Politically Active and Aware
Duerden 2018 Congressional Campaign Ticket Issue Paper:
UTAH Public Integrity
THIS 2018 CONGRESSIONAL CAMPAIGN IS ALL ABOUT Integrity on several levels
Level #2 - The Cato Institute gave Gov. Herbert another D for:
the size of Utah government, raising taxes, rapid budget
growth, and the number of workers on the state payroll.
As the 'Good Book' says (in Matt. 18:16):
" . . . out of the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established." (KJV)
" . . . take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the
evidence of two or three witnesses." (ESV)
When both ends of the spectrum 'condemn' or question or find fault with someone, there must be something wrong or some 'grain of truth' to the allegations, in this 'well-managed state' with such a 'Good Governor, Good Man' and such a 'steady hand at the tiller of state' as Herbert and the 'RED COATS'. . . RIGHT?
Details of Level #1 - The Center for Public Integrity
Utah's Public Integrity was studied in 2012 and again in 2015 by the Center for Public Integrity, along with all 50 states, and comparisons were made based on scores, grades and rankings of several different categories. So, how did Utah do?
Utah was ranked 36th of the 50 States in 2012, with a score of 65 and an overall grade of D. Not a very good ranking, score or overall grade – four (4) categories received failing grades, an F, from the study (specifically: Political Financing, Legislative Accountability, Ethics Enforcement Agencies, and Redistricting). The 2015 study found Utah ranking 25th of the 50 States, right in the middle of the pack, but both the score and grade slipped, slightly. The score was only a 62, resulting an overall grade of a D-. The lowering of the grade was likely due to seven (7) categories receiving failing grades: Political Financing, Executive Accountability, Judicial Accountability, Lobbying Disclosure, Ethics Enforcement Agencies, State Pension Fund Management and State Civil Service Management.
Let's center on one specific category, Executive Accountability. That specific category was graded as C- in 2012 but failed, given an F, in 2015. Both studies were conducted by the Center for Public Integrity and both were done under the Administration of Gov. Gary Herbert – although he had two different Lt. Governors for those studies, Greg Bell for the 2012 study and Spencer Cox for the 2015 study.
Looking at this specific study's press release adds historic insights for the 2012 result:
“In 2008, when The Pew Center on the States graded Utah with an A- for government performance, state politicians had something to cheer about. The glowing mark helped mask the unsightly D- Utah garnered for campaign finance disclosure in a national survey called the Campaign Disclosure Project.
“But now, according the State Integrity Investigation, there are new reasons for concern. The Beehive State ranks 36th among the states, with a grad of D and a numerical score of 65 according to the integrity probe, a collaboration of the Center for Public Integrity, Global Integrity and Public Radio International.
“That score, coupled with the mixed messages of the earlier study, raises the question: Is Utah's boasting of being a 'best managed state' in danger of erosion amid the explosion of money in politics? And does this state of 2.8 million residents have the safeguards to prevent lasting problems?
“'Just as we reveled in high marks from Pew for good governance and Forbes for business, we also must take [this] poor grade as a call for the state to look at model laws and possibilities for improvement,' said Kirk Jowers, chair of the Governor's Commission on Strengthening Utah's Democracy.
“Utah government has no public records ombudsman and no independent, statewide ethics agency, although the 2012 legislature did pass a bill creating a new ethics board for local governments. The state has limited asset disclosure requirements for public officials, and no requirement for lobbyists to report their compensation.
“'While the State of Utah has made some significant strides in the right direction, especially with regard to budgets and audits, there are areas where we can improve and we are committed to working on those areas,' said GOP Gov. Gary Herbert, in a statement released by his spokesperson.
“Former Republican lawmaker David Irvine, an attorney with Utahns for Ethical Government, said the issue 'goes beyond the symbolism of a letter grade. The purpose of ethics laws is to keep honest people honest, and to give voters confidence that their government is acting for the benefit of all of us.' Utah is tied for the very bottom in the state Integrity Investigation's rankings on ethics enforcement.”
