Archive for the ‘State’ Category

Thanksgiving Break

November 21, 2012


Just letting you know I’m taking the next few days off from political discussions – online, at least.

Have a great Thanksgiving and I’ll be back to politicking on Monday.

Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom

November 19, 2012

Illegal hair-do in Utah unless your braider has a license

After a long and grueling election season, I’m tired.

Tired of beating my head against a wall.

Tired of watching good people make bad choices.

Tired of being beat up for taking a stand.

Tired of feeling like no matter what I do, it’s “Same song, 2nd verse” – or 6th, or 10th, or 40th.

After November 6, I took some time off. Read. Played with the kids. Went to the movies. Even went to the dentist. I did NOT go to interim day on Utah’s Capitol Hill last week – but I should have.

Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.
We’ve all heard that quote, right?

It can conjur up mighty images of the battlefield, of Patrick Henry and his impassioned speech, of fighting for freedom in the fields of Gettysburg. More recently, it might bring to mind presidential elections and unelected czars, a fiscal cliff and partisan gridlock.

As it turns out, it applies to the state legislature and little things like hair braiding as much as it does our federal politics.  (Dang it. I already knew that….)

In the Business and Labor committee on Wednesday,a bill was passed unanimously, by the legislators who were there. This bill creates – and requires – licensure for hair-braiders in the state of Utah. In fact, it creates two levels of hair-braiders (regular and advanced), adds in hair-braiding apprenticeships (800 hours or more) and creates a brand-new concept of a hair-braiding school. Imagine that.

The committee did manage to exempt “natural” hair braiding, but if you want to add extensions or even just beads, well, you’re out of luck. (Of course, if you don’t charge, then there is no problem because it is OBVIOUSLY the exchange of money that makes the practice dangerous, right?)

Because it passed unanimously, the bill will be introduced during the upcoming legislative session as a committee bill, bypassing additional committee hearings and having very limited floor discussion.

It was sad to hear the only person who testified for the bill (no one knew it was coming up – that eternal vigilance thing biting us in the butt) was the lobbyist for the cosmetology schools. She said that “we” had worked out a “deal” after the last legislative session. “Who’s the we,” you might ask. That would be the owner of a chain of beauty schools, said lobbyist and the sponsor of the bill. That’s appears to be it. There certainly was no outreach to the people who oppose licensing hair braiding in its entirety.

Some people have asked who is behind the push to license hair braiding. The answer is simple: Follow the money. If you as the owner of a beauty school – or even better, a chain of them – can get the government to require any and all persons who want to practice ANY part of your government-sanctioned monopoly, you can laugh it up all the way to the bank. If this bill passes, then if you want to legally braid hair with beads ala Cleopatra, you need HUNDREDS of hours of training – and that’s the bare minimum. Failure to comply? A fine of up to $1000 for the first offense, up to $2000 for EACH subsequent offense. And ps: even if you’ve been doing “advanced” hair braiding since you were 5, not only can you no longer do it, you can’t teach it to others, either.

If that weren’t enough, the committee threw in another little bonus for the cosmetology schools: eyelashes. Want ’em done? Gotta go to a state-licensed school to learn a whole bunch of stuff you’ll never use but hey! Big brother knows best, even in Utah.

Way to shut down cottage businesses, guys. All that free-market stuff only applies prior to the first Tuesday in November, is that it?

I’m so disappointed. And I just don’t get it. We have good people in the legislature, but this is a mighty bad decision.

Back to my opening statement.

Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom. Even when you’re tired.

See you on the Hill.

UPDATE: In speaking with the bill sponsor, Jim Dunnigan, he was clear that a 600-hr license and a 300-hr license ARE a move in the right direction and that even if “hair braiding” is not in the current statute, the definitions of “twisting, locking, weaving” mean that it IS included. Certainly DOPL considers it part of the current licensure. From that perspective – which I understand – he’s right that 600 hours and 300 hours are less than 2000 hours. I still think it’s 300 and 600 hours too many. We’re working on that…..

The Day After

November 7, 2012

To say last night was disappointing would truly be an understatement. Romney lost, Mia Love lost. Dang it. There were lots of other bummers and some nice bright spots….but that’s another post.

It’s also been disappointing and a bummer to see what has happened today: Gloating and some amazing armchair quarter-backing, both locally and nationally. Truly unbecoming.

