Politically Active and Aware
Duerden 2018 Congressional Campaign Ticket Issue Paper Draft
Our Plan to Fix the DECADES of
Harm Done by Utah's GOP-centric Elected Officials
(aka: " RED COATS ")
"What do you mean 'Harm done by Utah's GOP Elected officials? What 'Harm' have they done? I don't know about any 'Harm!' " You may be saying to yourself . . . well, give us a few moments while we present our case.
To us the most egregious single thing the 'RED COATS' have done, and we use the term 'RED COATS' purposely, started in 2000 and became a fete complete in 2009. Not only is this one incident (but, believe us there are many many more!) but it illustrates just how corrupt and tainted ALL the legislators are -- SO, this is one incident out of the hundreds of bills and decisions the entire sitting legislatures and governors have already done FOR DECADES . . . but especially those who were involved in either the 2000 incident &/or the 2009 culmination of the event; and everyone in the legislature during and after those years, we allege! SO, let's get into our top three (3) cases against the 'RED COATS!'
CASE #1 of 3 (circa 2000 to 2009)
HB320 (2000) was introduced in the Legislative Session in early 2000. It was a bill which was 'sponsored' by then Rep. David Uhr (R-Kamas) and wanted to abolish the Public Uitilities Commission's (PUC) Consumer Services Office - an office advocating to protect from unwarranted rate hikes from the Utah utility monopolies (Mt. Fuel, Questar, Rocky Mtn. Power, etc.). All rate requests, up or down, pass through the PUC for authorization before going into effect.
HB320 was admitted in open session to be authored by a lawyer (Roland Gilcrest, by name, who was and may yet be attached to Questar - as 'chief legal counsel' at the time -, but under the impitous of all of the utility monopolies) and NOT an elected legislator! This mouth-piece of the monopoly literally sat on the house floor next to or AT Rep. Uhr's desk during the debate on the measure as well as at Rep. Uhr's elbow during committee hearings on the bill - AND NO ONE said 'BOO' about it; not the opposition (many times Dems and Red-Coats are indistinguishable - Rand Paul calls it the 'one-party system'), not the leadership of either 'party,' not a single other elected member of the body, not the Governor nor the Atty. General . . . No One said "This isn't right! This is highly questionable conduct, if not just ethically and morally WRONG! What are you thinking?" The Silence was DEAFENING! Unti.l it came to the media
One media observer stated, "One no longer needs to be elected to make laws in Utah!"
Gov. Mike Leavitt, whose father (Dixie Leavitt of Cedar City) was and may still be a very large shareholder and sat who on the board of utility-monopolies of the State, allowed the bill to become law, after it passed both the House and Senate, without his signature. Such a fervor was stirred up in the media and community of Salt Lake within the rest of the state that in the 2001 session, Uhr sponsored a bill repealing his own 2000 HB320!!!
Several times between 2001 and after, legislators attempted similar bills at the behest of the utility- monopolies of the State (Questar, Utah Power, etc.).
The scene jumps to the Legislature's 2009 Session, for the 'fete'a complete' came when Senator John Valentine (then a ranking 'Red Coat' State Senator from Orem - now Chair of the State Tax Commission) sponsored SB187, which moved the Consumer Service Office from the PUC (where they were part of the notice of any and all rate issues) to the Department of Commerce under the Consumer Protection Division - relegating the former utility advocates to only a REGULATORY ADVISORY ROLE, AND it only took nine (9) years for the utilities to get their concept (from 2000) delivered!
Only one time is NOT a trend, but if it happens again . . . and again, oops, it did !!
On to Case Study #2 . . .
Case #2 of 3
HB477 (2011) was a bill whose chief sponsor was then Rep. John Dougall (R-American Fork, House Dist. 57). This was introduced and passed in the waning days of the 2011 session. In 2011, the Salt Lake Weekly, Salt Lake Tribune, Deseret News, Ogden Standard-Examiner AND the Provo Daily Herald all railed against this bill, which was under threat, by Gov. Herbert, of veto and even calling a special session to re-work or repeal the bill.
The bill was amended by the Senate, in which the House concurred, and then they repealed the entire bill in a special session - which Herbert took heat for not vetoing it and thereby saving $30,000 cost of the special session for one single day.
The flawed concept of the bill was to exempt voice mails, instant messages, video chats, and text messages from falling under GRAMA (Government Records Access Management Act) as 'government records,' using the excuse of 'legislator privacy rights.'