“Headlines over the past few years reflect the worry. 'Lawmaker resigns on eve of ethics investig- ation.' 'Ethics complaints filed following accusations of bribery on Capitol Hill.' 'Utah ex-official alleges retribution behind layoff.' 'Liquor boss forced to amid allegations of wrongdoing.' 'Former UTA board member made 'millions' on land deal near Draper rail stop.'
“Such stories inspired a citizens' initiative for ethics reform and factored in legislative changes. Utah lawmakers tightened the standards for accepting gifts and for the personal use of campaign funds in the spring of 2012. In January 2010, Governor Herbert issued an executive order banning most gifts for state employees and tightening rules against former employees lobbying executive branch agencies.
“With the citizen push for ethics gaining momentum, Utah lawmakers in 2010 created their own ethics panel. But the reform sparked questions about how robust the Independent Ethics Commission will be. The panel meets in private, And, critics note, if a complaint against a lawmaker becomes public it is dismissed.
“The commission's former chair, Michael Wilkins, said the rules aim to provide a thorough initial screening of allegations before they become public. 'I think the theory was it would prevent last minute complaints,' he said, particularly just prior to an election.
“Some political observers still await lasting reform.
“In later 2009, a group of political and community leaders issued a 25-page report for the governor's Commission on Strengthening Utah's Democracy. Among its recommendations: Requiring disclosure of employment data for campaign contributors, limiting 'revolving door' lobbying, and creating an Elections & Lobbying Review Commission.
“The Governor's Commission also unanimously backed campaign contribution limits, urging the state to enact $10,000 limits per two-year election cycle for statewide races and including a 'pay-to-play' measure sharply limiting campaign donations from major state vendors.
“Yet Utah lawmakers have not acted on the most far-reaching reforms suggested.
“'There remain important improvements that the legislature should undertake,' said commission chair Jowers.
“A year after the commission's report was issued, the debate over campaign contributions re-ignited during the 2010 governor's race. In 2010, the state quietly paid a $13 million settlement to one of the unsuccessful bidders for a record $1.7 billion Utah County road contract. News of the settlement came as Governor Herbert defended himself against reports his campaign accepted $82,500 in campaign contributions from members of the winning bid team.
“Both the governor and state road builders denied any suggestion of a link between the contract and the contributions. 'I can tell you these bids come through a very complicated process. I don't know who wins them, who loses them,' Gov. Herbert said when the story broke. 'I don't always know who's given money to the campaign.'
“Following the controversy, Utah lawmakers approved, and the governor signed a law requiring the state transportation agency to seek approval for financial settlements exceeding $100,000.
“The State Integrity Investigation also identified some of Utah's strengths, including muscular audit and budget functions. The state ranked 3rd in auditing and 16th in budgeting. The review uncovered few complaints about the state's unelected civil servants, and state government generally received high marks for its web access and breath of online documents. Through the state legislature's website on Utah.gov, residents can read bills, follow votes and listen to streaming or archived audio of committee hearings and floor debates.
“Utah's government records law survived an attempt by lawmakers to weaken it via a bill passed during the 11th hour of the 2011 legislative session. That move prompted an outcry that lead the bill's repeal in late March.
“That, open government experts say, was a snippet of good news in a state struggling to create lasting safeguards.”
(Utah gets D grade in 2012 State Integrity Investigation – Why Utah ranked 36th of 50 states, by John Daley – March 19, 2012)
With all those facts from the 2012 study, let's look at the details of the 2015, most current, report on the Public Integrity of our State. Remember, we slipped from an overall D grade in 2012 to a D- for the 2015 overall grade. On the good side, we did move up the list to the 25th State of all 50, but our score went down to 62, and we had seven (7) failing grades.
We scored one A – for the State Budget Process (up from a B- in 2012); two Bs – a B for Internal Auditing (down from an A in 2012) and a B- for Procurement (also down from a B+ in 2012). There were two C-s – one for Electoral Oversight, and one for Public Access to Information – even though the Public Access to Information is ranked 2nd of the 50 States, it only gets a C-, signifying there are lots still to do for that particular category nationwide AND in the State of Utah). The Legislature Accountability went from an failing grade in 2012 up slightly to a D+ for 2015. The remaining seven categories were all failing grades, Fs. One of the Fs is of interest because this category tied for last place (49th with two states getting the same score of 34 and the same grade F). The category is State Pension Fund Management, the one responsible for many teacher and educator pensions and State employees (does that give any of you pause??).