Mia did a great job, as did Governor Mitt Romney. Props to Matheson and Obama on their wins. I mean that. They really did a great job selling their message and getting their supporters to the polls. But also props to Mitt and Mia for running good races and for leaving it all on the field. Many candidates really don’t give it their all. These two did and I’m very proud of both of them.

Here are some more great things today:

*The weather is amazing! I can’t ever remember this lovely of an early November.

*A good snowstorm is headed our way. That is also lovely in November (not so much in March….)

*We have the greatest country on earth! God bless our republic!

*I have had good friends from “across the aisle” reach out to me today. Big shout-out especially to Maryann Martindale and Jason Williams, but there are others as well. So much nicer than gloating and I very much appreciate it.

*It’s “just” politics. Yes, it’s important and yes, it’s intense, but it’s still just politics.

*Our family has had an amazing opportunity to be deeply immersed in the political process. It’s been a bonding experience for us. No, really. It has. I am very proud of my kiddos and my husband. They joined me in doing what we could to leave it all on the field for candidates and causes we believed in. I have teenage political activists in the making and I couldn’t be more pleased.

*Viva the First Amendment! As a blogger with strong opinions, I have no worries about disappearing during the night and ending up in pieces under a bridge somewhere. This is a very good thing.

*Keeping it in perspective, I didn’t just have to bury my child, like my good friends did on Saturday. Believe me, that is so much worse than losing an election.

*Thanksgiving is two weeks and a day from tomorrow. Christmas is one month after that. Lots of time to focus on home and family over the next 6 weeks. I’m looking forward to it.

Keep it classy, friends, and keep it real. Life goes on.

Gary Herbert: The Mia Love I know and trust

October 24, 2012

In case you were wondering where the Governor stood:

Voices without a vote

October 11, 2012

Listen up, people. We are burdening the next generation – and several more after that – with unconscionable debt. Time for action. These kids can’t vote. You can. Get out there and do it.

Matheson attacking Love for wanting to restrain government

October 11, 2012

Matheson’s latest negative attack ad against Mayor Mia Love goes after her for wanting to rein in out-of-control spending and limit the federal government‘s involvement in education. Isn’t Jim a limited government fiscal conservative? That’s how he has always campaigned…. I guess when the polls put him down 6 points or more – and still falling – his true colors start showing.

Matheson produced an ad that says (and I’m paraphrasing) that Mia hates kids and hates education. He also parrots his ridiculous line that she’s “Not Ready”

Jim, that’s bull-pucky and you know it.

Mayor Love is advocating LOCAL CONTROL of not only educational decisions, but educational dollars. Our dollars in Utah always go farther when we don’t have to send them to DC for laundering, then get them back with strings attached. (No Child Left Behind, anyone? How about Race to the Top?)

So let’s talk about the Department of Education. It became a Cabinet-level department in 1980, after being created and signed into law by Jimmy Carter in late 1979. Republicans at the time protested its creation, saying that education was a LOCAL function and not one for the federal government to control.

Democrats used the Commerce Clause (there’s that pesky thing again) to say that indeed the nation needed a new bureacratic agency, one that would be funded under the Taxing and Spending Clause. At its creation, the Dept of Ed had 3000 employees, with an annual budget of $12 billion. Today, it has a budget of $71 billion – an increase of almost 600%. Employee numbers have risen by the thousands as well.

Returning education to the states is not a new idea. During the 1980 presidential debates – the same year the Dept of Ed sprang into existence – Ronald Reagan advocated eliminating it. With the House under Democrat control, he was unsuccessful. In his 1982 State of the Union address, he talked about it again, saying: “The budget plan I submit to you will realize major savings by dismantling the Department of Education.”

In 1996, the Republican party made getting rid of the Dept of Ed a cornerstone of their campaign promises and a key part of their platform. Bob Dole, who ran for president that year, said “We’re going to cut out the Department of Education.”

With the explosive growth of yet another government agency, when we have $16 trillion in debt and a trillion in deficit each year, it’s about time we have an adult conversation about the proper role of government. (And I must point out yet again that LIMITED government does not equal NO government…..)

Utah is ready to manage its own educational programs. Educational decisions belong in the hands of families, first and foremost, with government oversight being done at the most local level possible.