As late as one full year (2012) later, the GRAMA Work Gkrooup was still working on adding privacy clauses to GRAMA. One wonders WHY it was needed? Do elected officials doing their job NEED privacy? Aren't they using cell phones and tablets offered to them (and paid for) by the State of Utah? What about the Sunshine Laws, Open Meeting Laws, Transparency and (oh yes) Open Government concept . . . oh, wait, this is Utah where the legislature has EXEMPTED THEMSELVES from such mundane matters as mere 'Sunshine Laws,' puny little 'Meeting Laws,' and any semblance of Open Government! AND NOW they think they need PRIVACY exemptions as part of, or protection from, GRAMA??
So 'We the People' want to let them continue to run rough-shod over ethical, morale behavior? Will WE let them put themselves 'above the law' for everyone else? Do we want to VOTE a corrupt and tainted group BACK into office year after year?? OR do we realize the entire legislature has been infected and are carriers of these same unethical and immoral ideas and concepts/practices of HOW to conduct their legislative responsibilities -- guilt by example and SILENCE, not standing up for correct principles OR for calling their fellow legislators out for corrupt, unethical and ONO-moral practices!!!
Can you say: "They have been bought and sold!!" ?? Hoisted on their own petard?? And unfortunately, the taxpayers (aka: Voters) are going along, blissfully ignorant . . . as the media fails to provide the necessary information, either (failing in their 'watchdog' duties!!).
AND WHO is this corrupting influence? Well, beyond their own evil desires for money and power and outside influences (such as unethical lobbyists - but that's another story, isn't it!!) . . . so we come to our third corruption case (how many strikes do we give them? Two? THREE? or more???).
CASE #3 of 3
A total of 24 legislators in the Utah Legislature are members of a group known as the American Legislative Exchange Council . . . or committee, or consortium, OR should it be CARTEL (!!) . . . [actually, that sounds better, Cartel gives a more accurate connotation!!] more commonly just called A.L.E.C. Among those members are the President of the Senate, Wayne Niederhouser - who was a former State Chair for ALEC along with Sen. Curt Bramble (who sat on the National Board of Directors for ALEC and was also a former State Chair), etc.
In 2012 ALEC was being investigated by the IRS for substantiation of the '501-c-3' [501 (c)(iii)] qualification as a non-profit 'educational' organization, because they were accused of being a lobbying group - which is not allowed under IRS 501(c)(iii) designation.
ALEC admits to being an organization with business (corporte) members, state legislative members (even several current congressmen, several state governors were/are members), all organized into 'task force' committees on various topics (e.g., Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force; Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force; Communications and Technology Task Force; Public Safety and Elections Task Force; Health and Human Services Task Force; Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force; International Relations Task Force; etc.). Business members include the NRA, Coca-Cola, big Tobacco, Petro-Chemical, etc.
In 2012 the State Chair of ALEC was Provo's State Senator Curt Bramble (R-Dist. 16), who also sat on the National Board of Directors of the organization. Senator Wayne Niederhouser will become the National Executive Board's chairman in July 2018.
Among the types of things coming from the Task Forces are actual bill drafts (legislation usually NOT written by the legislators but rather the businesses which want government contracts, payments, ideas and concepts they want pushed and the legislator only 'fills in the blanks') literally passed out to the legislative members from the business members during the closed door 'task force meetings.' Ideas such as School Vouchers (which Utahns defeated the idea by 66% vote against), For-Profit Charter Schools and other For-Profit Education (moving toward privatization of Public Education, but taxpayers will still be paying the bill for them), 'special scholarships' for charter schools paid for by taxpayer monies, 'Stand Your Ground' Law, Prison Management by 'for profit' corporations outside the oversight of local government, et al.
ALEC is just an undercover, closed and 'secret' forum for collusion and lobbying, done behind closed doors and in back-rooms by big corporations for their own selfish gain at taxpayer expense. It was established over 40 years ago and the corruption it has inflicted on the entire Nation has been documented and brought to light by such as Bill Moyers. Google "ALEC" and see the scope of the tide against this group, you'd think it was part of the KKK or American Neo-Nazi movement or the latest 'Red Menace!' But it is worse! It has corrupted the morales and ethics of legislators all over the country for the "almighty buck!" (Specifically legislators are lying about campaign finance and subsitization by ALEC, etc.) Not public service, not any humanitarian or charitable purpose but base 'greed and power' of Corporate Corruption of our State Legislators.