We think it is also interesting to note the Executive Accountability (Gov. Herbert) received an F with a score of 49 and ranking of 45th in the Nation. For Ethics Enforcement Agencies also received an F with a score of 47 and is ranked 41st of the 50 States, in the bottom 20% of the Nation.
Details of Level #2 - The Cato Institute
In an October (2016) front-page article, the Salt Lake Tribune (by Robert Gehrke), it is reported that the conservative think-tank, the Cato Institute, graded Governor Gary Herbert giving him another D grade. Another one, oh my!
This assessment stands in extreme contrast to the billboards along I-15 touting Gov. Herbert for re-election, and his stump speeches, sound bites in his TV ads bragging he would "reduce regulations and cut the size of government and the size of the government workforce."
Cato documents the state budget growth by almost seven percent (7%) in 2015 and by more than nine percent (9%) in 2016. They also show that government employment "soared under Herbert, growing a remarkable 20% since he took office in mid-2009." (These numbers are based on US Census data, including schoolteachers in the ranks of state employees.)
The assessment dings Herbert for tax increases, including a tax hike which boosted costs by $75 million a year and a statewide property tax raise which would be funneled to 'rural and poor school districts."
Despite both of the above, shouldn't Utah be leading the Nation and the World in Public Integrity (as we did during the 2002 Olympic Scandal), NOT at the bottom of the Nation looking up.
LEVEL #3 - Elected Official Integrity
Public Integrity has another aspect, the conduct and actual facts about our elected officials. While Utah has a less than illustrious history. Bad examples abound, unfortunately, and we have more than sufficient of them currently in office within our state. But, just for fun, let us look at one example . . . what would you say about an elected official with multiple sexual harassment complaints specifically naming HIM and his business partner - AND the newest one was filed March 20, 2018, where he is MENTIONED for failure to protect the women in Provo's Police Department when this individual was the Mayor.
Multiple media outlets know about this information AND MORE, YET nothing about this has been printed or broadcast on/in the mainstream TV, Radio and Dailies in the whole State . . . WHY?
It was left to an on-line news service (Utah Standard News) to make the earlier matters public, back LAST OCTOBER (Oct. 2017, and it is still 'up' on the USN site).
AND STILL THE COVER-UP proceeds as little-if-anything is even mentioned about the latest lawsuit to which this elected official is a named party along with the former Provo Police Chief.
As a past Newspaper Editor and former Owner, as well as a Utah and Colorado Broadcaster, for the past 45 years, I thought the job of the media was to keep the public INFORMED, to tell the public the truth, NOT Cover It UP , despite where the truth lands. And you wonder why the public and more than one elected official are suspicious of the 'Fake News' Media.
SORRY Deseret News and Salt Lake KSL-5 TV station (both owned by Bonneville Media) . . . you had a chance and you blew it, you sold out to the quasi-powerful and YOU FAILED TO DO YOUR JOB!! Again!! You are on BIG reason the media is under-fire and NOT TRUSTED!! Yes, Deseret News Editorial Board, KSL-TV and Radio, even after a KSL Reporter (Ladd Egan) interviewed a major subject for 90 minutes and NEVER aired the story (!) YOU FAILED !!
Let's see if the SLTrib or Ogden Standard-Examiner or any other station or paper stands up for traditional journalistic principles, or who buckles under !!
For the un-initiated, that elected official is Congressman JOHN CURTIS - freshman 'RED COAT' Congressman for District 3 from Utah, former Mayor of Provo City, and previous to becoming a politican he was the C.O.O., V.P. of Marketing, and co-owner of Action Targets, Inc. in So. Provo.