Matheson could learn something from Mia by asking these simple questions:

*Is it affordable?
*Is it sustainable?
*Is it our job?

Jim’s answer is always MORE GOVERNMENT and now he’s on the attack when his opponent says we need to get government off our backs and out of our wallets. How is Matheson’s big government view one of “Utah’s values?”

Mia Love raises over $1 million in 3rd quarter

October 11, 2012

Boom.

Mia raised over a million dollars from July 1 to Sept 30.

When fundraising numbers were released in July for the previous three months, Mayor Love had raised $355,000 to Matheson’s $361,000. She made what the Salt Lake Tribune called a “bold prediction.” “I have no doubts that we will outraise him next quarter.” The Trib went on to say “It’s unusual for a challenger to mirror the fundraising of an incumbent and even rarer for one to outperform a sitting lawmaker.”

Welcome to a whole new world.

She did far more than mirror Matheson. She crushed him.

(At least that’s the presumption, since Matheson is loathe to release his numbers until forced to by law….watch for those numbers as close to the 15th as possible. I’d be surprised it he reached half that amount.)

The total Mia raised for the 3rd quarter was $ 1,019,477.92 from 13,284 individual donors. (Most of Matheson’s money, on the other hand, comes from PACs, including that PAC Jon Huntsman keeps funding.)

That’s an awesome total that will let Mia stay competitive with TV and radio ads through the last few weeks of this campaign. I hope Jim & Co have hired some resume writers. They’re gonna need ’em.

GOP Caucuses March 15th!

March 7, 2012

Wanna really make a difference in the political process?  Mark your calendars and plan on showing up next Thursday night, March 15th, for the Republican caucuses.  Fantastic opportunity to be involved in a banner year for political junkies!

Bureaucrats gone wild

February 23, 2012

20120223-084836.jpgWith gas prices reaching historic seasonal highs, Americans are asking themselves what’s going on. What’s going on is plenty, and all of it in the wrong direction under the Obama Administration.

One wrong-headed move follows another with this president, and listing them would take days. Drilling bans, ridiculous regulatory burdens, locked up lands, and halting the Keystone Pipeline come quickly to mind, but there is more. Two moves currently underway underscore the problem. The first is the “Menendez Amendment” that may be introduced as part of the coming highway bill in the Senate. It is yet another run at taking away “loopholes” from American oil companies – “Loopholes” that are available to every other type of American company for ordinary manufacturing tax credits and to avoid double taxation when foreign taxes on some profits have already been paid. So Senator Menendez – at the STate of the Union urging of the President – wants to single out U.S. companies for “special” treatment.

(Of note: Orrin Hatch voted for a similar tax hike back in December of 2007. Bob Bennett’s no vote was the margin by which it was defeated…)

Meanwhile, foreign oil producers like BP and Shell, and the national companies from Venezuela and Iran, get yet another competitive advantage. 

What happens if we raise taxes on oil and gas producers? Well, you think four bucks a gallon is bad…

But even that is not enough for this administration. Now the SEC is looking to force those same U.S. oil producers (as a little known part of Dodd/Frank, naturally) to disclose sensitive competitive information about monies paid to foreign governments to the whole world – including those same foreign companies against which American producers compete! U.S. companies that are publicly traded would have to account publicly for every payment down to the level of individual well leases. No one is opposing transparency here, but to have an American bureaucracy impose this kind of regulation ONLY on publicly-traded, AMERICAN companies is yet another example of the wrong move at the wrong time. Disclose total payments to particular countries? No problem. To give away the store to Venezuela and Iran? That’s a problem. 

Do the Obama-ites even realize who the really Big Players in the world oil market really are? You don’t get to companies like Exxon-Mobil till you’re way out of the Top Ten. To force U.S. producers to open their books to all their foreign competitors more than wrong-headed, it is insane.

It is just one more example of “Bureaucrats Gone Wild” under this administration – and one more explanation of four-dollar gas. If the Obama Administration gets its way on Menendez and Dodd/Frank disclosure, five bucks is just down the road.

Dan Liljenquist: Politics and Hungry, Hungry Hippos

February 3, 2012

Our politics have become a high-stakes game of Hungry, Hungry Hippos. 

 

 

It’s time for that to change. We need more of the “Audacity of Nope.”

 


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