Three cases have been presented. Not all the evidence, individually, proves the premise that 'Harm' has been done by the 'RED COATS' in Utah (the GOP-centric Elected Officials), but you have to admit that the evidence, in total, could be damning and that it shows, at the very least, that SOME Harm or Damage has been done over the years. Even if you don't fully agree that the Legislative and Executive Branches are both corrupt and tainted by the evidence (corruption, lack of ethics and morales), that they are after power, money, personal aggrandizement and 'political-priestcraft' AND that we need to FIRE THEM ALL and start over with a whole NEW batch . . . you have to agree that the evidence causes thinking voters to question if the current office holders are really doing it for the 'right reasons' OR, at very least, a very dark cloud overshadows the office holders and their INTENTIONS . . . we hope!
We would be committed to being 'bare-naked' transparent in all our dealings and policies, because we believe that public service is one of the higher callings and one with plenty of responsibility - for we are representing the best interests of the VOTERS (both those who voted for us and also those who didn't vote for us, ALL the Voters - even those who didn't vote!!) [NOT that we would purposely be naked without clothes, but the intent of the transparency is to be able for voters and residents to see how everything is done - the why, what, how, where, when; the full and complete picture! - barring national security issues or other ethical and common sense reasons, but would make everything available as possible!]
Additional evidence of 'Harm':
Gov. Herbert's alleged campaign finance violations in 2012, which went before the Utah Supreme Court until Lt. Gov. Greg Bell came forward and took jurisdiction over the case, as the State's Election official and said he would investigate and make a decision . . . but that turned into inaction and no penalty. Instead, the legislature – after the fact – legitimized the Governor's practice by codifying the action. [Farley Anderson's case against Gary Herbert in 2012]
Utah's Public Integrity overall grade is a D- with seven (7) F grades for various categories. This is totally unacceptable, Utah should be LEADING not FLUNKING!!
Utah's debt level is unacceptable, as well, with over $44 million in debt ($39.5 in bonded debt and another $9.9 in unfunded liabilities; this puts every man, woman and child in the state in debt to the amount of $12,000+
former Utah County Commissioner Gary Anderson posing as an LDS General Authority in a land deal – ethically and morally unacceptable!
Utah County's DUI County Commissioner
Utah Atty. Gen. John Swallow's resignation under a cloud of controversy and the resulting insinuations against former Atty. Gen. John Shurtliff - both were arrested and charged
but their trials were found inconclusive, neither were found guilty (18 months later)
Utah County's current Commissioner Greg Graves under a cloud of harrassment acquisations (circa 2018)
All of the above have 'harmed' all the reputations of elected officials in the state as well as harmed the public perception of politically appointed and elected officers; if not actually tainting their office
If any of the above makes sense to you, if you see the same need we see, if you believe the current Governor and Legislature have been used by 'criminal entities' within the State of Utah (willingly or unbeknownst to some of them) FOR DECADES; if you are sick and tired of the tainted and corrupt elected officials OR even consider the possibility of the elected officials being corrupt and tainted . . . we would urge you to Vote on Nov.6, 2018 for Greg Duerden on the Independent American Party (IAP) ticket for Utah Third Congressional District seat.
Thank you for your support
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UTAH Members of A.L.E.C.
Sen. Wayne Niederhauser (R- 9) In July 2018 will become the National Exec. Bd. Chair – he is the current First Vice Chair (since July 2017) and Exec. Board member since 2012 and former State Chair for ALEC, currently on Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force, and International Relations Task Force
Sen. Curt Bramble (R-Provo) still a member ALEC and past Exec. Board member (2012) and former State Chair for ALEC; currently on the International Relations Task Force, Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force
Sen. Margaret Dayton (R-Orem) on Education Task Force
Sen. J. Stuart Adams (R- 22) former State Chair, on the Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force
Sen. Lyle Hillyard (R-25)
Sen Peter Knudson (R-17) on Health and Human Services Task Force
Sen Ralph Okerlund (R-24) on Energy, Enviroment and Agriculture Task Force
Sen Howard Stephenson (R-11) on Education Task Force
Congressman Rob Bishop (R-Utah 01)
Rep. Kim Coleman (R-42) Current State Co-Chair
Rep. Gage Froerer (R-8) on Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force
Rep. Brian Greene (R-57)
Rep. Keith Grover (R-61) on Education Task Force
Rep. Eric K. Hutchings (R-38) on Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force; member and guest at the Dec. 2010 meeting of the International Relations Task Force
Rep. Ken Ivory (R-47) Current State Co-Chair; on International Relations Task Force; State Legislator of the Year (2014) for his work on the initiative “Financial Ready Utah”
Rep. Paul Ray (R-13) on Public Safety and Elections Task Force
Rep. R. Curt Webb (R-5) Alternate for the Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force
Rep. Brad Daw (R-60) on Health and Human Services Task Force
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