Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Will Republicans learn?

November 30, 2012

learnI’m worried.

In spite of super-super majorities of Republicans in the Utah House and Senate, we lost races we “should” have won.

I’m worried that finger-pointing and blaming diverts us from being accountable. There’s a difference between learning lessons and avoiding accountability by looking to blame “everyone else”. We often do one without the other – can we reverse that and actually learn without trying to pin losses everywhere but where it belongs?

I’m worried that our chest-thumping blinds us to the cracks appearing in the foundation. Ask the GOP in Colorado if they wish they would have paid attention to the signs prior to the Dem take-over a few years back. The signs were there. The Blueprint was laid. And it’s being ignored.

I’m worried about our complacency and our arrogance. It will cost us, as it always does.

I’m worried that candidates who “got lucky” don’t realize it was luck and not skill that won their election.

I’m worried that our ability to look down the road goes about as far as the next election cycle. There are individual exceptions, of course and thank goodness. But there are far too few.

I’m worried about the circular firing squad, public flogging, eat-our-own mentality that Republicans do so well and so often. Example #1: Mitt Romney. Within nano-seconds of the race being called for Obama, people who had been Romney’s BFF’s – and scrambling for a spot in the new administration, I might add – started pushing him under the bus as fast as they could. Ann Coulter had a pretty great piece last week titled: Mitt Romney was not the problem. Read it. Learn from it. Then stop it, already.

I’m worried about the 100% or nothing litmus test we give to candidates, irrationally expecting our version of perfection.

I’m also worried at the conflicting sentiment that exists that we should never challenge or hold our own accountable, and the pedestal we sometimes often put our elected officials on.

I’m worried about candidates who make campaign promises they promptly break when the election results are finally tallied.

I’m worried that people think that getting better and learning from the past means abandoning our principles. It does not.

I think we need a good dose of this:

The New Republican Party I envision is one that will energetically seek out the best candidates for every elective office, candidates who not only agree with, but understand, and are willing to fight for a sound, honest economy, for the interests of American families and neighborhoods and communities and a strong national defense. And these candidates must be able to communicate those principles to the American people in language they understand. Inflation isn’t a textbook problem. Unemployment isn’t a textbook problem. They should be discussed in human terms.

Our candidates must be willing to communicate with every level of society, because the principles we espouse are universal and cut across traditional lines. In every Congressional district there should be a search made for young men and women who share these principles and they should be brought into positions of leadership in the local Republican Party groups. We can find attractive, articulate candidates if we look, and when we find them, we will begin to change the sorry state of affairs that has led a Democratic-controlled Congress for more than 40 years. I need not remind you that you can have the soundest principles in the world, but if you don’t have candidates who can communicate those principles, candidates who are articulate as well as principled, you are going to lose election after election. I refuse to believe that the good Lord divided this world into Republicans who defend basic values and Democrats who win elections. We have to find tough, bright young men and women who are sick and tired of cliches and the pomposity and the mind-numbing economic idiocy of the liberals in Washington.
Ronald Reagan, 1977

What do you think?


Should we retain Utah judges? Here’s a guide.

October 31, 2012

One of the frustrations in election years is how to know whether judges should be retained. The state of Utah has created a handy-dandy guide (yay!) that can help you make those decisions.

The Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission (JPEC) has compiled comprehensive evaluation reports on all judges who will appear on this year’s ballot. These reports are now available to the public here.

JPEC evaluation reports include:

* Whether the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission recommends that the judge be retained in office;

* How attorneys, court staff and jurors rated each judge;

* How courtroom observers evaluated each judge; and

* A clear, easy-to-understand description of the judge’s performance on the bench

Additional information about the commission as well as judicial evaluations on all the judges can be found at Readers can search for a judge by name or select the county in which they live and link to all judges who serve in that county. In addition, you can go to the JPEC Facebook page and/or their Twitter page (@UtahJPEC) for more information.

Kudos to the state for providing this resource.

Jim Matheson’s war on women

October 1, 2012

Or more precisely, his war on one womanMayor Mia Love. As Matheson has geared up his attacks on Mayor Love in an attempt to cling to power, he has gotten increasingly negative and condescending. Even my friends on the left (and yes, I do have them), have noted his arrogant, condescending attitude. He is derisive in tone and dismissive in his words.

What really stands out to me, though, is the language he uses to describe Mia Love. “Inexperienced,” “Hasn’t done her homework,” “Not ready.” In fact, in Matheson’s latest ad, he says she is “Not Good” and “Not Ready”. Then there’s this zinger from Saturday’s debate: “Being in Congress is a tough job. The issues are tough, and you’ve got to work really hard to understand them. They’re not that simple.”


Matheson is calling into question Mia’s intelligence? Her ability to understand the issues that face this nation? Her experience? Puh-lease.

Mia Love is plenty bright. She has a college degree from the University of Hartford, she’s been knee-deep in budgets for years and she clearly knows and can articulate the dangerous fiscal path we’re on as a nation – as well as steps we need to take to prevent a full-scale meltdown. The insinuation statement that she can’t handle the rigors of the job in Congress is crap. And more than that, it’s offensive.

