Philpot swings at Matheson’s land use policies


Utah’s delegation is almost universally united in standing up to Ken Salazar, his cronies and their control of 2/3 of the land in Utah. The lone hold-out is, of course, Democrat Jim Matheson.  Matheson – aka Phantom Jim – didn’t have the, um, …. courage…. to stand up to Salazar when 77 leases were yanked in Uintah county. (He did ask Salazar in a letter to pretty please restore them. Nothing happened, of course.) Matheson stayed in the background when Rep Rob Bishop and others spoke out on the administration’s backdoor plan to claim millions of acres. Matheson DID, however, announce a plan earlier this year to set aside 26,000 additional acres of wilderness in the Wasatch Mountains, prompting Alta mayor Tom Ballard to remark “It’s been kind of jammed down our throats.”

Yesterday, Matheson’s Republican opponent, Morgan Philpot took him to task as he unveiled his short, medium and long-term goals for land use.. He claimed that with 67% of the state owned by the federal government, we are no longer a sovereign state, but a “geographic area administrator” for the feds. He announced that he is endorsed by all three Washington county commissioners and said that his campaign is on track to wrap up the endorsements of 75% of the county commissioners in the second district.  He pointed to Matheson’s absenteeism and said the district – and especially the rural counties – needed someone who would go to bat for them.  The current Congressman simply will not.

Congressman Rob Bishop appeared with Philpot at his press conference. He said unequivocally that Philpot’s ideas “hit the core” of what needs to be done. “They are the kind of proactive, positive ideas that need to go back there to Congress,” he said. “He will fit in brilliantly with the entire delegation, as well as within Congress.”

In the short term, Philpot proposes that the Utah delegation work to restore the recently canceled energy leases, to increase access, specifically to school trust lands, and to open them for development.

In the medium term, he says that we must establish “once and for all” the validity of county RS2477 road rights of way and to pursue permanent, full funding of PILT – Payments in Lieu of Taxes.

In the long-term, Philpot said we must pursue a “legal and legislative strategy designed to achieve parity (as required by the Constitution) between public lands states and the rest of the Union.”

Matheson told KSL he has nothing to be ashamed of and that he has worked well with county commissioners in the past. His spokeswoman said it was not surprising Philpot got the endorsement of the Washington county commissioners –  they were Republican, after all. Wonder if she’ll be surprised if Philpot also gets the majority of the votes in this R+15 district?


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19 Responses to “Philpot swings at Matheson’s land use policies”

  1. Bob Thompson Says:

    This is the downside of voting for someone you like who is in a party whose platform and policies don’t match your political beliefs. I’d venture that there are many Utah voters who voted for Matheson and strongly object to federal land policies in Utah as administered by Democrats. Matheson will talk like a conservative for his constituents but when it’s time to vote in the House he will follow the party line too frequently.

    Party power is too influential in Washington and it is true of both parties. But for Utah, the effect is less negative with the Republicans.

    Harry Reid’s individual influence in the Senate and the specific value that can bring to Nevada is the margin of his lead over Angle in their race. My hope is that Nevada can realize it is not worth all the negatives he will bring if he remains in the Senate leadership. Murkowski in Alaska also recently lamented that Alaskans would be giving up Senate seniority if her Republican opponent were nominated istead of her.

  2. Dimitri Says:

    You don’t get to have it both ways Holly.

    Either he tried to get the leases back or not. You damn the guy just for being a Democrat, and you damn him for not being an influential enough Democrat in the same breath. A tad hypocritical, no? So, Jim wrote a letter to Ken Salazar and it had no effect on Sec. Salazar. How did the letters from Bishop, Chaffetz, Hatch, and Bennett work out? Did they even bother?

    Matheson is teflon coated in Utah politics, just like his old man was. People can bluster all they want but you know it’s true. Sure the fringes on both sides hate the guy, it’s one thing they can agree on. However, he has never been elected by the fringe, he keeps getting elected by everyone in the middle. Our state is only as conservative as we have been gerrymandered to believe.

  3. hollyonthehill Says:

    Actually, I do believe I’m right. He does as little as possible. He sometimes makes a token, half-hearted effort (like sending a letter with a wink and a nod) if he thinks it might keep a few more voters happy. It’s like healthcare – he was neither for it nor against it (except he voted to bring it forward every chance he could). Finally, he voted no – but now he won’t vote to repeal and says we’ll have to make it work. I would point out *I* am not the one trying to have it both ways.

    I absolutely agree that he is teflon-coated, for some odd reason. Hopefully this is the year when something finally sticks. He is obviously not worried – he’s not even bothering to campaign. (Beyond sending spies to Philpot’s events)

  4. rmwarnick Says:

    Secretary Salazar literally laughed at Utah’s neo-sagebrush-rebels when he was in Salt Lake City for the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative. He may be a Democrat, but he’s as corporatist as they come. Maybe he temporarily canceled a few particularly bad BLM oil leases, but otherwise his policies heavily favor development over conservation. Salazar thinks it’s funny that anyone considers him pro-environment.

    I heard Morgan Philpot speak at the “Take Back Utah” rally. What is he going to do? Privatize 22 million acres of BLM land and 8 million acres of national forests? Who is going to buy all that? Pure fantasy.

  5. Bill Evans Says:

    So lets elect a Philpot when Bishop, Chaffetz, Hatch and Bennett haven’t been able to do crap?

    Get a real issue Philpot and try something other than trying to tell me The United States is EViL!

  6. utah_1 Says:

    I would like to see Morgan Philpot replace Rep. Jim Matheson.

    Matheson has been sitting on the fence.

    Matheson voted to change the rules so Obamacare would pass, then voted against it, and then said he wouldn’t vote to repeal it.

    Vote for Morgan Philpot. You will get someone that will listen, understands you can’t just keep spending our money and will try to get 2/3 of Utah back instead of keeping giving it away.

  7. Political Joe Says:

    Matheson is a fraud, plain and simple. He sides with the environmentalists and ties up Utah lands so that we can’t access it in any way except on foot with a backpack. I guess if we were all living in the caveman days that would be OK but we’re not. We have the most land of any state that is controled by the Federal Government. I wish the liberal environmentalists from back East would stay there and tie up there own back yards instead of interfering in ours. Morgan Philpots plans to restore local control to our own lands is exactly what we need for multiple reasons.

  8. Mary Says:

    Holly, Teflon-coated or not, Jim Matheson is working hard to get re-elected – believe me, he takes nothing for granted. He and his campaign people run an impressive campaign.

  9. Rex Says:

    Philpot agrees with Mike Lee on federal lands. Lee has it right, sell all the public lands in the U.S. to pay off the national debt; no tax increases, no pain to the voter and taxpayer, just sell the lands and payoff the debt. Then the states can have some of their sovereignty back, and we kick the feds and environmentalists out of the state. I want Utah to run Utah, not Washington, and not some gang of thieves environmentalists who have no stake in Utah, or its lands. Matheson is not Mr. teflon this time around, he will lose substantially to Morgan Philpot.

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