The allegations and evidence point to:
- at least four (4) complaints of sexual harrasment, sexual discrimination and retaliation filed with the Utah Anti-discrimination and Labor Division (UALD) [by Roberts, Oler, Adams, & Francom] as well as with the NLRB & EEOC [documentation in the Curtis Exposed file on Utah Standard News, online]
- a trail of incompetence and building a TOXIC work culture at Action Targets
- multiple allegations of fraud, wage claims, and breach of contracts while at Action Targets
- alleged multiple violations of several federal statutes regarding wage & hour violations, not paying unemployment, etc., by 19 employees
- 13 cases of tax liens against ATI by sub-contractors AND
- one (1) wrongful termination lawsuit [Rita Duprat] filed in Provo Court
Utah District Court Judge Samuel D. McVey said:
" I'm surprised that there was no criminal investigation of [Curtis and Batemen] . . . based on the
large volume of rancid fish in the company [at Action Targets, Inc.]"
AND THEN there is the March 2018 lawsuit . . where Curtis is named, yet again as Mayor of Provo who hired the Police Chief who is alleged to have harassed females in Provo PD and Curtis "failed to protect the female employees under him."
Even right from his own mouth, he is a liar. During the 2017 Special Election campaign Curtis stated he is 'conservative' and that he cut the budget and the size of government in Provo 'using conservative principles.' NONE of which is true.
During his eight years as the Mayor of Provo the city budget continued to raise, sometimes by large margins. The Fiscal Year 2012 budget (FY2012) went up $44 million, FY2013 jumped $32.5 million, FY2014 added $19 million to the budget, FY2015 was a large jump of $95.6 million, FY2016 saw an increase of 'only' $25 million, the report for 2017 and 2018 are not completed yet (but wait for it, it won't be less!! Because the FY2017 budget was 'adjusted' to over $33 million more than the 2016 . . . so come back for more info to come. BUT that info does show a little bit of a trend!!).
Mayor Curtis is NOT (nor ever was) a conservative. He forgave a $1 million debt of NuSkin to Provo City for 'buying' a one-block section of 100 West, between Center and 100 South, so they could build and expand a building over and ON the street right-of-way. He hasn't cut taxes in the city, but increased fees and taxes - he hasn't met a tax he hasn't loved to increase!! He didn't cut the size of city government! He hasn't lived by 'conservative' values and principles during his tenure as Provo's Mayor . . . a real conservative would have closed down the unconstitutional cable and internet service company Provo had and ran and then sold the entire operation to Google Fiber for one stinking dollar ($1).
As was said about another politician, so many years ago, "Read His Lips . . . if they are moving
HE IS LYING !!"
And none of that reflects on the State's Integrity AT ALL does it?!!
BUT that is NOT ALL . . .
Other Utah GOP 'RED COATs' have also done documented additional HARM to Utah, we allege. . . .
"What do you mean HARM done? What HARM? I don't know of any Harm!" You might say to yourself . . .
well, give us a few more moments while we present our case:
CASE# 1 - HB320 (2000) & SB187 (2009) -
the nine year Utility Monopoly campaign (and who is in bed with the Utility Monopolies) in the 'Great State of Utah'
In 2000 a bill was introduced (HB320) sponsored by Rep. David Uhr (R-Kamas). The bill intended to abolish the public Utility Commission's (PUC) Consumer Services Office - an office advocating for small business and residential customers, which was a part of the PUC, established to protect from unwarranted rate hikes from the Utah utility monopolies (now called Dominion Power, Questar, Mountain Fuel). All requests, up or down, pass through the PUC for authorization before going into effect.
The bill was admitted, in open session, to have been authored by a utility lawyer (Roland Gilcrest, by name, who was Questar's Chief Legal Counsel, at the time). Under the impetus (and financial support, I'm sure!!) it was pushed through and through several unusual (if not illegal) steps. Not only did a non-legislator admit to writing the bill, but the 'mouthpiece of the monopoly' literally sit on the house floor, next to the sponsor's desk during debate on the measure as well at the represent-ative's elbow during committee hearing on the bill - AND NO ONE said 'BOO' about it! Not the opposition, not the leadership, not a single other elected member of either party! Nor the Governor nor the Attorney General . . . NO ONE said: “This isn't right!” No one questioned this highly questionable conduct, if not ethically it was morally wrong! Even officials outside the Legislature or outside of Capitol Hill, NONE called this into question ... the SILENCE was DEAFENING!!
