history as the first woman Speaker – and guess what. It’s not because of her gender that she got elected. She has proven her ability to lead. She encouraged her colleagues to be leaders as well, She urged lawmakers to remember how they got to the Hill. “You were chosen to lead by farmers and mechanics, attorneys and doctors, software programmers, teachers, and homemakers,” she said. “These constituents have the right to our time and attention,” she continued. “They have a right to an explanation for why we vote the way we do. They have a right to know how the laws we pass will affect them and their children, and future generations.”

Daily Fix, Dec 31

December 31, 2010

Welcome to the last day of 2010! What a ride this year has been politically. Pretty darn fun from where I sit.  So, for political junkies like me, here’s one final fix for the year.

*Senator Steve Urquhart pens an editorial on the cruel joke political posturing is playing on the West. “Wilderness protection and economic activity both can be accommodated,” he says. “But discussion and compromise take time, and healthy democratic process isn’t nearly as sexy as a swashbuckling coup that instantly gives a victory to one side of a multi-party issue.” Deseret News

*The Utah Senate tweeted out a question wanting to know what people thought about an omnibus immigration bill and linking to a newspaper article. Not only was it the first time the public heard about a bill that would roll “all” immigration bills together, but it was the first legislators heard of it as well.  On the Senate side, it appears that very few Senators were involved in the discussions.  On the House side,  Rep Chris Herrod found out about it when called by the reporter for comment and many others were undoubtedly left out of the loop. Omnibus bills crafted behind closed doors don’t have a history of sitting well with folks not at the table.  Sometimes I wonder if the Utah Senate missed the message sent this year – enough with the status quo, enough with an appalling lack of openness and transparency, enough with top-down, heavy-handed leadership.  I expect some pretty interesting fireworks come the session. SL Tribune

*We’re #1! At least for now….Walmart, GiftCard Bäks and Utah Food Bank are encouraging all Utahns to vote for Salt Lake City and Ogden from a list of 100 communities where hunger rates are the highest. The city with the most support will receive $1 million in grants and the next five cities with the highest support will receive $100,000 each. Hop onto your Facebook page, search “Feed Utah” and click away. This is real money to a real cause. Let’s keep that #1 spot. KSL

*In a slightly-related-to-politics spot, a hospital in Maryland is prohibiting all photography during or after childbirth. Locally, the U o U lets the family make their own photography decisions, IHC prohibits filming during C-Sections and/or epidural use and St Marks leaves it to the doctor’s discretion.  The reason given? Doctors need to concentrate. Apparently that’s now the politically correct way of saying CYA so photographic evidence can’t be used against you in a court of law. One more reason to use a midwife. ABC 4

*The Top Ten Most Influential Utahns as seen by the DNews include almost-Speaker of the House Becky Lockhart, almost-Senator Mike Lee and Utah Senator Luz Robles. Of course it also includes a guy involved a pretty big fraud case, so take it for what it’s worth. Deseret News

*Speaking of Top Ten lists, Chris Vanocur looks at the the Top Ten Top Ten lists of 2010. Really. A couple of the best include “Top political quotes” with the number one spot going to Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell: “I’m not a witch.” Or how about this one on the Top 10 border seizures:”Border patrol agents seize scuba gear, marijuana in sewer system.” Oh, and you HAVE to see the double-rainbow YouTube favorite…. ABC 4

*Speaking of Chris Vanocur, the Vanocur Group will be on Channel 4 at 8 am Sunday morning to take a look back at the political world of 2010. If you can’t watch or TIVO, it’ll be online soon and I’ll post links.

Enjoy your celebrating tonight – and if you drink something stronger than Martinelli’s, please don’t drive.  See you next year!

Goodbye, Sausagegrinder. Hello Chief Deputy of the House

December 21, 2010

Yesterday, the Twitterverse reported that Joe Pyrah, aka Sausagegrinder, reporter for the Daily Herald and blogmeister extraordinaire is leaving the world of journalism and joining the world of small-Constitutionally-appropriate state government.

Speaker-elect Becky Lockhart announced via press release that she had hired Pyrah because “Mr. Pyrah is smart, knowledgeable, and fair. He understands my priorities and the House of Representatives’ directive to be the voice of the people.” She went on to say that she was impressed with his understanding of the mechanics of openness, his ethical approach, and his enthusiasm for political work in a democratic republic.

Pyrah will bring skills in social media that have been sorely lacking on the House side. Case in point: the Twitterverse and subsequently the world of Facebook, knew the news hours before the press release came. The biggest drawback is the state loses “Sausagegrinder”, the snarky, saucy political pundit. Joe Pyrah is a welcome addition to the House. Sausagegrinder will be sorely missed.

As predicted, the Utah legislature takes $101 million

November 17, 2010

The Utah legislature convened a special session today to talk about taking the $101 million in “Edu-jobs” federal dollars. There were impassioned speeches – Senator Madsen’s was my favorite – and there were amendments and a substitute bill. There even was an awful lot of sauntering on the Senate side which generally means they don’t have the votes. That added slightly to the non-drama of the day. But, in the end, the House passed the resolution put forward by Speaker-elect Lockhart and accepted the money with 14 no votes. The Senate passed it on a 22-6 vote.

The House Reps who voted no were Dougall, Herrod, Noel, Sumsion, Frank, Mathis, Oda, Wright, Francis Gibson, Morley, Painter, Harper, Newbold and Sandstrom. The Senators were Buttars, Madsen, Stowell, Dayton, Howard Stephenson and Urquhart. Details can be found on the state website.

Interestingly, when this bill was passed on a federal level, only one member of the Utah delegation voted FOR it. Any guesses who?

Shake-up in the House

November 4, 2010

Representative Becky Lockhart is now Madam Speaker, currently the only female Republican Speaker in the United States and the first female Speaker in Utah history. When she announced she was running in the middle of September, most “insiders” gave her little to no chance of winning. But, the Utah House was ready for a change and now Utah has made history.

Speaker-elect Lockhart said that she has never run on her gender and that while there will be natural differences because she is a woman, she wanted to be elected because of her ability to lead, her desire for inclusiveness and the skills she will bring as a Speaker. She spoke to her campaign resulting from seeing a consolidation of power in the Speaker’s office that made her uncomfortable. She believes that she will bring a new style and a new level of openness and transparency as Madam Speaker.

The transition between Speaker Clark and Speaker-elect Lockhart will take place the beginning of January. The rest of her leadership team includes Brad Dee as Majority Leader, Greg Hughes as Majority Whip and Ronda Menlove as Assistance Majority Whip.

*picture choice by me. What’s that old saying? A woman’s place is in the House? It’s also on the Speaker’s dais.


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