Matheson also claims that Mia does not have enough “experience” to serve in Congress. Really? By what standard? Holding elected office? Let’s look at that.

His first opponent, Derek Smith, had zero experience in elected office.

His next opponent, x2, was John Swallow. When Swallow ran against him in 2002 and in 2004, he had held elected office for 6 years.

His 3rd opponent, in 2006, was LaVar Christensen, who had been in office less than 4 years.

His 4th opponent, Bill Dew, had never held elected office.

His 5th opponent, Morgan Philpot, held elected office for less than 4 years before challenging Matheson.

In contrast, Mia Love has held elected office since 2003. That’s 9 years. More than double Philpot and Christensen, and 50% longer than John Swallow. She has led through difficult times, not just the boom years and she has spent nearly a decade in the trenches of municipal government, the closest you can get to “we the people.” (And by the way – experience in elected office is NOT a prerequisite for running for federal office – or for winning. Exhibit A: Congressman Jason Chaffetz. Exhibit B: Senator Mike Lee.) It’s bunk to claim one must work their way up through the ranks of elected office before running for federal office.

Here’s the crux of it: Matheson never made those claims against his male opponents. He did not say they were not ready, that they were inexperienced (even with ZERO time in office) or that they were not smart enough to handle the job.

This kind of subtle – and not-so-subtle – messaging is damaging to all women, whether. It plays into an underlying societal meme that women are not suited for “those kinds” of jobs. Everybody wants to see women succeed – in theory. When it comes to actually putting it into practice, well, welcome to the glass ceiling. Before you say there is no such thing, just take a minute and think about the attacks that come specifically aimed at women (and even more so, at conservative women) who run for political office…….they are very different than the “attacks” aimed at a male candidate. (And if you ARE saying there is no such bias, chances are really, really good you’re a guy.)

I know Matheson has hired women. I happen to know he’s married to one, too. But when has Matheson ever called into question the readiness, experience, or intelligence of the men who ran against him the way he is doing with Mia? I know I couldn’t find it. He’s not running on his own record, nor his lack of leadership over the last 12 years, nor his vision of the future. Instead, he’s deflecting scrutiny by attacking Mayor Love in unprecedented ways.

He should be ashamed. And so should the people who fall for it. As this race continues to heat up – and it will – watch what he says. He has started down an ugly path. I expect it will only get worse.

Let me share one final tidbit. As I was digging for information on Matheson’s other races I found this nugget: About this time in 2010, Dan Jones predicated Matheson would win with a 26-point spread. In reality, he barely passed the 50% mark and defeated Morgan Philpot by a mere 4.4%. This race is much closer. Mark my words: Mia is going to win this one.

Mitt Romney: Send me Mia Love

September 18, 2012

Mia Love, Republican nominee for the 4th Congressional district, was the MC for Mitt Romney’s fundraiser in Utah today. Even though Josh Romney is her campaign chair and Ann Romney has openly endorsed her, there was apparently some confusion as to Mitt’s position.

In fact, Democrat Jim Matheson has been saying that Mitt needs HIM back there (what the wha?!).

Today, Mitt made it clear who he really wants in DC.

Wait for it…..

Wait for it……

Yep, it’s Mia. Mitt Romney said “She’s one of those I want to work with in DC. Please elect her as your next congresswoman.”

In case there was any question……

WSJ: Muslims, Mormons and Liberals

September 18, 2012

Bret Stephens with the Wall Street Journal just wrote a post titled: Muslims, Mormons and Liberals. If you’ve missed it, it is worth the read.

In it, he points out the incredible double-standard we are now seeing: “So let’s get this straight,” he says.  “In the consensus view of modern American liberalism, it is hilarious to mock Mormons and Mormonism but outrageous to mock Muslims and Islam. Why? Maybe it’s because nobody has ever been harmed, much less killed, making fun of Mormons.”

He then explains that the Book of Mormon musical contains scenes so vulgar they cannot be described in a family newspaper – but there’s no rioting in the streets.

The “Book of Mormon”—a performance of which Hillary Clinton attended last year, without registering a complaint—comes to mind as the administration falls over itself denouncing “Innocence of Muslims.” This is a film that may or may not exist; whose makers are likely not who they say they are; whose actors claim to have known neither the plot nor purpose of the film; and which has never been seen by any member of the public except as a video clip on the Internet.

No matter. The film, the administration says, is “hateful and offensive” (Susan Rice), “reprehensible and disgusting” (Jay Carney) and, in a twist, “disgusting and reprehensible” (Hillary Clinton). Mr. Carney, the White House spokesman, also lays sole blame on the film for inciting the riots that have swept the Muslim world and claimed the lives of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three of his staff in Libya.