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 utility shareholder, who sat on the board of Questar) allowed the bill to become law, after it passed the House and Senate, without his signature. Such a fervor was stirred up in the community of Salt Lake City and the rest of the state that in 2001 legislative session, Uhr sponsored a bill repealing his own 2000 bill (HB320). The repeal passed, but the monopolies were not done with the Consumer Services Office, OH NO!!
The scene jumps to the 2009 Legislative Session, for the introduction of a bill by then State Senator John Valentine (in '09 he was one of the ranking 'Red Coats' in the Senate from Orem - now chair of the State Tax Commission ... hm-m-m coincidence???? We think NOT!). Valentine sponsored SB187, which moved the Consumer Service Office from the PUC (where there were part and parcel of the notice of any and all rate issues) to the Department of Commerce under the Consumer Protection Division – relegating the former utility watchdog and advocate, for the small business and residential segment of the market, to only a Regulatory Advisory role! (A 'Win' for the Utility Monopolies!) AND it only took nine (9) years for the legislature to serve this WIN up to the utilities . . . notice it wasn't to the benefit of the consumers (aka: the voters) as you can tell from your utility bills!
CASE History #2 - HB477 (2011) - The Legislator's Need for 'Privacy' from GRAMA
HB477 (2011) was a bill whose chief sponsor was then Rep. John Dougall (R-American Fork, Dist. 57). This was a bill introduced and passed in the waning days of the 2011 Session. In 2011, the S.L. Tribune, Deseret News, Ogden Standard-Examiner and the Provo Daily Herald all railed against this bill, which was under threat of veto and even having a special session called to re-work or repeal the bill by Gov. Herbert - instead of just vetoing it and fighting a veto override (the veto would have been at zero cost while a special session costs over $30,000 of taxpayer $$$).
A special session was called and the bill was amended by the Senate, in which the House eventually concurred, and then they repealed the entire bill! Herbert took a little heat for not vetoing the bill and saving the $30k for a one-day special session.
The “flawed concept” of the bill was to exempt voice mails, instant messages, video chats and text messages from falling under GRAMA as government records, using the excuse of Legislator
'Privacy,' even if the legislators were using phones issued for their legislative work by the State.
As late as one full year later (2012), the GRAMA work group (a legislative committee with members from both the House and the Senate) was still working on adding 'privacy clauses' to GRAMA. One wonders WHY?? Why do elected officials doing their job NEED privacy? What about the Sunshine Laws, Open Meeting Laws, Transparency and OPEN GOVERNMENT? Oh wait, this is UTAH where the Legislature has EXEMPTED THEMSELVES from such mundane things as mere 'Sunshine' laws, puny little 'Open Meeting' laws and any semblance of Open Government! AND NOW they think they need Privacy exemptions as part of, or protection from GRAMA???
Do 'We the People' want to let them continue to run rough-shod over ethical, moral behavior? To continue to think THEY are above ANY LAW? 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 unethical and immoral ideas, concepts and practices of HOW to conduct their legislative responsibilities . . . guilt by association and guilt by example as well as by SILENCE, not standing up for correct principles OR for calling their fellow legislators out for corruption, unethical and amoral practices!!
Can you say they have bought and sold?? Hoisted on their own petard? AND, unfortunately, the taxpayers are going along, blissfully ignorant . . . as the media fails to provide the necessary information, either . . . again, failing in their governmental watchdog duties, rather pandering to and becoming the lapdogs of the rich and powerful!! The Media are co-conspirators with the unethical and immoral power-mongers of the GOP RED COATs!!
AND WHO is this corrupting influence? Well beyond their own evil desires and outside influences (such as unethical lobbyists – but that's another story, isn't it!!) . . . this question leads us to our third corruption STRIKE (how many strikes do we as voters give them? Two? THREE? Eighteen?? Twenty? 46? . . . Let's see, 2000 to 2018 is only 18, but then there is Hatch, isn't there? IS the Federal Congress any better ? . . . that's a funny one, isn't it; depressingly UN-funny!!)
CASE History #3 - Just ONE of the unethical lobbyist groups ( known as A.L.E.C.)
(“... out of the mouths of two or more witnesses shall every word be established. . . “ read that once, somewhere, in some good book or other!)
A total of 20+ Utah Legislators are openly, and unapologetically, members of a group known as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) . . . but I like to call it Cartel because that word gives a more accurate connotation, I believe. This group is more commonly called ALEC. Among those members are our current Senate President Wayne Neiderhauser and more than 19 others.
[Note: Neiderhauser is the current V.P. of the Board, and in July 2018 he will become President of the Board of ALEC]
In April 2012, a federal complaint was made and ALEC became the target of an investigation by the IRS for sustantiation of their 501(c)(3) qualification as a “non-profit 'educational' organization,” they were being accused of being a lobbying group, which not allowed under the IRS's 501(c)(3) designation. The allegation of 'lobbying' was made stating that 'lobbying' accounted for more than 60% of its expenditures (ALEC formally denied 'lobbying' – although Delores Mertz, who had previously served as chairwoman of ALECs Board of Directors, is quoted as saying she was “concerned about the lobbying that's going on, especially with [ALEC's] 501(c)(3) status.”).
William Schluter, vice chair of the New Jersey's Ethics Commission and former Republican state senator, said of ALEC's activities, “When you get right down to it,this not different from lobbying, [because] It is lobbying. . . “ (emphasis added).
According to Governing magazine, legislators who are members of ALEC often have their travel expenses paid for as 'scholarships' and are 'wined and dined and golf-course-ed' by industry members, neither of which generally get reported on their financial disclosures in their home states (which is a criminal act, although it is only a misdemeanor) about the type and scope of financial re-imbursements and gratuities and 'scholarships' they secure during the meetings and annual gatherings. In July 2013 a supplemental brief was submitted to the IRS complaining about these practices which are part and parcel of the $7.3 million a year in revenue for the entity, so we are not talking 'small potatoes' (dollar figure from 2013 FYE report, dated Dec. 2013 – with $8.5 million expences; so this is an unintentional non-profit organization, formed in 1973 as a tax exempt 501(c)(3)).
ALEC is a huge “bill mill” promoting and lobbying for purported 'public policy' measures in State Legislatures, Congress, Statehouses and has advocates and members from the VPOTUS (Vice President of the United States) down to more local bodies. ALEC promotes many false concepts, among which are a controversial “Stand Your Ground” laws, blamed for deaths in Forida in 2014 involving the Neighborhood Watch and a teenage resident; 'Con-Con,' 'Article V Convetnion,' 'Balanced Budget Amendment Convention,' For-Profit Education and Schools, Privatization of Prisons and Jails, and more.
In Utah several of ALEC's 'bills' have become law (specifically Charter School and a bunch of School Choice measures) and more which cost taxpayers enormous amounts [e.g., the 124 Charter Schools in Utah cost taxpayers $3.77 Million in the 2018 budget alone] with the profits of such going to ALEC's corporate members and cronies from those taxpayer dollars – also coming soon will be For-Profit Prisons proposals here in Utah, just wait and see. At least one measure, promoted and pushed by ALEC, has been defeated by the Utah electorate [in 2006 66% of the voters shot down] school vouchers (much to the frustration of State Senator Curt Bramble, et al)
Additionally, ALEC holds meetings and annual conventions (one was held in 2016 at the Salt Lake City's Grand American Hotel, which this candidate attended as a visitor). At these conventions and meetings the various Task Forces meet in secret, behind closed doors. The Task Forces are admittedly a mix of business (ALEC's corporate memberships) and legislators or elected officials. In the Task Forces are where the actual bills (legislation usually NOT written by the legislative members of ALEC but rather often written by a business which wants government contracts, payments, ideas and concepts the corporation wants pushed through) are literally passed out to the legislative members from the business members.