Here’s more:

Here’s what else we learned this week about the emerging liberal consensus: That it’s okay to denounce a movie you haven’t seen, which is like trashing a book you haven’t read. That it’s okay to give perp-walk treatment to the alleged—and no doubt terrified—maker of the film on legally flimsy and politically motivated grounds of parole violation. That it’s okay for the federal government publicly to call on Google to pull the video clip from YouTube in an attempt to mollify rampaging Islamists. That it’s okay to concede the fundamentalist premise that religious belief ought to be entitled to the highest possible degree of social deference—except when Mormons and sundry Christian rubes are concerned.

Then this:

The most “progressive” administration in recent U.S. history will make no principled defense of free speech to a Muslim world that could stand hearing such a defense. After the debut of “The Book of Mormon” musical, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints responded with this statement: “The production may attempt to entertain audiences for an evening but the Book of Mormon as a volume of scripture will change people’s lives forever by bringing them closer to Christ.”

That was it. The People’s Front for the Liberation of Provo will not be gunning for a theater near you. Is it asking too much of religious and political leaders in Muslim communities to adopt a similar attitude?

In fact, the LDS church just recently placed ads in the playbills for the Book of Mormon musical, such as this one with Alex Boye:

As Mr Stephens continues with his article, he points out what should be obvious: that the whole purpose of free speech is “to protect unpopular, heretical, vulgar and stupid views.”

He concludes with this:

President Obama came to office promising that he would start a new conversation with the Muslim world, one that lectured less and listened more. After nearly four years of listening, we can now hear more clearly where the U.S. stands in the estimation of that world: equally despised but considerably less feared. Just imagine what four more years of instinctive deference will do.

And one last zinger:

On the bright side, dear liberals, you’ll still be able to mock Mormons. They tend not to punch back, which is part of what makes so many of them so successful in life.

Romney ad: Dear Daughter

September 18, 2012

Speaking of the Obama “War on Women”, Romney has released this ad. $50,000 in debt from Day One, higher unemployment for women and more women in poverty in nearly a generation.

Happy Independence Day!

July 4, 2012

Today as we celebrate with friends and family (but without fireworks), we must also remember WHY we celebrate this day. Over 200 years ago, a small group of freedom-loving men committed an act of treason against the crown when they declared that they were dissolving the political bands which kept them connected to England.

The declaration “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights” expressed a view that was NOT “self-evident” to many. For centuries, few questioned the status quo of a ruling class. The idea that “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed” was, well, revolutionary.

Today, we are reminded again that “Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.”

You(can)Cut government programs

August 4, 2010

Back in May, U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), Minority Whip, launched “You Cut” – a program where “we the people” can go to a website and select programs that should no longer be funded by the federal government.

Each week, the “House Economic Recovery Solutions Group” posts new proposals and asks site visitors to vote on which one they think is the worst waste of money. Participants can also text their votes via cell phone.

So far, $1.3 million votes have been cast to eliminate such things as the mohair subsidy program, collecting back taxes from gov’t employees, ending funding for whaling programs in Mississippi and prohibiting taxpayer funding for campaigns in foreign countries.

Here is Rep Cantor explaining this innovative idea:

While presented as a bipartisan effort, it’s been heavily supported by the Republicans and not nearly as much by the Democrats. Finally, last week’s top YouCut item was presented by 4 Democrats – but when their proposal was presented on the House floor, 3 of the 4 voted against it!

So do your part and every week, head on over to Rep Cantor’s site to cast your vote. Maybe, just maybe, one of them will actually be implemented.

The rest of the story

August 3, 2010

Earlier this week, the Tribune did a story about Congressman Jason Chaffetz receiving money from postal workers unions – donations of over $20K. A year ago, Joe Pyrah of the Daily Herald also wrote about the mail carriers donating to Chaffetz, who is the ranking member on the committee that oversees the postal service. (And by the way – digging into more of the FEC reports, those same PACs that donated $1K or $2K to Chaffetz donated many times that to the Democrats on the committee.)

According to Open Secrets, both the banking industry and other politician’s PACs led the way as top PAC donors to Chaffetz, with “labor unions” coming in 3rd.  Overall, Congressman Chaffetz receives 73% of his PAC donations from “business” interests, 16% listed as “ideological” and only 11% from “labor”.

The real story, however, is how Chaffetz continues to fund his campaign with individual donations. He has more than double the number of individual donors than Matheson has (435 to 207) and many times more than Congressman Bishop (who only lists 62). As a percentage, Chaffetz is funded with 52% PAC money and 47% individual donations, while Matheson is funded almost exclusively by PACs – 84% to 15%.  Bishop lists 55% of his funding coming from PACs and 43% from individuals.

Also telling are the percentages of in-state donors vs out-of-state donors. Comparing all members of the Utah delegation, Chaffetz receives the largest percentage of money from in-state donors – 65%. Senator Bennett received the smallest percentage at just 25%, followed by Hatch at 28%, Bishop at 55% and Matheson at 60%.

As a side note, 56% of the PACs that donate to Chaffetz also donate to Matheson (and overall, they donate more to Matheson than Chaffetz.)

Oh – and one PAC that is not likely to donate to Chaffetz again this year: OrrinPac, who gave Chaffetz $5000 last year.

And there you have the rest of the story.

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