Corporate or business members of ALEC pay thousands of dollars for their memberships, while the legislators only pay $100 for their membership (rather suspect and illogical unless the businesses get hundreds of times more benefits … ya'think what that may be??). Businesses like NRA, Coca-Cola, petrochemical companies, alcohol vendors and name brands, cigarette companies, . . . etc.
ALEC's IRS investigation is still on-going and it has not been closed,yet, according to sources. This candidate has made up his mind that ALEC is “un-American,” is a source of corporate corruption in our political process, it is a factor in the decline and decay of the Great American system of Government . . . good thing I'm not part of the IRS investigation! (In another issue paper, I try to build a case that ALEC is as evil and as wicked a 'secret society' as any of the criminal gangs – Bloods, Crips, Surenos, Nortenos, Solders of Aryan Culture or SAC, QVO, VLT, WVC, 12th Street, et al. See the corporate Corruption Solution Plan issue paper.)
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 exact same action. [Farley Anderson's case against Gary Herbert in the Utah Supreme Court in 2012]
- Utah's debt level is unacceptable, as well, with over $44 million in debt ($39.5 in bonded debt plus another $9.9 in unfunded liabilities; this puts every man, woman and child in the state in debt to the amount of $12,000+ So much for being 'Well Managed'!!!
- Former Utah County Commissioner Gary Anderson posing as an LDS General Authority in a land deal – ethically and morally unacceptabe!
- Utah Attorney General 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 – so much for a speedy trial); yet the Legislative investigation report contained sufficient damning evidence.
- Utah County's current Commissioner Greg Graves under a cloud of harassment accusations (2017-8)
- Utah County Clerk mailed out 80,000 ballots for the 'closed' Republican Primary to NON-Republicans in the 2017 Special Election . . . oops! Or was it??? Perhaps it was lame-sham attempt to recruit more Red Coats, d'ya think? But, it was definitely an election law violation and could have been on reason Bryan Thompson lost his bid to be re-elected in the Utah County Republican Convention (April 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 and ALL elected offices within the State of Utah.
WONDER WHY WE NEED A THIRD PARTY?
Is it any wonder that 70% of the nation, according to one survey (i-citizen survey of June 2017), and 66% of Millennials, according to another poll (NBC News poll in Dec. 2017), do NOT believe either the Republican nor Democrat Party are doing a good job or represent them!
Or than 84% of Millennials find a third party necessary, 78% of people under 50 say a third party is necessary, 54% of Republicans and 68% of Democrats find a third party is necessary. Only 16% found the two parties do a good job, and 14% were unsure (in the i-citizen survey).
Ron Paul jokes he'd be happier if we “actually had a second party” . . . that these two (the R & the D) are “more alike than different.” He calls it “Washington's one-party system” which believes that “winning [is] more important than standing for something” thereby not achieving anything worthwhile.
Back in January, Ira Shapiro came out with a book entitled Broken – can the Senate save itself and the Nation, decrying the current Senate leadership and management style. Another symptom of the problem and issue of lack of governmental leadership as well as a lack of “WE THE PEOPLE” being part of the government.
Or the lack of any real cooperative legislation of the past, rather strict party politics and partisan-ism being the norm in either house of Congress as well as across the nation. More partisan ideas being stridently followed. Even here in Utah, the State GOP's recent bylaw change getting them in trouble with the Election Office and Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox – threatening to de-certify the party if they attempt to disqualify any candidate taking the signature option, as per state law after the passing of SB54. That could be a mess for the RED COATS!!
Perhaps the real answer is the rise of a viable third party . . . such as the Independent American Party of Utah (or IAP, not the United Utah Party or Constitution or Libertarian or Green or other party). You see, as one of the tenants of the IAP we believe in THE PROPER ROLE OF GOVERNMENT and the accountability of elected officials to both the voters and to God.
The Proper Role of Government
Ezra Taft Benson was Secretary of Agriculture under President Dwight Eisenhower, was both an Apostle of the LDS Church and its President and Prophet, for a season, and he also authored the Proper Role of Government, in which he states:
“(I) believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and that
He holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and
administering them, for the good and safety of society.”
Candidates of the IAP go through a process known as the PEOPL process (which stands for People Electing ONLY Principled Leaders) which entails going down the 15 principles derived from the Proper Role of Government. These include, briefly:
1 – We believe that no people can maintain freedom unless their political institutions are founded upon faith in God and belief in the existence of moral law.
2 – We believe that God has endowed men with certain unalienable rights as set forth in the Declaration of Independence and that no legislature and no majority, however great, may morally limit or destroy these; that the sole function of government is to protect life, liberty and property.
3 – We believe that the Constitution of the United States was prepared and adopted by men acting under inspiration from Almighty God, that it is a solemn compact between the peoples of the States of this nation which all officers of government are under duty to obey …
4 – We believe it a violation of the Constitution for government to deprive the individual of either life, liberty, or property except for these purposes: punish crime and provide administration of justice, protect the right and control fo private property, wage defensive war . . .
5 – We hold that the Constitution denies government the power to take from the individual either his life, liberty, or property except in accordance with moral law; that the same moral law which governs the actions of men when acting alone is also applicable . . .
6 – We are hereby resolved that under no circumstances shall the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights be infringed. In particular we are opposed to any attempt on the part of the Federal Government to deny the people their right to bear arms, to worship and pray when and . . .
7 – We consider ourselves at war with the enemy of God-given liberties regardless of the enemy's manifestation, such as international Communism which is committed to the destruction of our (original) government, our right of property, and our freedom; that it is treason . . .
8 – We are unalterably opposed to Socialism, either in whole or in part, and regard it as an unconstitutional usurpation of power and a denial of the right of private property for government to own or operate the means of producing and distributing goods and services in competition . . .
9 – We maintain that every person who enjoys the protection of his life, liberty and property should bear his fair share of the cost of government in providing that protection; that the elementary principles of justice set for th in the Constitution demand that all taxes imposed be uniform . . .
10 – We believe in honest money, the gold and silver coinage of the Constitution, and a circulating medium convertible into such money without loss. We regard it as a flagrant violation of the explicit provisions of the Constitution for the Federal Government to . . .
11 – We believe that each state is sovereign in performing those functions reserved to it by the Constitution and it is destructive of our federal system and the right of self-government guaranteed under the Constitution for the Federal Government to regulate or control . . .
12 – We consider it a violation of the Constitution for the Federal Government to levy taxes for the support of state or local government; that no state or local government can accept funds from the Federal and remain independent in performing its functions, nor can the citizens . . .
13 – We deem it a violation of the right of private property guaranteed under the Constitution for the Federal Government to forcibly deprive the citizens of this nation of their property through taxation or otherwise, and make a gift thereof to foreign governments or . . .
14 – We believe that no treaty or agreement with other countries should deprive our citizens of rights guaranteed them by the Constitution.
15 – We consider it a direct violation of the obligation imposed upon it by the Constitution for the Federal Government to dismantle or weaken our military establishment below that point required for the protection of the States against invasion, or to surrender or commit our men . . .
(for a complete version of the 15 Principles go to www.independentamericanparty.org/the-principles-of-liberty)
If any of the above makes sense to you, if you see the need to hold our elected officials Accountable and to a higher standard of Integrity, . . . we would urge you to go to the polls and VOTE the RED COATS OUT!
OUR SOLUTION would be to, instead, go to the polls on Nov. 6th AND VOTE FOR Gregory C. Duerden on the Independent American Party (IAP) ticket for Utah's Third Congressional seat (District 3).
Thank you for all your support,
Gregory C Duerden,
Candidate for Utah's Third Congressional District
on the IAP Ticket, Nov. 6th General Election 2018
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 not been Transparent, honest, truthful or ethical when it comes to the UTAH SUNSHINE LAW or if you are sick that Utah's reputation has been be-smerched by our current crop of 'RED COATS' . . . we would urge you to go to the polls and Vote on Nov.6, 2018 for Greg Duerden on the Independent American Party ticket for Utah Congressional Third District seat
Thank you for your support